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