Automatic Match - Learn About Google's Automatic Matching Option

Automatic Matching is a new matching option (still in beta) offered by Google within advertisers' Google AdWords accounts, not unlike phrase or broad match. In this tutorial you'll learn:

  • Exactly what "Automatic Matching" means.
  • Why this matching option is important to you and to your AdWords campaign.
  • How best (if at all) to integrate Automatic Matching within your AdWords account.

so what is automatic match, anyway?

Automatic Matching refers to a beta test currently being run by Google.

Basically, when Automatic Match is enabled, Google will spend the remaining funds in your account for you on keywords it deems "relevant" and "conversion friendly", even if you haven't specifically requested that they run ads against those queries.

Google defines the option thusly:

Automatic matching is an optional feature that helps your ads reach targeted traffic missed by your keyword lists. It works by analyzing the ads, keywords, and landing pages in your ad group. It then shows your ads on search queries relevant to this information.

why should i care about the automatic matching option?

Basically, there are two considerations:

  • You may be opted in to it - Google is rolling out this beta to various AdWords advertisers. You'll get a notice in your account stating you've been "selected" and will have to decide whether to partake in the beta or not.
  • Search Engines Do Things for a Reason - Without delving too deeply into the potential motives for this beta, the fact is that if Google is offering a means of matching unspent money to new search queries, it likely means they are noticing a lot of unspent money in advertiser accounts.

what should i do about the google automatic matching option?

First off, be sure to opt out of Automatic Matching. This option allows Google to distribute your spend on keywords without your consent or control.

To opt out of Automatic Matching, first go to your AdWords account, go to the "Campaign Summary" tab and highlight the campaign or campaigns you'd like to opt out of. Then click "edit settings":

Opt out of automatic match by clicking the edit settings button.

Next, scroll to the "Advanced Options" section of your campaign settings and uncheck the Automatic Matching check box:

Uncheck the automatic matching box to opt out of automatic matching in Google Adwords.

Leaving this box unchecked means that you have opted out of AdWords.

why would adwords introduce automatic match?

Again, it likely means that advertisers are leaving funds they'd allocated for their PPC campaigns unspent. This may even be the case with your account.

Rather than allowing Google to guess at where you might want your money spent, though, wouldn't it be better to institute a means of continually adding keywords?

An alternative to Google's Automatic Matching option is to utilize WordStream's pay-per-click software solutions to have additional keywords continually suggested to you.

manage your own automatic matching

WordStream offers Web analytics and keyword research tools that enable you to have keywords continually suggested to you based on your website's traffic.

The software utilizes JavaScript and log parsing tools to mine your traffic data. The keywords used to reach your site are then integrated into your WordStream account dashboard:

One Automatic Match alternative is WordStream's extensive keyword research tool set.

From there, you're offered actionable suggestions on which keywords to group next:

The automatic matching option can be replaced by the addition of targeted keywords to your campaign.

Here we see WordStream offering suggestions for the keywords the software has discovered.

This is a better method of appropriating excess spend, because here you can:

  • Control your CPC bidding
  • Review the keywords in your account to discover negative keywords
  • And ensure that new keyword suggestions are derived from your log files (allowing you to add keywords that are the direct result of your SEO and PPC efforts).

additional matching options

WordStream offers a more effective means of locating new keywords to target with excess ad spend.

The software also provides account-wide solutions for every matching option. Learn more about the application's features by: