Advertisers respond to Google’s Remove Redundant Keywords update.

How about ringing in the new year with a new Google Ads update?

On January 4th, Google emailed the currently automatically applied suggestion to advertisers who have “remove redundant keywords” enabled in their accounts.

The email said that starting January 19th, Google will start removing redundant keywords across different match types.

First reported by Robert Brady via Twitter, advertisers quickly took to social media to share their concerns about the new update.

What’s Changing?

Currently, one of Google’s automatically applied suggestions allows the system to remove keywords of the same match type from the same ad group.

With the January 19th update, Google updated its policy to remove redundant keywords across different match types.

Basically, Google will remove phrases or exact match keywords if a broad keyword covers the search query.

An excerpt from Google’s email below explains more details:

Advertisers Alike Cause Uproar 

Greg Finn didn’t hold back on the policy update announcement:

On what planet does it make sense?

Google Ads definition is changing & implementing a recommendation AFTER IT HAS ALREADY BEEN IMPLEMENTED.

This should be another recommendation.

How could anyone reapply a @GoogleAds recommendation to an account? #ppcchat

— Greg Finn (@gregfinn) January 4, 2023

Other traders responded to Greg’s post with similar sentiments:

So what makes this update so controversial with retailers?

As others have pointed out, one of the main concerns is that Google has changed the definition of an existing auto-applied recommendation.

With such a significant change, it is argued that this should be the new recommendation for advertisers.

Another concern is Google’s ability to address context and sentiment in a straightforward topic.

Finally, the consensus is that these updates are aimed at small businesses and novice marketers to manage their accounts more efficiently.

But where does that leave experienced marketers who have spent years testing and perfecting their keyword strategies?

After reaching out to Google for comment, a Google Ads Liason official responded via Twitter on January 5:

1/4 Today, we’re announcing an update on lookalike audiences and the move to permanent audience solutions. Here’s a look at why we’re making the change and the timeline (in 6 months):

— AdsLiaison (@adsliaison) November 1, 2022

Advertiser Mike Ryan put together a well-thought-out response that was well received by the PPC community on LinkedIn. He included a suggestion to help avoid such situations in the future. The thread continues with additional instructions and frequently asked questions:

Marvin followed up Ryan’s open letter to Google Ads with another extensive Twitter thread:

Hi Mike, As others have pointed out, this is a very good answer, thanks. Having been in the advertiser/agency shoes for many years, I understand your POV. I will try to correct your note and share some insight into my mission…

— AdsLiaison (@adsliaison) January 6, 2023

In reply to the thread, Marvin corrected the following from Ryan’s letter:


If you have already opted in to Google’s auto-applied keyword removal recommendation, the new policy will take effect on January 19.

The new policy will not make retroactive changes to your account. However, since this is not a new recommendation, you should disable this automatically applied recommendation if you do not wish to participate.

A significant change at Google at the start of the new year could be an indicator of more significant changes later.

An open dialogue between advertisers and Google Ads Liason is a great step for all marketers, novice or experienced, to gain more transparency and consideration.

Thanks to Google Ads Liaison Ginny Marvin for promptly and transparently responding to advertiser questions.

Featured Image: ViDI Studio/Shutterstock

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Can you have too many keywords in Google Ads?

Your account has maximum limits in areas such as the maximum keywords you can have. Although you may never notice them, keep these limitations in mind when planning your future advertising efforts. This article lists limitations for several key areas of your Google Ads account.

Is there such a thing as having too many keywords? But like anything else in life, using too many keywords can hurt your SEO performance. And if you’re not careful, it can hurt your website’s traffic and reputation as well.

How many keywords are too many for Google? How many keywords are too many? The ideal keyword density preferred by readers and search engines is around two to five percent. Even for longer pieces, best practice is to not exceed 20 uses per web page.

Is there a keyword limit in Google Ads? After using the keyword research tool, you will soon find more than 100 keywords. Google has 20,000 target items per ad group, so targeting 100 keywords isn’t a big deal.

Is it better to have more or less keywords in Google Ads?

Keep in mind that adding very general keywords will make it difficult for you to reach potential customers, as your ad may appear in searches that are not always related to your business. Also, more general keywords can be more competitive and require higher bid numbers.

Are more keywords better than Google Ads? Select more specific keywords that are directly related to the topic of your ad if you want to target customers who may be interested in a particular product. Using more specific keywords means your ad only appears for terms relevant to your business.

How many keywords should I use in Google Ads? 10-20 keywords per ad group will work for 50% of advertisers. You’ll hear this at our AdWords training days too, because it’s a great place to start! Newcomers to PPC often fill their ad groups with 100 keywords, but this doesn’t work very well.

How many Google keywords should I use?

The best rule of thumb is to use no more than 20 keywords per ad group. Sometimes you can get away with using a few more, but going over the 20 keyword limit is a sign that your ad copy matches the keyword being searched for.

What is a good amount of keywords?

It’s easier to rank pages if they focus on one topic, so you should focus on two or three main keywords per page that are updated variations. Targeting four or more keywords is difficult because there is limited space in the title and meta description tags to target them.

What is a good organic keyword count? What is a good number of organic keywords to have per page? If you want to achieve a specific number of keywords per page, it can be assumed that around five keywords per page (with a search volume of 100 or more) should be suitable for smaller websites.

What are duplicate keywords?

Duplicate keywords are the same exact search terms that share the same match type more than once in a search campaign. It is believed that using duplicate keywords can increase the performance of your campaign, but it is the opposite.

Should I remove keywords? Removing these redundant keywords and grouping your keywords into match types will help you manage your account more easily. It has no negative impact on your performance and still allows your ads to appear in the same searches.

Why should you avoid adding duplicate keywords to your ad groups? Duplicate keywords in PPC ads occur when you use the same search terms with the same match type and target the same audience. This is not a smart idea as it will lead to some problems such as: Competition against your ads, reducing your performance in auctions. An increase in wasteful spending.

What are negative keywords examples?

For example, a set of negative keywords like “women’s pants” would block bids on a page with content for women’s pants, even if the exact phrase “women’s pants” does not appear on the page.

What does a negative keyword mean? A type of keyword that prevents a certain word or phrase from triggering your ad. Your ads aren’t showing to anyone searching for that phrase.

What makes a keyword a bad keyword? Negative keywords are narrow phrases that are not relevant to your target. Filtering these keywords in Google Ads is an effective way to save money and stretch your marketing budget a little further.

How do you identify negative keywords? The search term report can help you gather ideas for terms to add as negative keywords. The report shows the actual terms searched by a large number of people who triggered your ad.

What are negative keyword lists?

If there are search terms that are giving you unwanted impressions or clicks across multiple campaigns, you can create a negative keyword list that includes those terms and then apply the list to the relevant campaigns.

How do negative keywords work on Amazon? The purpose of negative keywords on Amazon is to prevent your ad campaigns from appearing in search results for searches for similar (but not relevant to you) products. In this way, your ad campaigns will be limited to a specific niche or target audience, which allows you to improve your ranking.

What are negative keywords? Negative keywords do not match closed variants; therefore, your ad may still show on searches that contain close variations of your negative keywords.