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Problem with Negative Keywords

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Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 1
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆

Recently, all my accounts went haywire. I'm suddenly having to exclude many, many more keywords (e.g. "jdea" as well as "idea"). Keywords I've excluded, such as "chain link" and "electricity" are being ignored and showing up in my search term reports again. I'm also getting really strange keyword 'variations' - e.g. "colour fence" being varied to "colour coatings" which is unrelated to my client. 

Most of my campaigns are 'limited by budget' when they've been fine previously. Conversions have dropped. I spoke to my rep and they said that I should switch my keywords to exact match and that I "should have been having this problem all along". I found this to be a pretty unsatisfying answer, because, well, I haven't had this all along. It just started a couple of weeks ago. 

On top of that Keyword Planner keeps consolidating keywords in ways that ignore the fact that words have different meanings. E.g. "walling stone" is automatically altered to "stone walls". The former is a specific product. The latter is a very generic concept. When I queried this with another rep they advised me to clear my cache and said "this should not be happening". Again, unhelpful as it is happening. 

Can anyone give me any insight into this?

3 Expert replyverified_user

Problem with Negative Keywords

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi @Helen G,

 

Reading your lines I am under the impression that you are currently using broad match keywords. If the intended keyword targeting is as sensitive as you described, you should probably consider switching your keywords to phrase match or even exact match in a few cases. 

 

My best guess is that you just 'excluded' some keywords when studying your Search Terms report. That's not enough if some of your keywords overlap in meaning. The only result will be that the search terms you thought you got rid of appear under other keywords. Therefore, be sure to put those bad keywords on the list of negative keywords.

 

The Keyword Planner provides you with suggestions, you should always remember to check on them in terms of relevance. 

 

Best,

Lakatos

Problem with Negative Keywords

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

Close variants are part of any keyword. Nothing much that you can help with. I do agree with the Rep that  if the system  reports "limited by budget", the best would be to use exact match keywords.

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

Problem with Negative Keywords

Badged Google Partner
# 4
Badged Google Partner

Google did change their KW matching options again recently... It could be a sign that the more close variants accepted for exact and phrase match, the more broader variants are being triggered for broader terms.

 

I'm a big proponent of isolating your top converting exact match search queries into their own campaign, and dedicating as much budget as necessary (or available) to try and achieve 100% impression share for those terms. Regardless of the specific reason(s) why this is happening, it may just be time to update your account structure now that you have enough data to know what works for you.

Tom

Problem with Negative Keywords

Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

This is a common thing for AdWords advertisers to deal with, but it is unusual to happen to an existing campaign.

 

Although Google's recent update was for exact match keywords, it makes sense that they are constantly updating and improving what they consider to be similar keywords and search queries.

 

My guess is that something changed in how they relate keywords in your industry. It wouldn't surprise me if the change was reversed in due course, of accounts are negatively affected.

 

 

 

Problem with Negative Keywords

Badged Google Partner
# 6
Badged Google Partner

We noticed the change. Google has definitely made an effort to get fuzzier matches to match to our keywords. It includes exact words. This also includes entire words being added to our long-tail exact match keywords. Albeit they are relevant words, but that's not what we want when we put brackets around our keywords. Is the best solution battling back with negatives?

Problem with Negative Keywords

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

Google advised that the changes would (on average) increase impressions for exact match keywords by about 3%. But obviously some keywords / queries will be affected more than others.

 

Problem with Negative Keywords

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 8
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆

Hi Latakos, 

I am afraid you are incorrect. I have several negative keyword lists, each comprising several hundred words, applied to the campaigns. As an example. It's necessary because they have a niche product. I am using mostly phrase / exact match, although I kept the company's brand name exact match. 

I check the suggestions from keyword planner within an inch of their life, because most of the suggestions are irrelevant. E.g, my company only sell metal fencing, so long ago I researched other types of fencing from chain to willlow to electric and excluded them. That is why this is so frustrating. 

Problem with Negative Keywords

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 9
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆

I appreciate your point, but 'coatings' are in no way related to fencing, and this was not a problem until a couple of weeks ago. 

Problem with Negative Keywords

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 10
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆

Perhaps, it's just extremely frustrating, as the campaigns *were* working incredibly well, and summer is their busiest season. Having to experiment and restructure just before the client expects their sales to skyrocket is irritating to the extreme.