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How accurately can a person "reverse engineer" Google Adwords?

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# 1
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I don't mean to try to figure out the algorithms or whatever, but rather I mean that I have started to take prospective Google Adwords keywords in their match types and then just do a Google search with them to see comes up.


So I work as a German>English translator so if I put in


+German +English +translation


I'm not going to pull up a bunch of translation agencies like I want to, but rather a whole hodgepodge of free online dictionaries and the like so that this isn't probably going to be so helpful. But if I put in


[translation company]


I'm going to pull up almost exclusively translation agencies in a Google search so I think this is a much better keyword.


However, there are some problems with this. First of all, I'm making the assumption that the symbols used on Google Adwords are the same symbols that are used in the same way in standard (organic) Google searches. So, if I use exact match with a prospective Google Adwords keyword, does that have the same significance doing a standard Google search? That is to say, do the symbols have the identical significance on Google Adwords and Google? Don't really know for sure. (I know before I got on Google Adwords, I did standard Google searches only with quotation marks or no quotation marks, no plus signs, no brackets, no minus signs (for negative keywords), etc.


I don't think the Google Adwords symbols and the Google search symbols are the same. For example, if I do a Google search with 


[translation company]


it pulls up a massive number of hits (47 million or the like) whereas


+translation +company


pulls up only about 40 hits. Shouldn't exact match ALWAYS pull up only a relatively small number of hits and most likely far fewer search results than modified broad?


My approach does at least seem to give a general idea of whether a keyword will be relevant (e.g. in my case, whether it pulls up translation agencies or just about everything under the sun)


2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: How accurately can a person "reverse engineer" Google Adwords?

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

there is no such exact correlation.


for ad-keywords, the symbols define a matching-option to the account's
underlying api: broad, broad-match-modifier, phrase-match, exact-match,


for google-search, the symbols are search-operators that suggest to
the search-algorithms a user's intentions, which may sometimes be
ignored -- other than the defined-operators, all other symbols used
in search-terms are usually ignored.


the two sets of symbols' conceptional ideas are somewhat similar --
but, their exact definitions and specific significance are not identical;

each system is separate, each feature functions differently, and the

two should not be compared.


for example, for search, the concept of exactness is
suggested by using quotes; whereas for keywords,

the concept of exact-match is defined by brackets.


similarly, using the bracketed-keyword, exact-match, matching-option,
would match any exact set of search-terms during a search -- without
regard to any symbols being used.


keyword match-types help determine

which search-terms can trigger an ad --

each symbol maps to a match-type.


search-terms must match the definition of the

match-type but do not require search-operators

to trigger an ad; e.g. the exact-match keyword:

[blue car] will be triggered by the search-term:

blue car without any need for "blue car".


see also


How accurately can a person "reverse engineer" Google Adwords?

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

Hi again,


Google used to gave a lot of search operators, but these days not many. Here's the list:


Pretty much the only one that works in both is phrase match

How accurately can a person "reverse engineer" Google Adwords?

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# 4
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AdWords matches (ads triggered and displayed) and Google search results are two different things; they do not work the same. 


Keep in mind, with AdWords there are only a certain number of ad display slots to fill on the search engine results page (SERP); and Google's criteria for what to display where, are quite different versus what they display for organic search results.  


Apples and oranges.