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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Google AdWords Experiments With Automated Matching

Google is testing a system that automatically spends advertisers’ money by algorithmically extending AdWords campaigns (the Google-powered ads placed on search results and AdSense-using websites). Search engine optimization blogger Dan Thies says his friend received the following email from Google:

Automatic Matching automatically extends your campaign’s reach by using surplus budget to serve your ads on relevant search queries that are not already triggered by your keyword lists. By analyzing the structure and content of your website and AdWords campaigns, we deliver more impressions and clicks while maintaining your current CTRs [click-through rates] and CPCs [cost-per clicks].

For example, If you sold Adidas shoes on your website, Automatic Matching would automatically crawl your landing page and target your campaigns to queries such as: “shoes” “adidas” “athletic”, etc., and less obvious ones such as “slippers” that our system has determined will benefit you and likely lead to a conversion on your site.

Google notes that even if you participate in this experiment, which is currently still a limited Beta, your advertising budget will never be exceeded by the system. Dan Thies is still not convinced this feature is helpful, arguing people shouldn’t fall for this as the “broad match feature of Adwords is bad enough.” Garett Rogers of Googling Google tends to agree with the risks Dan sees, but also argues that if it works – and if you trust Google – it could be “a great supplemental tool that could significantly increase the number of visitors to your site.” Perhaps it’s a feature more meaningful to casual users of AdWords?


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