Google Ads’ Keyword Matching Process Detailed In New Guide

During Google Search Ads Week, the company offers an inside look at how the keyword matching system works.

Google has released 28 comprehensive pages Guide It details how the system chooses the best ad to display on a query.

The guide will help you better understand the Google Ads process and is a valuable resource for optimizing your campaigns.

You can find the guide chapter focusing on matching keywords on page seven.

Here’s a visual representation of the process, followed by a written summary.

Screenshot from: Google Ads Unlock The Power Of Search February 2023.

Understand the Google Ads keyword matching process

The keyword matching process begins with the user entering a search query.

The Google system then uses information such as spelling corrections, synonyms, and related concepts to build a retrieval query. This query retrieves all relevant keywords that have been enabled for the service.

Google uses machine learning and natural language understanding techniques to determine keyword eligibility based on keyword match type, campaign, and ad group criteria.

The system requires strict matching for exact keywords, while phrase and broad match keywords allow for more general matching.

The system validates campaign and ad group eligibility based on budget, geographic targeting, audience targeting, negative keywords, and time of day restrictions.

If the campaign uses broad match, the system takes into account the user’s location, recent searches, and landing page, among other signals.

Responsive search ads

Once the Google system determines keyword and campaign/ad group eligibility, it chooses the best performing creative for the user.

This is done through our responsive search ad creative system, which automatically aggregates the best performing creatives from available titles and descriptions.

Candidate ads are evaluated as they relate to the user’s query, and the design expected to perform best is chosen.

Bidding and advertisement arrangement

Google’s keyword matching system then calculates bids for use with ad rank.

Ad Rank is the value that determines where ads are shown on the page in relation to other ads and whether your ad will be shown at all.

With Smart Bidding, each ad impression group is assigned a unique and optimal bid based on the likelihood that the ad, with the selected landing page, for the given user’s search query and intent, will lead to a conversion.

If a campaign uses manual bidding, the system will only use the fixed bid submitted and any relevant bid modifiers.

The system chooses the best combination of relevance and ad rank among the candidates. These candidates include a matching keyword or landing page, ad design, and bid.

Final auction

Finally, relevance is determined by looking at the meaning of the search term, the meaning of all keywords in the ad group, and the landing page within the ad group.

If broad match keywords are eligible to be matched, only broad match keywords from the most relevant ad groups will be selected.

The ad with the highest Ad Rank from each advertiser enters the auction, and the ads with the highest Ad Rank appear across all advertisers.

The importance of keyword grouping

It is important to note that the Google system eliminates the need to add the same keyword in multiple match types to drive traffic to specific areas of your account.

When keywords are repeated in separate ad groups or campaigns, the available data that Smart Bidding can use for optimization can be segmented and reduced, which can result in lower conversions and higher costs.

It can also increase the margin of error and make it difficult to get consistent ads, budgets, goals, etc., across multiple campaigns and keywords.

In summary

Advertisers can optimize their campaigns for better results by understanding the Google Ads keyword matching process.

Google’s guide provides a comprehensive breakdown of the system, including how Google uses machine learning and natural language understanding techniques to determine keyword eligibility and how the responsive search ad creative system selects the best-performing creative for the user.

It is important to note that keyword clustering is critical to optimizing campaigns. By eliminating the need to add the same keyword in multiple match types, advertisers can avoid segmentation and reduce available data that Smart Bidding can use for optimization, resulting in fewer conversions and higher costs.

Overall, the guide is a valuable resource for digital marketers looking to improve their Google Ads campaigns. Using the ideas and best practices in the guide can increase your chances of success and drive more conversions.

Featured image: RoseRodionova/Shutterstock

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