Even in AdWords Dolphins Mean Miami

Each year during professional football season it might seem natural to notice references to the Miami Dolphins, even in a Google AdWords Help article titled “Will Google search rules affect my keyword choices?”

Example D: dolphins -miami
The user who enters this query is looking for search results featuring dolphins. The user also wants to exclude search result for pages that refer to Miami (including references to the Miami Dolphins sports team). In this case, Google shows search results with the term “dolphins” and without “miami. The AdWords system serves ads based on the keyword “dolphins” alongside those search results, but does not exclude ads that contain the word Miami.

What if you live in Miami and want to take the kids or visitors to see a dolphin show? Are you going to respond to ads for football tickets? As an advertiser, are you targeting football fans or Seaquarium visitors? Perhaps thinking in football terms helps AdWords advertisers understand more about what is displayed in search results and the sponsored ads.

Starting with a simple search for dolphins – notice the ad for Dolphins (Miami) tickets:

Running the search again, but this time with -miami, takes Miami out of the natural results but now ALL of the ads are for sports tickets:

Back to the searcher looking for dolphin show miami, still seeing ads for football tickets:

And again with -miami, STILL get ads for Miami Dolphins Tickets:

This means, as an advertiser, you should add the word Miami to your negative keyword list, if you want to advertise to searchers interested in dolphins but not the Miami Dolphins.

According to Google:

Negative keywords are a core component of a successful keyword list. Adding a negative keyword to your ad group or campaign means that your ads won’t show for search queries containing that term. By filtering out unwanted impressions, negative keywords can help you reach the most appropriate prospects, reduce your cost-per-click (CPC), and increase your ROI.

Not making Miami a “negative keyword” results in your ad impressions being higher, and your click-through ratio being lower, because your ad is appearing in results targeted to the wrong audience. As a Miami based AdWords consultant this example seemed to hit home. Future articles will include more examples of how negative keywords can effect your business related advertising campaigns.

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