Google Ads Shopping Campaigns & Irrelevant Keywords

It started on the organic front with browsers encrypting search and Google showing (not provided) in Google Analytics keyword reports. From there Google decided that giving specific keyword monthly search volume estimates via the Google Keyword Planner needed to stop. Broad match became broader match, exact match became sort of exact match, and now you probably find yourself frequently filtering negative keywords. Shopping campaigns took a new approach where Titles or Descriptions were the targeting mechanism, and now you must sculpt your performance by optimizing text, filtering negatives, or improving campaign and adgroup architecture.

Instead of focusing so much on the past and the specific timeline of events, I’d like to dive into the current situation and methods to address it. Products with clear market language are showing for far reaching or unrelated market language. Let’s look at this fictional scenario, separated into better performing or lower performing search query groupings for a 34″ Birch Wood Baseball Bat

Buy 34 inch birch baseball bat
34 inch wooden baseball bat

Large birch wood baseball bat
Get a wooden bat for tall people

Baseball bat
Birch wood bat

Wooden bat
Birch bat

Metal baseball bat
Kids wooden bat

Get a bat

number 34 baseball shirt
34″ baseball pants

Baseball gloves
Baseball helmets

Sporting goods
Sports equipment

Baseball mascot buddy bat

Birch wood
Bat pets

Bat supplies
Bat rabies


I’m demonstrating what I’ve seen across the accounts that I manage. One to two years ago groups 7 – 13 rarely showed up. Now they are starting to make up majority of impressions. The time spent filtering keywords has increased 3x. What can be done?

1. Perform search query reports and filter negatives at least twice a week
2. Because Google Ads has limits on the number of negative keywords, be sure to use broad and phrase match when 100% evident
3. Sacrifice lower performing queries that steer away from consumer intent, such as “how” or “why” if your CPA is low
4. Architect your campaigns and adgroups so that queries can flow from highest to lowest profitable
5. Build a better landing page user experience where customers can quickly navigate to other options just in case they landed in the wrong place

Logging into AdWords directs you to AdWords Express

You may have setup a standard AdWords account and wonder why Google always directs you to an AdWords Express prompt each time you access your account. The prompt says “We found these businesses associated with your account. Please confirm to get started.” and lists any businesses or google+ pages you have within your account.

The reason for this is because there is no reason.

The only known solution to access your standards AdWords account is to click in the upper right corner on the 3 vertical dots, which will allow you view your account.

Unable to multi-select photos on

Apple recently made changes to managing photos on Before, you were able to multi-select albums / specific dates and download in bulk. It wasn’t a perfect solution, but it was better than selecting each photo individually. Now Apple has made it where you must select each photo individually. I would think multi-select would be feature #1 for dealing with large quantities of photos.

The solution is to download the icloud desktop version for mac/pc

Google AdWords Search Term Report “There was an error with your operation..” Error

As of early January 2017, it seems that Google AdWords is experiencing an error with its search term report.

“There was an error with your operation. If you were trying to make a change, it may not have saved. Please refresh this page to try again. If the error continues, log out of your AdWords account, then log in again and return to this page.”

The solution that I found was to remove “All Conv” conversion columns and use “Conversions” instead. Hopefully this will be fixed soon!

Google AdWords “Quality Score Update” Lowered Quality Scores

Google announced a quality score update today.

“Starting today, we will be updating how we report 1-10 Quality Scores for keywords []. This update only affects reporting. There is no change to ad serving such as how auction-time quality signals affect Ad Rank and CPC. The most significant part of the change is that keywords without traffic will now, by default, receive a score of 6, and Average for the three components of Quality Score. Once keywords gather enough impressions, scores will update about a day or so later.

Behind the scenes, this change will allow us to simplify some of our core systems, letting us focus our attention on improving reporting accuracy for keywords with traffic.”

This account’s average quality score dropped to it’s lowest level, dropping from 8.2 to 7.1 overnight. Most of the keywords ranging from 8-10 took moderate hits down to 6-8. Another account’s average dropped from 9 to 8.2.

Here are some of the biggest swings

google adwords quality scores

Some of your keywords may have been filtered by your settings

Over the last few months you may have encountered a warning on Google’s Keyword Planner tool.

“Some of your keywords may have been filtered by your settings.”

google adwords keyword planner

I adjusted the “Keyword Options” filter on the left until the error resolved.

Show keywords in my account, ON
Show keywords in my plan, ON
Show adult ideas, ON

keyword planner filters

These keywords aren’t located in my account, they weren’t added to a plan, and they’re not adult related. I’m not sure why these settings matter in this case.

google keyword planner results

It appears it’s just filtering results with 0 searches. I tested a few other keyword variations that had the same result.