Left: Example; Google AdWords.
Word may, and will, be reordered
AdWords has indicated that they will allow the reordering of certain subsets of keywords, within reason. This is somewhat vague, but comes down to this, as long as the meaning doesn’t change, the word order will no longer matter for Exact Match keywords. Google states that the algorithm can understand the difference between a phrase like “Sydney to Melbourne” and “Sydney from Melbourne”, but the proof will be in the pudding.
It is going to be interesting to see how this pans out as Google punts targeting very broad keywords aimed at remarketing lists. Will Google understand the difference between “mountain trail bike” or “mountain bike trails”? Or what about “office fire and safety” and “fire and safety office” or “fire safety officer”?
It seems that Google’s strategy of, ‘open the floodgates and force the marketer to filter out what they don’t want’, has the sole purpose of increasing Google profits.
I’m not quite sure where I stand with this one yet.
On the one hand, anyone who has ever built a large-scale account is fully aware of the pain involved in generating numerous keyword variations and keyword orders. This update will definitely be a big help to them. On the other hand, Google’s unofficial motto is, “Relevancy is King” (isn’t that why they invented the Quality Score?), but Exact Match is the most relevant of the keyword match types? Are they that confident in their algorithm that it will continue to deliver the most relevant results?
Google is leaving a lot open to their AI and its ability to learn and understand language. From my experiences with the Google Assistant, it is far better at understanding natural language and the meaning of words than it used to be. But, and this is a big but, it is still a long away from being perfect.
A phrase you’ll hear a lot this week is, “Better to waste money on some bad keywords than to miss out on some potentially good ones”. I disagree. I actively manage my Search Query reports and add keywords. The words in my accounts are there as they generate ROI, Google is, in essence, undoing a lot of these types of account optimisations if this is a go.
My advice is to monitor your Search Query Reports and keep an extremely close eye on what keywords your ads are showing. I have a strong suspicion that your lists will grow at a surprising rate over the next few months. It’s almost just as well you can now load MCC level negative lists and share these across all your accounts.
I’ll be using 2 AdWords Scripts to monitor and reverse these changes for the time being.
Script #1: This script that’s been around since the last match dilution change in 2014 will manage your keyword lists. It’ll add any search phrases that do not exactly match the keyword they triggered AND have keyword match type exact (close variant) as a negative. As such, turning exact match back into, well, exact match.
Script #2: This script from Optimizationup.com will monitor your SQR’s and should save you some time.