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Old 08-19-2008   #1
abbottsys
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AdWords gets tough with low volume keywords

I have a keyword that appears to be fine. It's showing as active, and the QS is good. But when I check the keyword analysis I get this rather tough message...

Ad Showing - No
The keyword phrase you've entered has a low search volume and isn't showing any of your ads.
If more users start searching for your keyword, your ad will begin to show. You don't need to do anything.
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Old 08-20-2008   #2
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Re: AdWords gets tough with low volume keywords

What happens when you search on that term? My guess is that you will see adverts. If adwords won't let advertisers bid on these terms using a specific keyword then they must be matching from other terms within the respective advertisers account. Therefore, if there is an auction for that keyword already, surely you should be allowed to enter with an exact match term at a lower CPC. Otherwise, how do you know how to participate in that auction?

In my mind, you as an advertiser have the right to have your advert showing against any term, regardless of the volume.
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Old 08-20-2008   #3
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Re: AdWords gets tough with low volume keywords

Sometimes that happens with the low search volume keywords. Try adding the matching terms for that keyword (add the same word with "" and the same word with []).

Also, if you are aiming for long tail keywords like that you need LOTS of them. Then, it doesn't "hurt" so bad that there are only 50 searches/month on that term...
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Old 08-20-2008   #4
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Re: AdWords gets tough with low volume keywords

I am facing the same problem. My keywords are also active but when I search these keywords on google other advertisers appears on the same keywords Except me
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Old 08-20-2008   #5
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Re: AdWords gets tough with low volume keywords

I face this problem all the time too. This is unfair to us advertisers in my opinion, and further demonstrates Google's push to force us all to bid on the broader basket of more competitive terms.

If I have the long-tail "green widgets on sale" and I know there is at least some search volume, why won't AdWords benefit me for being a smart advertiser, and show my ad whenever someone searches this keyphrase? Instead, I may be forced to go with something less-relevant, and my campaign performance will suffer as a result.

Instead of giving us the message "there is not enough search volume to display your keyword", AdWords should be honest and say "we don't stand to make enough money off this keyword, try something broader".

Bottom line, AdWords is designed to eat wallets fast. There are several features that are built in for this purpose (Automatic Matching, etc. etc.). To some smart, seasoned marketers, these features are all too obvious.
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Old 08-20-2008   #6
abbottsys
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Re: AdWords gets tough with low volume keywords

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooner151078 View Post
What happens when you search on that term? .....
The term is one of my long tail terms. When I search on it there are no ads. I wonder how many other of my long tails keywords appear to be fine, but in fact are not working due to the AdWords volume requirement. Makes you wonder....
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Old 08-20-2008   #7
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Re: AdWords gets tough with low volume keywords

Quote:
Originally Posted by abbottsys View Post
The term is one of my long tail terms. When I search on it there are no ads. I wonder how many other of my long tails keywords appear to be fine, but in fact are not working due to the AdWords volume requirement. Makes you wonder....
Abbottsys, good point regarding makes you wonder how many keywords aren't showing due to the volume requirement.... In fact, you've just made me think of a new request for the AdWords Wishlist thread.

I wish there was a tool that would show us all of our keywords that aren't currently displaying ads due to low volume. For people with several hundred or thousand keywords, it's a bit tedious to hover over each tiny magnifying glass, or type keyword by keyword into the diagnostic tool to check, don't you think?!

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Old 08-21-2008   #8
Mel66
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Re: AdWords gets tough with low volume keywords

Quote:
Originally Posted by abbottsys View Post
The term is one of my long tail terms. When I search on it there are no ads. I wonder how many other of my long tails keywords appear to be fine, but in fact are not working due to the AdWords volume requirement. Makes you wonder....
I'm wondering about this too. I've seen this happen with a few of our clients. I'd love to hear the official answer, since I've been asked by clients and I'm not sure what to tell them. Why bother with the long tail if your ads aren't going to show anyway due to "low volume"?
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Old 08-21-2008   #9
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Re: AdWords gets tough with low volume keywords

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveLaLonde View Post
...I wish there was a tool that would show us all of our keywords that aren't currently displaying ads due to low volume. For people with several hundred or thousand keywords, it's a bit tedious to hover over each tiny magnifying glass, or type keyword by keyword into the diagnostic tool to check, don't you think?!....
Exactly. In light of this "low volume cutoff" I have to believe there are many folks with long tail keyword lists where everything appears fine but in fact the keywords are simply not displaying ads.

In other words, if your long tails lists seem to be producing few clicks, it may be because AdWords shut them down and "forgot" to tell you
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Old 08-21-2008   #10
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Re: AdWords gets tough with low volume keywords

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel66 View Post
...I'd love to hear the official answer, since I've been asked by clients and I'm not sure what to tell them. Why bother with the long tail if your ads aren't going to show anyway due to "low volume"?
Mel - it seems the "official answer" is the original message I quoted...

"The keyword phrase you've entered has a low search volume and isn't showing any of your ads. If more users start searching for your keyword, your ad will begin to show. You don't need to do anything."

I especially like "You don't need to do anything", which I translate as "You can't do anything."
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Old 08-22-2008   #11
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Re: AdWords gets tough with low volume keywords

Another non-answer from Google, which seems to be happening more frequently these days. The whole point of the long tail is to reach that small number of pinpoint-targeted people who are searching for exactly what you offer. It sounds as though there is a minimum search volume needed in order for ads to show on these queries.

I think this is Google's way of telling us to stick with head terms and broad match. Think about it. If you have these two keywords in your account:

blue widgets (lots of bidders, high CPCs)
small light turquoise blue widgets company X (few or one bidder, low CPCs)

you'll get the "this phrase has low volume so we're not showing your ad until someone besides you searches for it" message for your highly targeted phrase, and your expensive "blue widgets" ad will show instead (unless you are using exact match on everything).

I'm not one to frequently shout "Google money grab," but this really makes me wonder...
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Old 09-04-2008   #12
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Re: AdWords gets tough with low volume keywords

Where's AdWordsRep? Paging AdwordsRep to respond to this thread please....I'm still dying to hear some sort of response to this one..

Thanks,


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Old 09-04-2008   #13
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Re: AdWords gets tough with low volume keywords

Quote:
Where's AdWordsRep? Paging AdwordsRep to respond to this thread please....I'm still dying to hear some sort of response to this one..
OK, I'll admit it. Given the limited time I have to post, I sometimes tend not to jump into threads where there is very little I can say beyond what is already in the AdWords Help Center - which I have quoted farther below.

There are a few things that I can add, though, from an 'inside' perspective - to make my response a bit more personal (and hopefully more meaningful to this audience) than simply quoting the FAQ. I also hope that I can chip away a bit at the notion that this is all about forcing advertisers to use more expensive keywords. It isn't.

Quote:
In my mind, you as an advertiser have the right to have your advert showing against any term, regardless of the volume. [...]
Quote:
This is unfair to us advertisers in my opinion, and further demonstrates Google's push to force us all to bid on the broader basket of more competitive terms.
Quote:
I'm wondering about this too. I've seen this happen with a few of our clients. I'd love to hear the official answer, since I've been asked by clients and I'm not sure what to tell them. Why bother with the long tail if your ads aren't going to show anyway due to "low volume"?
I'm going to start off on something of a tangent, and then get more to the point:

Over the years, I have found that nearly all advertisers think of the AdWords system in terms of their own accounts - but not beyond that. And that makes perfect sense, of course. Why would or should it be otherwise?

I personally think the exact same way when I have a problem that involves, say, the integration between my Online Auction Site account and my Online Payment Account and why it sometimes sends the wrong shipping address to the seller while showing me the correct one in my UI. When I contact support, I absolutely do not think about what goes on in the 'back end' to make it work for a truly vast number of customers. I am thinking only about my own account - end of story.

Being on the other side of things at AdWords, however, I have a broader view of the AdWords system - and am deeply aware of just how many zillions of keywords are being tracked by the system from one second to the next. I can also see why it makes sense to limit this to keywords that are actually searched on more than a very very few times per year - and, by the way, why we also encourage advertisers to get rid of the (sometimes many tens of thousands) of dead-wood keywords in their account which are providing extremely poor results to the advertiser, while using resources that might be better spent making things faster and smoother for every other advertiser.

So, all that said, I have below quoted the AdWords Help Center - from the page linked-to below. I would like to call particular attention the beginning of the last sentence in the middle paragraph, which I have take the liberty of bolding.

What are 'low-traffic keywords'?
http://adwords.google.com/support/bi...n&answer=36558

Quote:
'Low-traffic keywords' are keywords that have generated very little search traffic on Google properties. This could be happening for a variety of reasons, including a lack of relevance to users' searches because of keyword obscurity, specificity, or a significant misspelling of the intended keyword.

Keeping these keywords out of the ad auction helps AdWords serve ads more efficiently and reduces the volume of keywords on our system. Before stopping a keyword from joining the auction, our system evaluates the number of searches on a given keyword worldwide over the past twelve months. It takes very little search traffic for a keyword to be unsuspended, and for business practice reasons we don't disclose our keyword traffic thresholds.

This state is only temporary, and these keywords will be reactivated automatically if we find that they could start delivering traffic. Therefore, they'll always appear as 'Active' within your account. It will take one to two days for a keyword to begin receiving impressions again once our system sees searches occur for the keyword. [...]
I hope that this sheds some measure of light on things from this end - and I will also make sure that the right folks see your feedback.

AWR
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Old 09-05-2008   #14
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Re: AdWords gets tough with low volume keywords

AWR, I appreciate the response. This does help shed some light on the issue. From an advertiser perspective though, there really are two things Google should understand, and maybe do something about, sometime down the road:

Issue 1: As mentioned in other posts, we don't have a good way to see when these "long-tail" keywords aren't active! If you want us to migrate away from adding these super-specific terms, we need a clear, obvious indicator that screams ""hey this word won't show ads!!!!!"". Instead we have to check each tiny magnifying glass.

Issue 2: Analogy time (bear with me!).
Even if only a few people a day drive down a road, but my business is on that road, I probably want a sign out on the road so folks know my biz is there. Same thing goes for the SERPS. I know for a fact I have some terms which DO get enough volume where displaying ads would deliver some value, but my ads just won't display because of 'low search volume'. Just a bit frustrating, because these one or two clicks a month per term could be SO VALUABLE to me.

Again, thanks for the explanations; they helped a lot. I'll stop whining about this stuff now


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Old 09-06-2008   #15
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Re: AdWords gets tough with low volume keywords

Thanks for the response AWR! I have a follow up question. Many people claim that having these dead wood keywords in your account can lower your quality score. Is there any truth to that?
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Old 09-06-2008   #16
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Re: AdWords gets tough with low volume keywords

Just to add a couple of things into the pot - When you notice that a keyword (long or short tail) is not triggering your ad due to insufficient search traffic, have a look at your geographic targeting. The keyword tool may suggest there is sufficient traffic, but it stops at country level. If you are targeting your campaign at a regional level (state/city/metro etc) then you may just find that that searchers from that specific region are not using that search prhase. If you find instances where your keyword is not triggering ads then I would recommend running them through the new Google Insights for Search tool.
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