When everyone logs into their adwords account on May 20, 2008 they will see a new option, a new checkbox (prechecked and autoenabled) for a new feature 'Automatic matching" Many of you may have heard about auto-matching and are already not looking forward to this new option. For those of you not familiar with this new "feature" auto match works like this (as per an email I received in my inbox, just a little bit ago-
I. About Automatic Matching
Automatic matching shows your ads on relevant search queries not already captured by your keywords. It works by analyzing the content of the landing pages, ads, and keywords in your ad group. It then shows your ads on search queries relevant to this information.
The system will continually monitor your performance on these queries and adjust its matches accordingly. Automatic matching aims to show your ads only on queries that yield a high clickthrough rate (CTR) and a cost-per-click (CPC) comparable to or lower than your ad group's current average CPC. This way, your ads receive additional targeted traffic at a similar cost to your current traffic.
Automatic matching won't allow your spend to exceed your budget, and it also won't affect the traffic you're currently receiving. In addition, automatic matching will have no impact if your campaigns already capture the majority of relevant traffic.
To summarize auto-matching, you were previously not bidding on a keyword phrase as you didn't think the keyword was relevant or important to your bottomline (this is after you used Adwords numerous tools to get keyword additions that Adwords thought would be relevant, and in your wisdom you did not listen to the campaign optimizer tool to add semi-relevant terms). Well that was good enough for Google, Adwords will now be displaying these keywords in ads for you when an individual conducts a search, and then you will be charged for the click, as Adwords thinks that term might be beneficial to you.
As an example, I sell widgets on my site, someone does a search for widget accessories and because i have widgets on my site, Adwords will display my ad as it is "close enough' (my quotes) to what you sell and my be relevant to the searcher. Its besides the point you don't sell widget accessories or want that visitor coming to your site, you still pay for the visitor.
I may be the only one, but I am not really that interested in Automatic match, and the fact that Adwords auto enables this function, leads me to believe that the company that benefits the most from this new "feature" is Google itself.