Google Tweaks AdWords Targeting

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Google told advertisers last week that it would alter its ad targeting to improve ad relevancy for some searches.


The changes initially will affect advertisers using Google's AdWords broad-matching option, which expands a keyword to encompass similar concepts. Previously, an advertiser could have its keyword disabled because of low click rates on unrelated searches. Now, Google will still show the ad for searches directly related to the ad. Unlike other paid listings providers, Google ranks ads by both the amount bid and their click-through rate.


In an example given by the search company, an Alaskan cruise business that bid on "cruises" with the broad-match option might have had its keyword disabled because of poor performance for queries like "Hawaii cruises." Now, Google would show such a listing for searches like "Alaska cruises" or related searches.


Google said it did not change its relevancy requirements, only how it gauges relevancy. The company said the changes aim to improve the performance of its AdWords listings and the site's user experience. It said the changes would alter the click rates, cost per click and ad ranking for some keywords.


Google said it eventually would roll out the adjustments to other keyword-matching options.


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