A couple of months ago Google announced its new AdWords feature called Automatic Matching. It is still in beta format but many advertisers and SEO consultants already received the message from our dominant search engine company about this “exicting feature”. In fact, Google claims that Automatic Matching is purely optional and it “helps your ads reach targeted traffic missed by your keyword”. It will show ads for keywords that are not already in an advertiser’s keyword list by using its algorithm. For example, if your daily budget is 300 and your keywords brought you $200 traffic, Automatic Matching may bring you another $100 of traffic draining your daily budget.
I am amazed at the audacity of this step. First of all, Automatic Matching will only use broad match. This means that the keywords Google adds may not be as relevant as it claims them to be. As a result, multiple imprecisely matched keywords can cause your campaign a lot of harm. Including low click thru rates and more expensive cost per click.Second, it means that your daily budget will be reached more often than you even want to, thus increasing your ad spendings.
Currently, Automatic Matching feature is already active for certain accounts with billing addresses in the US, Canada, Australia, UK, Italy, Germany and Spain. There is a possibility to opt out from this feature by going to the Campaign Settings and manually unchecking the box.
Overall, I think any business that has a PPC administrator or in-house SEO consultants on board and/or other personnel which is actively involved in PPC campaign management should opt out immediately. However, I am open to possibility that this feature may be advantegous to small businesses with limited number of keywords, ads and campaigns.