Is “Keyword” A Keyword In Your Google AdWords Account?

I noticed something amusing a while ago that I’ve been meaning to blog about for ages. Sadly, it doesn’t seem to work anymore if you’re using a computer or an iPad, but I have noticed it recently via my iPhone…

Have you ever just tried Googling the word “keyword”? Have you seen its ads?

iPhone screenshots for "keyword"

You might chance upon an ad or two offering keyword research services or a keyword tool, but what’s the likes of Audi, Southall Travel and Sky Protect doing there, bearing in mind that they’re completely out of context and irrelevant?

How it happens

Well, when using AdWords and constructing/editing ad groups, you have the option to switch to ‘Spreadsheet edit’ mode to make bulk changes. It comes in handy if you’re essentially duplicating ad groups but maybe changing a word here or there, but not to the extent that requires AdWords Editor – e.g. “online marketing services” / “digital marketing services” / “internet marketing services” could all be done by using the Find & Replace function in something like Notepad or Excel and changing the first word in each instance.

However, the top row itself contains the word “Keyword” as a header to the first column. So you want to copy and paste everything from row B downwards…

AdWords screenshot

Notepad screenshot(Click to enlarge)

Of course, it’s very easy to accidentally grab row A as well, so that your new semi-duplicated ad group contains all your desired keywords as well as just the word “keyword”. On broad match. Ouch…

It really threw me when I first noticed it – I think I was typing in “keyword tool” and Google Instant showed the results (and the ads) for “keyword” before I’d even finished typing the full phrase. But for a digital marketing geek like me, I guess it made me chuckle!

How to check it

Want to check that you’re “keyword”-less? Of course you could check by doing a Google search for “keyword” and making sure that you’re not there, but if there really is a difference between the ads showing or not showing depending on which device you’re using then it could be rather time-consuming.

Your best bet is to check at the source: in your AdWords account. There might be a quicker way, but if it were me, I’d do this:

  1. Log in to your account,
  2. Go to Campaigns,
  3. Click the Keywords tab (note: at account level, not campaign/ad group level),
  4. Sort columns by Keyword (i.e. A-Z),
  5. Look under ‘K’,
  6. Pause or delete the offending keyword (if it is there).

If you were affected, then hopefully impression/CTR data as well as Quality Scores will improve – at ad group level and higher – with its removal.

1 Comment

  • Geoff

    October 20, 2012 at 11:21 am Reply

    Hah! That’s hilarious. 🙂

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