Explaining Wierd, Very Long Search Queries

Explaining Wierd, Very Long Search Queries

Users of AdWords should know that you can view the actual search queries that triggered your ads using the Keyword Details menu. The report can throw up some interesting results.

One of the more frequent questions we get from our prospective clients is “What the heck is up with those crazy search queries I keep seeing?”

Really? People are searching for “large dog kennel sloped roof wooden kennels dog house pet puppy opening roof 106cm x 76cm x 82cm dog l”? A 14 word phrase with size modifiers?

No, they’re not.  The answer is a little more complicated and involves two of the giants of online retail.

If you’re familiar with AdWords, you know that you have the option to opt your Search campaigns into the Google search partner network.  Google serves its AdWords ads for a number of other companies, usually other big search and portal properties. Ask is the big one, but they also run the search for common home pages like AOL and TalkTalk here in the UK.  (You can even see the Powered by Google logo.)  In addition to those, there are tens of thousands of smaller sites who power their own internal site searches with Google tech, and in turn can display PPC ads via the Search Partner network and receive a cut of the revenue.  They can style the ads to match their site, but the content is served by Google, using the ad creatives and bidding you supply via AdWords.

So how does that explain the weird, very long tail search queries that show up in AdWords reports? The answer comes from two surprising places: Amazon and eBay.

Both Amazon and eBay are part of the Google Search Partner network. Just like Ask or AOL, they serve Google AdWords search ads to their users.  Here’s where it gets complicated.

Both online retail giants serve Search partner ads in the place you expect… when someone uses their search bar.  As well as the products they offer, they further try to monetise wavering users by showing relevant AdWords ads.

Example search: KatKabin


Click image to view…

These ads, down near the bottom, are Google Search Partner ads.  Fair enough. After all, this was a search for a particular keyword on Amazon.

However, they also show Google AdWords adverts on their product pages as well.

Click image to view…

Weirdly, these ads which look for all the world like content/display network ads, are actually Search Partner ads. Why the weird search queries in your reports? They use the full name of the product as the keyword.

Whenever you see a weird query in your reports, this is where it’s coming from.  Amazon and eBay are indirectly polluting your search query stats.

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