Dear Google, Please Give Me Back My Money
Elizabeth Marsten Sep 23 2009
I was going through my search query reports the other day and noticed that more and more I am seeing these broad match (session based) results. Interesting. I know that there is no opt out button for this and like my fellow SEMs am in a bit of an annoyed snit, but since it’s now rampant through one of my accounts, I’d like to just straight out ask for a refund.
My intended audience would be looking for a math game for first graders. I have included many negative keywords in my campaigns (And yes, I thought of adding more based on these session queries, but adding 30 or so negatives every other day trying to keep up just seems silly and waste of my time, you see.) and while a few of these session based queries were apt, their conversion and click through rates are not.
Here are some examples of session based keyword queries that I had to pay for on an account about first grade math:
math games grade
math partners for 5
negative number math
and my personal favorite: 9th grade english
To be fair, out of the 39 keywords, 3 conversions did come out of them. At a CPA $2 higher than my target CPA. I will adjust for that, so please go ahead and deposit $19.97 in my account. I’m just going to spend it on PPC anyway.
Now, if you’re going to insist on forcing us all to participate in your program, a good compromise that I would be willing to accept is: instead of a refund, a lower cost per click on these session based keyword offerings. Since I know you can adjust the cost per click on a per search basis, why don’t you go ahead and give me a discount on the cost per click so that it’s not on completely on my dime that you’re screwing it up?
I won’t hold my breath on this, but I’ll sure squeal to anyone that will listen.
A Google AdWords Advertiser
Update:After running another search query report for one of our clients in the “electronic signature” industry, my PPC Guru colleague Michael found some even more “relevant” queries. So far this September, session-based broad matching has generated over $400 in largely irrelevant clicks at an average cost per click of over $1.80 more than typical search network CPCs during that same stretch.
Some keywords included: “eleanor roosevelt signature”, “webkinz stores online” and “electronic barcode”. Why are we paying full price for Google to make us their guniea pigs?
Vice President of Search Marketing
Elizabeth supervises the overall search division at Portent, which includes PPC, SEO, Social Media and Analytics. If you really want to know more about her check out her bit.ly bundle. Elizabeth has written several ebooks, is a ClickZ columnist, a Lynda.com course author, a Dummies book author and speaks on PPC across the USA at various conferences including the SMX shows, mozCon and Hero Con. Read More