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Epiphany Search

Back in August 2011, Microsoft adCenter announced that they were rolling out the launch of their ‘Enhanced’ Broad Match keyword match-type (aka. ‘Broad Match Enhancement’), but it seems that it’s only now in mid-January that this improvement is about to kick in to my UK accounts.

Back in August 2011, Microsoft adCenter announced that they were rolling out the launch of their ‘Enhanced’ Broad Match keyword match-type (aka. ‘Broad Match Enhancement’), but it seems that it’s only now in mid-January that this improvement is about to kick in to my UK accounts.

According to adCenter themselves, the enabling of this feature will both increase traffic volume, while at the same time bring more relevant traffic to your website. While both of these are perhaps admirable goals, it’s tricky to imagine how both could be accomplished at the same time. Given that by definition broad-match can match to a fairly wide range of search queries and should be used with caution as it is, broadening its scope so that it can match to an even wider spectrum of queries seems to make it more likely that only the first of these goals (increased volume) is going to be accomplished, and probably at the expanse of relevancy. adCenter’s own advice – which seems mostly sensible given the potential increase in irrelevant traffic – is to closely monitor account performance in the coming weeks, and consider taking the following actions:

  • Increase daily budget limits (this is the first recommendation they give, but of course should only be done if conversions increase along with the increase traffic);
  • Run search query reports to discover new irrelevant queries and add new negative keywords to filter out where necessary;
  • Adjust bids so that you’re bidding more for phrase and exact match keywords than for broad;
  • Consider switching from broad match to a more restrictive match type, either phrase or exact.

If nothing else, keep a close eye on traffic and spend levels to see if you get any sudden spikes across your accounts in the next couple of weeks. Has anybody else noticed any traffic spikes or increases in irrelevant search queries as a result of this change yet? Please share them below.