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Google changed how Close Variants work and now exact match keywords may also show an ad when Google believes the meaning of the search is the same as the keyword. Kind of like a synonym, but potentially even broader.

So here's a script you can use to see exactly what Google considers to be a 'close variant'. The script pulls all queries that were triggered by close variants. It also pulls the associated keyword. It joins the query and keyword and then puts the data on a spreadsheet.

On the spreadsheet, you can see line by line what the keyword is and what the close variant is. If you want, you can compare metrics to decide if a close variant that seems a little odd may actually be outperforming the keyword. 

I thought it'd also be interesting to add an automatic way to see how close the query is to the keyword. Whereas going from the keyword [optmyzr] to 'opmyzr' seems like a definite good case of a close variant because it's a simple typo in a brand name, going from [campsites in yosemite] to 'campgrounds yosemite' may be too much of a stretch from the original keyword.

To calculate the similarity of the close variant to the keyword, I found an algorithm for the Levenshtein distance which counts the number of characters that must be deleted, edited or added to go from one string to another string. A big number in the Levenshtein column means the query is more different from the keyword.

Grab the code below to try it in your Google Ads account. I've also included a table showing how match types work after the change from Google and a video that goes through using the script in case anyone is just getting their feet wet with scripts.




how google ads keyword match types work with close variants - YouTube



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AdWords lets advertisers show ads on the Display Network (GDN) and while it has ways to target ads to show on specific domains, or to exclude specific domains, they don't have a wildcard placement exclusion feature. 

So if you want to show your ads on all relevant placements, except those with a Polish domain extension (.pl) or an extension like .org, you would need to monitor automatic placements and add exclusions every time you saw one with this extension.

The following script makes it possible to automate excluding placements when the domain includes a particular string.

Run this daily or weekly in your AdWords account to prevent accruing too many clicks from unwanted placements.

Enjoy!
Frederick Vallaeys
Co-Founder, Optmyzr.com




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Automated Rules in AdWords are great to set up alerts for when things spend too much without converting enough. But unfortunately these Automated Rules can only be run once per day, so they're not very useful if you want to get notified as soon as a keyword or product group exceeds your thresholds.

So here's a simple script that queries for keywords or product groups that have exceeded a specific amount of cost, and have fewer than a specified number of conversions to show for that cost.

It then emails the list of alerts to the user. The email can include deep links to AdWords to make it really easy to go and fix issues. If the instructions for the settings currentSetting.customerId, currentSetting.effectiveUserId, and currentSetting.ocid confuse you, check out an earlier post by Russ that explains deep linking to ad groups in AdWords in more detail.
Thanks,
Fred Vallaeys

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