Paid Search & Punctuation: a Marriage Made in Hell

Posted by in Pay Per Click (PPC), Search Marketing (SEO) on May 16th, 2008 1 Comment

Whilst setting up and optimising campaigns for job boards, I have come across some real problems paid search has with punctuation.

The two seem to not like each other, and search engines tend to remove the punctuation from your search query, or simply ignore it (even though it is still present in Google’s SERP URL). Even worse, if your search query has a hyphen (-), then the search engine might even think that you are trying to exclude a search term by turning it into a negative search term.

But what happens when 75% of the term you are bidding on is punctuation?

Say you are advertising a C++ jobs, or a .NET vacancy your company has to offer. How do you make sure that your ++ comes up bolded when someone sees your ad?

This is one of these times where I am not actually sure, and testing remains the best option. If you look at the listings for the search C++ jobs you’ ll see that some ad titles have the ++ bolded and some do not. It does not seem to be related to DKI (Dynamic Keyword Insertion) as I have tested both. Being a lucky poker player, my ads are bolded. However, for some poor guys out there, it does not seem to work whether they use DKI or not.

If you have an explanation to these supernatural phenomenons, please leave a comment that will benefit all of us; after some research my conclusion is “please leave a comment below” icon biggrin Paid Search & Punctuation: a Marriage Made in Hell

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