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  1. #1
    Full Member
    Join Date
    March 10th, 2006
    Clean House or Not
    I have (quite) a few thousand keywords inactive in adwords. Most of them have zero page views.

    It took a quite a while to get them all in there, and I hate to delete them.

    Anyhow, I think I read somewhere that inactives can drag down campaigns. Anyone have experience with this - can a large number of inactive keywords significantly drag down a campaign?


  2. #2
    Internet Cowboy
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by mr_jones
    ...can a large number of inactive keywords significantly drag down a campaign?

    I say no. I have some campaigns that were affected and left the inactives there and the campaign is still kicking. So I say no. If someone else has better information I am all ears.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    I don't think that inactive keywords affect campaigns in any meaningful way; as a practical matter, they are essentially "ignored" by Google.

    However, if a keyword has drawn zero impressions after several months, I usually either raise the bid rate or delete the keyword, just to reduce the bulk of information I have to deal with. (In general, of course, you can set reports to show only keywords with impressions.)

    It's important to distinguish three kinds of situations that some advertisers consider as inactive keywords:

    (1) Keywords which don't meet AdWords' minimum-bid amount: these may still draw a few impressions and clicks, as Google continues to experiment. Changes in Google's AdWords algorithms (and in other bidders' activity) might one day cause the bid rate to drop, making these keywords "active" and drawing more traffic.

    (2) Keywords which are active, but draw zero impressions: these are ads which are not actually being shown to consumers. I don't believe these impact Google's treatment of other keywords in the same campaign, but they do present "clutter" that you may find distracting. A special concern here are "seasonal keywords" -- you may see zero impressions for keywords like "Valentine's Day gifts" from April to November, but in January and February, things could change quite nicely.

    (3) Keywords which are active, but draw "very few impressions." These should usually be "aggregated" together and evaluated periodically. For example, if you use "book authors" as keywords on Google, you will probably find lots of impressions for "John Grisham" but very few for "Mortimer Snerd." However, many of the lowest-traffic keywords have the highest clickthrough and conversion rates, so you definitely do not want to delete these without proper consideration.

  4. #4
    Full Member
    Join Date
    March 10th, 2006
    Thanks for your opinions on that.

    I'm going to leave those keywords there for the time being then.

    Mark, I was talking about your first category of "inactives" where G actually labels them so, and thanks for the clarification.

  5. #5
    Full Member Jungleland's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    I've been deleting some keywords - and I have to agree I was also thinking about how long it took me to get them in there.

    I'm all for leaving keywords that are double or triple my current bid in case the minimum drops or google sends a few impressions their way - but the keywords with a $1, $5, or $10 minimum don't do much but sit there, and are likely to be so far off as far as a quality score goes as to be not much more than clutter.
    [B]A great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up.[/B]

  6. #6
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Winter Park, FL
    leave 'em in there - no harm done.

    and if you're improving / adding to your site, when the LPQ bot revisits your site, they may come back to life.

    relevance is everything - so if you want to work on getting some of them active again, in addition to working on your site, you might try improving the ad text relevance, the grouping in tightly themed adgroups (to help ad relevancy), keyword specific urls if applicable and other such stuff. but if not, there's no real harm in letting them sit.

  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
    Join Date
    March 13th, 2006
    Colorado / Florida
    I asked a G rep about this a few months ago by phone and his reply was that inactive keywords do not affect campaign performance as they are basically ignored as Mark mentioned.

    Donut's suggestions are the more productive way to go and leaving them there in the meantime can't hurt - so no problemo. If bid amounts drop on certain keywords, they may indeed come back to life. I have seen this on a few keywords over the past year and so where I have keywords that have few if any impressions I don't worry about them.

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