When I speak to groups, I often ask how many people never click on paid search ads and many hands go up--usually half the room. It ain't true. Estimates are that around one-quarter of all search clicks are on paid search ads and it is 100% of Google's search income, so most people click on ads at least once in a while. But people raise their hands because they still get frustrated by paid ads and they wish they hadn't clicked on them. 

Part of the frustration comes from advertisers who use broad match for keywords. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with doing so--maybe it works most of the time--but frequently the searchers are looking for something far more specific than the the advertiser pays off with. Take a look at this example of the results of a very specific Google search: 

Take a look at the ad that is highlighted in purple--it looks like a good choice and it is from the well-known retailer Target. But look what you get when you click on the ad:
Target responds with an internal search-generated page that searched for only a couple of the words from the original keyword. And it really doesn't provide results that isolate anything specific enough to make the searcher happy. 

This is not an isolated incident. I searched for fence removal and saw ads that contained the words, but when I clicked through, all the pages talked about was fence installation and fence repair. What's happening here is that advertisers are buying short, simple keywords and using broad match to cast a wide net. But because they are matching these deep, long-tail keywords, they are showing searchers a far less specific answer to the question--a broad match for fence will match fence removal. It will also match fence alternative or electric fence or many other phrases they don't want traffic for. 

The best idea would be to use negative keywords so that the ads were not shown for such obvious misses as fence removal. But worse is that they use techniques that dynamically insert the keyword into the ad, so the ad says fence removal even though the advertiser doesn't remove fences. 

It's a double whammy. If you use this approach, you pay for clicks for people who will never buy. You must comb through your paid search referrals to see the keywords that do not convert. Over time, you should aggregate the words that have the lowest conversion rates to form your negative keyword list. If you don't, you are throwing your money away and annoying your prospective customers.

Originally posted on Biznology
April 28, 2015

Mike is an expert in search marketing, search technology, social media, publishing, text analytics, and web metrics, who regularly makes speaking appearances.

Mike's previous appearances include Text Analytics World, Rutgers Business School, SEMRush webinar, ClickZ Live.

Mike also founded and writes for Biznology, is the co-author of Outside-In Marketing (with James Mathewson) and the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (now in its 3rd edition, and sole author of Do It Wrong Quickly, named by the Miami Herald as one of the 11 best business books of 2007.


yes i agree because after pay there is always issue with showing related ads.

I never click on Google ads except eCommerce offers (Usually Amazon). So I am totally agreeing with you. But large audience out there who are not aware of ads or organic search.

The most frustrating thing for simple user is searching for specific product and getting results with tons of ads, that are just homepages, not even related to searched product. But still, small companies that are using adwords can really get huge profit from it as, they are invisible in organic searches. Google leaves us with simple decision, you pay for ads and trying to convert potential user or you're left with your website out of the game being far from TOP 10 (assuming that your website is low value for Google). If you are smart enough as a non SEO specialist then you pay for external SEO company and hit in organic searches which mainly is better decision in conversion. I guess Google won't change their policy with inaccurate ads, as it's their main way to get money and most of companies believe it works, even if it doesn't.

I know that plenty of people click the ads and it is great for my business. In fact many of the people I speak to are unaware that there are ads on Google. That said there are plenty of businesses who are clueless on how to adwords correctly. When I look up specific search terms such as hypnotherapy Nottingham I will see loads of ads popping up for therapists in London. Click on those and you certainly are not getting what you are looking for.

Yes I agree with the fact that paid search is a little frustating. What Google needs to do is to make search results more user specific and closer to the query being searched.Then it will become a little less annoying.

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Search Engine Guide > Mike Moran > Paid search is still frustrating for searchers