Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Broad Match - Ever Broadening

When does a term become overly 'broad-matched?' People seem to be finding out lately, especially those with large campaigns covering many product categories.

It is getting bad. With ads jumping campaigns, and in some cases jumping completely outside of logical relevance all together. When a customer searches for "nike shoes" and is shown an ad for Birkenstocks, or worse yet, acne cream, you know there is a problem.

We have seen issues with over enthusiastic and just plain awkward broad matching now with our clients in ever increasing regularity. It is a troubling trend and one that still shows that the power of the almighty dollar still appears to win out over quality user experience.

Google, Yahoo and MSN are all guilty, so the finger must be pointed at the industry in general. But the real question is just how prevalent this issue is right now. Our search reps certainly know their is a problem, but no one seems willing to guess or admit to just how much of an issue this is.

All of this begs several questions of just how much of an impact this is having on quality components in ad positioning. Obviously, using our previous example, a Nike query is going to generate poor CTR if shown a Birkenstock ad. We know that CTR is a major component now is determining ad positioning. How much are we paying for inaccurate broad matching? How is it effecting individual bids on the keywords effected?


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