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Quality score just killed my Misspellz: will creating campaigns with misspells still be worth it?

Posted on | February 19, 2010 | No Comments

Most Adwords managers are still losing sleep over how to either revive their “slapped” accounts or how to improve their current quality score – to shave off some valuable cost. Relevancy has become the most important factor among the 3 major elements (keywords, adcopy and landing page) of creating an Adwords campaign. Needless to say that your keywords must be relevant to both your adcopy and landing page. Easier said than done. How about if your building a campaign using keyword misspells? Keyword misspells used to be a great source of cheap longtail keywords pre-QS days. Some Adwords campaign managers attest to finding high CTR (matched with good match typing and adcopy) and even high converting keywords among the heaps of possible misspells.

Has the strategy of capitalizing on keyword misspells lost its luster? Has Google with all its might and armed with its gazillion worth of data finally figured out how to correlate some keyword misspells with the correct ones?

I have always made keyword misspells as part of my campaign structure whenever I build an adwords account – well not always. While doing a keyword search for the word “helmet” i came across it’s misspells: “helmit” and “helmut”. Digging deeper, and crossing my fingers that I would find enough search volume to warrant me creating a campaign for either of or both of these keywords. I tumbled into this data:

It had some decent search volume so I decided to make an adgroup for “Motorcycle Helmet Misspells” under the campaign “Misspells”. I used the same adcopy and landing page for the correctly spelled keyword “helmet”. Banking on more longtail keyword opportunities, and the fact that the client was selling merchandise for kids and teens, I capitalized on targeted keywords such as “kids motorcycle helmits” and “youth motorcycle helmits”.

Adword Misspells

Upon launching the new adgroup, I had mixed expectations on how Adwords would determine the relevancy of these misspells to both the adcopy and the landing page. As shown on the image above, the initial Quality Score score assigned was awfully low. I waited for a couple of days, hoping that after the Adbot visits my site a shift in the Quality Score will somehow materialize – it never came.

I left the adgroup to “dry” for a couple of weeks hoping that it will be able to redeem itself through building some historical data – especially on its CTR. Unfortunately though, misspelled keywords can take time to build some significant data since they are misspells to begin with. Fearing that both the low QS and low CTR (non-existent) would affect the account level variables i decided to pause the adgroup.

I have another case study to show on how confusing it gets with using misspells. This time another group gets a 7/10 score and generates traffic from the most unexpected keywords – not to mention a 2.45% CTR.

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Cell Jacela

Lead SEM Consultant at Cellconversion
Cell Jacela is the lead Search Engine Marketing (SEM) consultant for cellconversion.com and handles most of the day to day operations. Cellconversion is an Google Adwords Partner and a Google Engage Partner. The PPC services company is also a Facebook SMB Agency Partner, a member of SEMPO and is actively helping organize events for the Philippines online Marketing Community. Cell is the Community Organizer for PPC Pinas - the Largest Online Community of Paid Search Professionals in the Philippines. He likes to travel and feed his adrenaline fix.

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