Close variant keyword matching – the cost just went up for pay-per-click advertising

One effective, yet costly, way to help drive traffic to a website is through the use of PPC (pay per click; google-adwords) advertisements. Yet google has found a way and, by the end of the this month, are enforcing us all to use the new adwords policy termed “Close variant keyword matching”. But what does this really mean?

This article is not authored by google, therefore we will skim over the positive spin that they would automatically inject into their new campaigns, but rather focus on some potential drawbacks.

If you read google’s articles about it, it sounds like a good thing; and google plays it up that advertisers already using the new close variant method claim to see an increase in traffic. That may be true: but what is the cost of all the extra ad-impressions being served out?; and perhaps also errant click-thrus by people searching for something ‘slightly different ‘.

So say that you have been used to paying google to advertise your site for keywords ” women’s floral skirts “. So, under the new policy, on he default close-variant matching option “Broad match”, web searchers typing in “women’s floral shirts ” or even “colorful female shirts ” might be presented with your ad. Google might *think* there is a possibility that perhaps a typographical error happened when a person typed in ‘shirts’ and your ad for ‘skirts’ might pop up. This is just one tiny example, as the total domain of possibilities is immense. Perhaps you can quickly think of your own example(s) too.

For a detailed description of the new policy, you can go to these two links that google has presented to the public on this important new topic:

https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2497836

http://adwords.blogspot.de/2014/08/close-variant-matching-for-all-exact.html

… together with the following exhausting, potentially headache inducing, document that google has published named “Keywords to the Wise-Cultivating Demand with Keyword Strategies”:

http://services.google.com/fh/files/blogs/google-keywords-to-the-wise.pdf

4GoogHosting does not always endorse Google’s ranking algorithm adjustments, strategies, and new procedures that we are all occasionally compelled (by Google) to follow. A computer program that google frequently internally hacks on and tweaks is the new judge, jury, and ranking executioner for all of us.

The topic of this blog is describes what we view as an additional pain rather than gain. Sure, our PPC ads might be being served to more people, or in marketing lingo ‘eyeballs’, and we might even see a slight increase in traffic, but we expect our advertising costs to go up (as more ads are served on ‘close variant matched’), at a faster rate than the additional traffic and conversions that may occur.

What do you think? And do we really have a choice in the matter? Google is enforcing the new policy this month of September 2014. Some might argue it is really not a big thing – but when you look at the whole ever-emerging stack of incrementally presented ‘changes’ google has made us concerned about today and in the past (see the previous “https” ranking signal blog we posted a few weeks back) – it do all seem more concerning. What else does google have planned, and already perhaps in their internet pipeline, for us all?

Best wishes to all our 4GoodHosting customers and friends, and prospective customers who may have enjoyed reading this post.

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