Proactively Building Negative Keyword Lists in Google Ads is More Important than Ever

Ahead of schedule, Google appears to have rolled out new automated features to further enhance its machine learning. All of this comes with a new “cost to the advertiser”… Farfetched Studios has discovered some ways to help review your account and avoid pitfalls!

Build Negative Keyword ListsGoogle has begun restricting terms within the advertisers search query report to only show those that have been “searched by significant number of users.” With keywords being one of the main ways to monitor and optimize paid search, this new limitation in reporting hinders this ability greatly.

With little clarification from Google on how the “significance” is calculated, advertisers and the SEM community are responding with anger and frustration. Some have even started a petition to allow advertisers to opt-out of the new update. Even though, the decision Google has made is substantiated by attempting to further protect its users.

Over the last 12 months Google has slowly changed a lot of features to automation and out of advertiser control. The main example of this is their continual effort to expand match type close variance, which started back in 2018 and has grown since.

With the full impact of the update not fully visualized, it is likely to create some critical issues for data-heavy advertisers looking to improve their performance based on the analysis of search term data.

Back in September, after the initial update, activity across most accounts had already begun to see a change. Some advertisers found up to 26% of their total spend was now coming from unique search queries with only 1 impression.

With little data at our disposal, the SEM Community is left to speculate as to how Google is deciding its factors and the full effects on reporting. But the prospect of losing roughly one-fourth of search terms due to volume is worrisome.

With only a few of these unique single impression search queries filtering through into the reports, it leads us to question what is actually being removed due to privacy concerns and to what extent this is helping to widen the net of match type variance.

Frederick Vallaeys of Optimizr published a script that allows advertisers to report the number of clicks, impressions and cost that is going to unreported search terms. The search query reports began coming back seeing upwards of 45% of clicks no longer being reported.

How can we get better quality traffic with these new changes? Proactively adding bulk negative keywords is not a new practice, but it is now more important than ever to make sure quality is maintained. Leveraging this data within your campaigns before going live will save you money in the long run. Below are some of Farfetched Studios negative keyword building tools.

Keyword Planner

The keyword planner tool is built into the Google Ads platform and provides keywords with correlating volume, expected CPCs and level of competition based upon an entered URL or keyword examples.

For negative keywords, being vague as possible is actually a benefit here. It is also important to note that each keyword you add will act like a theme to what Google will provide. We recommend running this tool with a few different themed keywords to get as much from the provided data as possible.

Microsoft Ads

With Microsoft Ads most likely following suit behind Google’s automation, their current platform still supports keyword mining from your Microsoft campaigns for negatives.

Yahoo/Bing match types are less narrow in comparison to Google, so this data could be used to fill in the gaps Google would have left out. 

Google Search Console

You can either use the Search Console as a stand alone or you can link it with the Google Ads interface. Once linked navigate to Reports > Predefined > Basic > Paid vs. Organic to see which queries triggered paid and organic search results.

If you have a strong organic presence, this data can be very useful. Your keywords that are ranking organically can be added to your list of negative keywords to avoid internal competition between paid and organic.

If you are looking for additional help with management of your campaigns, Farfetched Studios offers full SEM packages specifically tailored to your business and target clientele. We are dedicated to staying on top of all new developments with Google and Microsoft Ads to bring you the highest quality traffic and leads.

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