Google launched without making much public fuzz about it, the beta tests of a new feature for Google AdWords called “Automatic Matching”.
Dan Thies over at SEO Fast Start broke this just over one week ago on February 22, 2008 and warned advertisers not to “fall for this” and disable this option (which gets obviously enabled automatically for the select “guinea pig” accounts from what I heard so far).
“The broad match feature of AdWords is bad enough, folks. Now they’re offering you the exciting opportunity to bleed every penny of your budget every day, advertising against keywords that you didn’t want to bid on.”
The comments by Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Roundtable a few days later to that announcement, were also not very pretty, but straight forward and honest and kept himself open to get convinced about the effectiveness of this new feature by Google and by feedback from satisfied customers.
For “AdWordsAdvisor” (a Google employee who posts under this nick name over at Webmaster World Forums) who posted the following as initial response to the initial comments made by the search community:
“First off, I have already passed your feedback along to the right teams – so your comments and concerns have been heard – and will continue to be heard.”
Direct Magazine published this weekend on their website the email conversation between an AdWords customer who was “lucky”, because he was automatically enrolled into the new beta program without knowing about it and a very “helpful” Google support agent.
I checked the calendar, it’s not quite April-Fools-Day yet and Direct Magazine is no tabloid magazine either to publish fake emails to pull in some traffic to their website for the cost of posting hearsay and gossip.
The “funny” example that I used in the title of this post is actually a real “automatic match” result for the advertiser who is a Lamborghini dealer from Mineola (yeah, the real sports car, not just the model of it) and not so happy about the unexpected spends on this keyword and some others that are even more “off” than the one I used as an example. This is no joke check out the article yourself!
I laughed at first, but then realized that despite all the cynic and sarcastic remarks made by both email partners, the core issue of the discussion was still a dead serious one. AdWordsAdvisor, I hope you are really listening. These are real results and feedback from a real customer and not just hypothetical speculations.
I just had a short conversation with Jason C. from Mahaaloo (misspelling is intended, because I don’t want to cause Jason’s Google Alerts going off, because he does not understand what I am writing about here anyway, I believe hehe) where I predicted an end to his search engine and Google, if they continue on their path they are on today.
I clarified my position in the comments area of my post, where I said (but grammatical error corrected):
“I think Google will actually be able to adjust and not “fail”, unless they become fuller of themselves as they already are and miss to see what happens around them to be able to react before they miss the boat.”
Well, I guess they are off to a bad start, but the race is still long enough to change attitude and perspective.
I am a bit jealous that Google was responding to the complaints within two and four days with a personalized email to the customer. I still have in mind my own personal experience with a different section of Google about a much more severe problem earlier this year, where it “only” took them 11 days to act, after I was only one inch away from emailing Larry or Sergey directly or jump into my car, drive the 2 ½ hours to the Googleplex in Mountain View and bang personally on their door.
Is it just me who sees a troublesome trend here?
p.s. In case you did not notice, this post is intended to be “funny”. I just read the Direct Magazine post a few minutes ago and still have a ring of the cynical and sarcastic remarks in my ears.
Carsten Cumbrowski is an Internet Marketing Strategy Consultant, Blogger, Affiliate Marketer and Owner of the Free Internet Marketing Resources Portal at “Cumbrowski.com“. No, English is NOT his first language. Please forgive any honest German grammatical or spelling errors made in this post.