Google AdWords phrase vs. exact match combinations

Posted on 2007-08-01
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Hi guys,
  Concerning Google Adwords. We know there are various ways of presenting keyword search terms, broad match, "phrase match", [exact match] and so on. This question is not about the differences between them.
  However, I really can't get my head around what happens if you have, say a phrase match and an exact match in the same ad group eg. "polar bear" and [polar bear].
  Is this self penalizing ? Should identical phrase matches and exact matches be run in separate ad groups perhaps ?
  If any experts are genuinely knowledgeable about this then it would be great to hear opinions. The most I have really come across about this is from a possibly (probably) uncertain source which is Chris Carpenter/Jeff Alderson and their various schemes in which they claim it's a good idea ...

thanks and best wishes

Question by:RetroRocker
    LVL 17

    Accepted Solution

    You're assuming that people can spell correctly. Anyhow.

    Apogee Web Consulting's site has good web tips on exact match bidding:

    You could also use a keyword research tool, such as:

    SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool

    Google AdWords Keyword Tool

    Overture Search Term Suggestion Tool

    WordTracker Keyword Research Tool
    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    by:Serena Hsi
    You can see what other companies have done in this regard, for example:

    Polar Bears International (#2 via Google search on "polar bear")

    Their keywords are: polar bear, polar bears, ursus maritimus, arctic, marine mammal, travel, kids and teens, living things, mammals, conservation, books, gifts, Christmas, Northwest Territories, Alaska, Hudson Bay, Churchill, tundra buggy, Russia, Wrangel, Siberia, Norway, Svalbard, Greenland, Iceland, North Pole, Arctic Ocean, Hudson Bay, Baffin Island, Canada, photography, tour

    They haven't bought the phrase for "churchill polar" though; but that search phrase returned a lot of results on polar bears.

    However, they do show up as #1 in a Google search for "russia polar bear".. I'd suspect that it's a paid search keyphrase, or that no one else has the keywords associating "russia" with "polar bears".

    You can see what your competitors are up to with various word combinations from their meta keywords on the source view of their webpage html.
    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    by:Serena Hsi
    Look, no SEO guide is going to be your holy grail for finding out what works for your products and/or services. Experiment with what works and what doesn't. If you have keyword phrases that aren't generating any revenue for you, drop them; and test other keywords.

    Author Comment

    cogitate4u : I am very grateful for the detailed responses. The links are a veritable mine of useful information but this was not really a question about keyword searching as such, but about the nature of "phrase matching" against [phrase matching]. It is a question which would probably be close to the heart of Google's algorithms, so I expect that I'm asking far too much ! However I was just intrigued by whether this approach could be 'self-penalizing', whether anyone actually knew a definite answer without resorting to long periods of trial and error testing. Perhaps even if Google themselves consider it a complete 'no no' - not that I've ever seen it written anywhere. To that end I'll just leave this open a little longer.


    Author Comment

    cogitate4u : OK and thanks. I have digested much of the information from the links you provided. I think it's about as good as it gets. The points are yours and question closed.

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