A reader wonders:
I actually DO have a pertinent question for you – an answer to which the Google Ads help team was conspicuously unable to give me. In your book, one of the main themes is to make keywords as specific as possible so as to avoid unnecessary clicks and placements. I worked hard to develop such a set of keywords, upon which Google stopped showing most of my ads because they say the keywords have too low a traffic volume.
But this isn’t logical. As far as I understand it, the whole idea of Google Ads was that if you search for "6 1/2 inch yellow oblong slightly curved widgets", you should get not only any site that deals with such an oddity, but any Google Ad that refers to it or has it as a keyword shoujld also show up on the right.
So my question is two-fold: why is Google doing this to me, and is there anything I can do about it?
When AdWords For Dummies was published, the long tail keywords were the cutting edge in competitive advantage. Think of keywords nobody else is using, and you get hungrier searchers and less competition. Better conversions on cheaper clicks! What could be bad?
Unfortunately, Google has decided they make less money on long tail keywords with very few searches. Combine that with improvements in their matching algorithms, and you get a new situation: a high quality ad with robust CTR on a less specific keyword will trump a lower-quality ad on a more specific keyword.
My friend and "ears to the ground" AdWords Answerman David Rothwell (David, no charge for the catchy moniker ;) has moved from lots of exact match keywords to ad groups with more general broad match keywords and lots of negatives, which he collects by running the Search Query Report every week.
I have a case study from David which will appear in the second edition of AdWords For Dummies, scheduled for publication some time before Duke next wins the Final Four.