While ShoeMoney.com is a blog and not a news site, we will occasionally syndicate posts with permission from reputable industry sources. This post was syndicated from Search Engine Land. I highly recommend checking them out and getting on their RSS feed. They also host a Search Marketing Conference that is a must attend.
Most experienced AdWords advertisers have developed keyword lists that include things like misspellings, plurals, and other variations on a keyword or phrase. Now, Google will do all this automatically — as it does with organic results — with exact and phrase matching, though advertisers will be able to opt out.
The new behavior will take into account five different variations in language:
Misspellings (“waterprof sunblock” instead of “waterproof sunblock”)
Singular/plural forms (“beach balls” and “beach ball”)
Stemming (“single serve” and “single serving”)
Accents (“hotel” and “hôtel”)
Abbreviations (“Dr.” versus “Doctor”)
Acronyms (“NYC” versus “New York City”)
The company says up to 7% of search queries include misspellings, and the longer the query, the more likely it is to contain some misspelling.
Google has been testing the new functionality with a few advertisers and says it has seen an average of a 3% rise in search clicks, at comparable CPCs, though the company notes performance will vary by advertiser.
The new interface (in the campaign settings tab, under Advanced settings select Keyword matching options) will be rolled out in the web interface to all advertisers over the next couple of weeks, and it will appear in the next version of the API released later this month. By default, matches will “Include plurals, misspellings and other close variants,” but advertisers can opt out if they’d like finer control of their keywords.
The actual matching won’t start until mid-May to give users a chance to opt out if they’d like.
Jen Huang, the AdWords product manager for this functionality, said this had been an often-requested feature, and the company believes it will benefit both advertisers and consumers.
Google’s Matt Cutts announced that Google is working on a search ranking penalty for sites that are “over-optimized” or “overly SEO’ed.”
Matt announced this during a panel Search Engine Land’s Editor-In-Chief, Danny Sullivan and Microsoft’s Senior Product Marketing Manager of Bing at SXSW named Dear Google & Bing: Help Me Rank Better!. The audio for the session has been published where I learned that Google has been working on a new penalty that targets site’s that overly optimize for search engines for the past few months.
Matt Cutts said the new over optimization penalty will be introduced into the search results in the upcoming month or next few weeks. The purpose is to “level the playing field,” Cutts said. To give sites that have great content a better shot at ranking above sites that have content that is not as great but do a better job with SEO.
Here is the transcription:
What about the people optimizing really hard and doing a lot of SEO. We don’t normally pre-announce changes but there is something we are working in the last few months and hope to release it in the next months or few weeks. We are trying to level the playing field a bit. All those people doing, for lack of a better word, over optimization or overly SEO – versus those making great content and great site. We are trying to make GoogleBot smarter, make our relevance better, and we are also looking for those who abuse it, like too many keywords on a page, or exchange way too many links or go well beyond what you normally expect. We have several engineers on my team working on this right now.
We reached out to Google about the new over optimization penalty but Google told us they have nothing to say at this present time. Maybe we’ll hear more when Cutts speaks during the “You&A With Matt” session at our upcoming SMX Advanced show in Seattle this June.