Fnar Fnar! When Keywords Have More Than One Meaning

In PPC, SEO, The Digital Marketing Blog by BryanLeave a Comment

In the English language, some words have more than one meaning, as you will see from the following pictures:

large tool.jpg



Fnar fnar!

finbarr saunders viz.jpg

Ironically, not the only character with this name whose image is returned on a Google search.

This man is also named Finbarr Saunders and is a Commissioner for Knox County and nothing to do with the Viz cartoon character.

When running a Pay-per-Click campaign, in order to eliminate unwanted clicks (which, of course, cost money), it is good practice to use negative keywords which more accurately describes the alternative meaning.

Suppose the bearded Finbarr Saunders was running a pay per click campaign to drive traffic to his site. In order to stop people clicking on his paid ad who are looking for the other Finbarr Saunders, it would be best practice to include Campaign Negative keywords such as “Viz magazine” and “double entendres”.

Another example is one of our clients who sell Safari holidays in South Africa. Now, some people typing “safari” into Google will be looking for something like this:


However, other people will be using the same search term when they’re looking for something to do with this:

apple safari.jpg

Therefore, it is best practice to include “Apple” (on Broad match) and “Apple Safari” (on Phrase match) in the Campaign Negative keyword list.

This also applies to acronyms. For example, one of our clients runs Project Management courses and training. Many of the courses they run are named according to their associated acronym, some of which have more than one meaning, for example P2P also means peer to peer file sharing and PPS is also used to abbreviate, among many other things, PowerPoint Slideshow. Not to mention the acronym for Project Management Training, which also means something else entirely (because it does and I say so, OK?!).

In such cases, it is important to use the unabbreviated words in the ad where possible and use negative keywords on the unabbreviated alternative meanings, such as “peer to peer” and “power point slideshow” in the above example.

It is also necessary at times to be careful when using Broad match when bidding on keywords which could trigger ads appearing at unwanted times. For example, another Project Management course which is run in London is called Prince2, which is sometimes spelt with a gap between Prince and 2. Now suppose The Artist Formerly Known as O(+> were to announce some shows in London. If you were looking for tickets for the shows, you might type “Prince London tickets” into Google, which would trigger the ad to appear in Google. Chances are the ad would appear a huge number of times and it is likely that someone would click on the ad by mistake, which would mean the Project Management agency would have to pay for unwanted clicks.

In short, it is best practice to apply common sense when compiling a list of keywords. Otherwise, you never know what might get exposed to the public. Fnar fnar!

Leave a Comment