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Competing Keywords

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# 1
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I am being told that by building seperate ad groups in the same campaign, each ad group containing the same keywords, only with different match types, that my keywords will be competing with eachother.


For example - "Minnesota Hotel" phrase match in one ad group


[Minnesota Hotel] exact match in another ad group. 


Will these words compete?

1 Expert replyverified_user
Marked as Best Answer.
Accepted by topic author Andrew M
September 2015

Re: Competing Keywords

Badged Google Partner
# 2
Badged Google Partner
Andrew M,
Great Question.
The answer is really not a Yes or a NO, There are several things at play. Bid price, Quality Scores, and even ROI methodology and your Goals.

The exact match would only appear if the query was an exact match. If the phrase match has a better Quality Score and Ad Rank is could be served up for the Exact match term,

If you said Exact match and Broad match I would advise against that as they would be in direct competition

From an optimization point of view, You want your Landing page, Ads and Keywords to be as synced as possible. So I would concentrate on keeping like terms in the same ad group so that my AD is geared directly to those terms, and make new ad groups for different keyword terms with synced ads.

For Example:
Ad Group 1 - Keywords
"minnesota hotel"
[Minnesota Hotel]
Ad: Headline: Minnesota Hotel

Ad Group 2 keywords
St Paul Hotel
[St Paul Hotel]
Ad headline: St Paul Hotel

At the end of the day, you can keep it separated as you have, to attempt to control budgets, bids, and determine which is the best ROI formula. There will be some potential overlap competition. But if you are attempting a new campaign and trying to determine best course of action for say a one week test i see no reason to give it a shot, because there are so many things in play. Bids, Geo targets, Settings, Ad copy, Ad Rank., Quality Scores, Account History etc,,

Good Luck

Re: Competing Keywords

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
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Great, makes sense. Thanks a lot

Re: Competing Keywords

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
Hi Andrew M,

You'll get different opinions from different people on this. Some people keep all match types in one AdGroup. This is the simplest way of doing it. Google will generally select the most restrictive match type if keywords of more than one match type are all in the same AdGroup. This assumes the more restrictive match type has a higher ad rank, and usually that means a higher bid.

When you separate ad groups or campaigns by match type, there is a chance the broad match can "steal" the impression from the phrase or exact match type for the same keyword. You can prevent this from happening by adding the more restrictive match types as negatives to the less restrictive type group.


AdGroup #1 broad:
very exciting widget
Negative Keywords:
-"very exciting widget"
-[very exciting widget]

Ad Group #2: Phrase Match
Keyword :
"very exciting widget"
Negative Keyword:
-[very exciting widget]

AdGroup #3 Exact Match:
[very exciting widget]

Why separate AdGroups by match type? It allows you to place a higher default bid for the more restrictive match types, which should be of more value to you.

Why separate Campaigns by match type? It allows you to set a different daily budget by match type. Let's say you have a bunch of phrase and exact match keywords that perform well for you, and a group of broad match keywords that give you good ideas for phrase and/or exact match keywords but does not give good conversion rates overall. We'll call this your "discovery" group. You may want to allocate more budget to the groups that perform well and less budget to the discovery group. You do that by creating separate campaigns.

It depends on your goals and performance. One of the things I like about AdWords is there is more than one way to get things done. Of course, one of the toughest parts of AdWords is that there is more than one way to get things done.

Best of Luck!

petebardo -- Deadhead doing AdWords

Competing Keywords

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# 5
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It is to my understanding that if you were to  add "very exciting widget" to a an ad group, the way negative keywords work is that you would not get any impressions for searches containing anything with that phrase in it. So you would only get impressions for broadly related terms to that not anything containing those words so it would be counter productive. I am calling fake news on this answer.


Competing Keywords

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

Hi Brandon,

I think maybe you misunderstood how this would work.


The idea is you have three ad groups, separated by match type. In the broad match group you add negative for phrase and exact because the other ad groups will pick those up. In the phrase match group add exact match as a negative, the exact match group will pick those up. Yes, in the broad match group you would get a lot of long tail searches that are not relevant. This is your "prospecting" group, to identify new candidates for exact and phrase. Add more negative match terms to the broad match group to try to limit the number of non-relevant impressions. Run search terms reports often. It is not counter-productive if you mange the broad match group properly. I wouldn't recommend broad match in the broad match group, use BMM instead. Broad is just too broad in most cases.


You will see many accounts organized this way, and you will see many in this forum suggesting the same thing. Some advertisers will put broad match in a separate campaign to control the budget. It depends on the advertiser, the goals, and the budget how you choose to organize your campaigns. This is one way to do it, placing all match types in the same group is another way. Separating by match type is more work managing the account, but for some advertisers it will work better. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for organizing accounts. Organize your account the way the make sense to you. It is certainly not fake news, but it might not be right for your account(s).


When placing all match type in the same ad group, you'll need to employ other strategies to be sure broad match doesn't "steal" impressions from your phrase and exact match keywords. Usually advertisers will bid higher for phrase, and higher for exact match. This assures a higher QS for the more restrictive match types.


In any case, keywords don't really compete for impressions in the sense that it will drive your costs up. Account keywords go into a mini auction when more than one keyword is eligible for an impression. The keyword with the highest ad rank goes into the auction. It then competes with other advertisers in the general auction.


One thing you can do when separating keywords by match type is bid lower for the exact match than for phrase or broad match. If all match types are in the same group, the one with the highest AdRank will get the impression. That generally means the one with the highest bid and the exact match will never get an impression. Why someone would want to do that is a different question, but I've answered questions of this nature more than once in my 10 years as a TC on this forum.


When separating by match type, the exact match type would enter the general auction. It might not place as high on the page as it would with a higher page, but for some advertisers 2nd or 3rd position on the page might produce better results. Top position does not always translate to better performance. Splitting ad groups by match type offers some different options than placing them all in the same group. Each advertiser will need to decide which type of organization is better for their own campaigns  and accounts. I'm presenting a different option.


Best of Luck to you!




petebardo -- Deadhead doing AdWords