Geez, the Search Guys Really Don’t Talk to the Ad Guys, Do They?

    August 30, 2005

Anyone in the SEO game is by now reading Matt Cutts’ blog, and well they should. The “real insider Googleplex scoop” is so often what emanates from Matt – and for those of us who don’t get to “that part” of the conferences, it’s really illuminating reading.

I did scratch my head at Matt’s helpful post about how to write queries. “At Google,” he writes, “we use [ and ] to mark the beginning and end of queries.”

Those of us over here in paid search world, of course, think [ and ] refer to an exact match in the AdWords interface.

So let’s say you wanted to discuss the example of how I inserted the phrase algonquin park blueberries into Ad Group #7 – Blueberry Locales. Since in this case I put it as an exact match, I would want people to see the brackets. But adding Matt’s brackets would make this [[algonquin park blueberries]]. Ha ha, OK, maybe it wouldn’t. But I think it illustrates how we all get pretty tunnel-focused in our vision. People on the algorithmic side talk about underscores and hyphens in filenames, people in the paid search world talk about negative keywords and expanded broad matching [(what again?)] like they’re discussing the weather.

Anyway those formatting questions come up a lot more than you’d expect. People who work in publishing realize this, fortunately, and are always around with handy suggestions. “Over here at McGraw-Hill, we decided to use bold to denote any user query or phrase in an AdWords account.” :) Even that’s not perfect because

“algonquin park blueberries” (a phrase match in my AdWords account)

would look exactly the same as

“algonquin park blueberries” (a phrase typed by a user if the user had included the quotation marks).

But at least these would not be confused with [algonquin park blueberries].

I think.

Maybe I’d better get back to Algonquin Park to reflect more on this. Have a good week.

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Andrew Goodman is Principal of Page Zero Media, a marketing consultancy which focuses on maximizing clients’ paid search marketing campaigns.

In 1999 Andrew co-founded, an acclaimed “guide to portals” which foresaw the rise of trends such as paid search and semantic analysis.