• http://www.rimmkaufman.com George Michie

    Great post, Matt. The negative approach is challenging for large scale, high product count/ keyword count campaigns. The bidding approach is most scalable, and combined with negatives works okay. I’d be happier if Google really did give preference to an exact hit of user search = keyword phrase regardless of match type settings. They claim to, but search logs prove otherwise.

  • http://www.findmefaster.com Matt Van Wagner

    Thank you, George.

    I agree totally that the creating a complete negative image of your paid searh campaign is hard to scale. We’ve used it most effectively for B2B industrial and B2C clients with very limited product lines. Plenty of clients in that category.

    Thanks for sharing your daydream on exact match….

  • http://www.clickequations.com Craig Danuloff

    Great post Matt. I should point out that after that Match Type Keyword Trap post was written, I found that Google officially says they will always match queries to the ‘most specific keyword’ in your account, so over-bidding on exact match shouldn’t be necessary – but as we all know sometimes it is. I’ve updated the post you reference to be more current and accurate.

    I’ll also mention that because the process you describe is so crucial, we just added a new feature to ClickEquations that specifically enables it to be done with super-efficiency. It’s called Keywords Zoom and it shows you the keyword plus all attracted queries and makes adding negatives a two-click operation. Details and video are on our blog at http://www.clickequations.com/blog/2010/07/keyword-zoom-inside-keyword-performance/

  • http://www.chadsummerhill.com ChadSummerhill

    Love this post Matt! I wrote a very similar post back in March about my experience with what I called “Forced Match Type Targeting”


    I’m with George on this one, Google needs to let us spend our money they way we intend when match types are concerned and quit trumping our exact match keywords with broad and phrase.

    I’m still struggling with this issue. Google tells you to build tightly themed adgroups only to serve ads from wherever they want regardless of our intentions.

    I might have better CTR/QS with a semi-related broad or phrase match, but what about my landing pages and conversion rates!

  • http://www.findmefaster.com Matt Van Wagner

    Thank you for your comments, Chad.

    Balancing the need for more traffic versus perfectly relevant traffic is a dynamic that we all decide how to manage,

    While we may never have totally clean ad groups, using logical ad grouping and forcing matchtypes as you described in your blog, can help us manage them reasonably enough.

    Your point of managing to conversions and profit rather than to QS & CTR is spot on. This is the real value that we, as campaign managers, bring to the paid search advertising process.

  • http://www.esearchvision.com Benny Blum


    Just following up on the adgroup match type structure…there is no need to include a broad match negative in the phrase match adgroup.

    The nature of my proposed adgroup structure is such that only phrase matches will make it to the phrase match adgroup – as only exact matches go to exact and phrase matches are blocked from the broad match adgroup due to negatives.

    Regarding scalability, this structure is one example of a myriad of options for structure (this is the “perfect world” and hence it’s very effective). If I’m working with a particularly large account I reserve this structure for top keywords. For lower volume terms, I simply isolate exact match and impose exact match negatives on the non-exact adgroup(s). The process can be daunting if you’re overhauling an existing campaign but the benefits are rich. I’ve heard from several advertisers who either attended SMX Advanced or read this post and all feedback has been very positive.



  • http://www.findmefaster.com Matt Van Wagner

    Thanks Benny, for clarifying.

    Scaling is an issue, but it pays off in better addroup focus. absolutely. And it’s a one time investment. Once you have it, there’s not a lot of reason to rip it apart.

    I’d also suggest that you consider using broad match modifier instead of phrase match, with the (+) applied to all terms within your keyword. This allows you to capture more search query variations with fewer keywords than phrase match, because you don’t have to deal with word order, words between your terms, and so on. I think this would have the same tight focus as phrase match, but would open you to more traffic.

    If the broad match modifier is opening to to many variations (stems or plurals) you can use negative match to take out that specific variation.

    Let me know how that works for you if you give it a try.

  • smccarthy

    I dream of the perfect valuation model for clickstreams longer than one. Surprised that the “Search Funnel” report is the best that Google can come up with for this.