Adwords' New "Automatic Matching" – Don't Fall For This!

A friend just tipped me off to this offer they received from Google Adwords:

I’m excited to tell you that you have been selected to participate in a beta for our new Automatic Matching feature which will be starting on February 28th.

Automatic Matching automatically extends your campaign’s reach by using surplus budget to serve your ads on relevant search queries that are not already triggered by your keyword lists.  By analyzing the structure and content of your website and AdWords campaigns, we deliver more impressions and clicks while maintaining your current CTRs and CPCs.

For example, If you sold Adidas shoes on your website, Automatic Matching would automatically crawl your landing page and target your campaigns to queries such as: "shoes" "adidas" "athletic", etc., and less obvious ones such as "slippers" that our system has determined will benefit you and likely lead to a conversion on your site.

Be assured that automatic matching will try to never exceed your budget. If you’re already meeting your daily budgets, automatic matching will have a minimal effect on your account.

The broad match feature of Adwords is bad enough, folks. Now they’re offering you the exciting opportunity to bleed every penny of your budget every day, advertising against keywords that you didn’t want to bid on. Sure, if I sell Adidas shoes, why wouldn’t I want to get some traffic from people who searched for slippers? I mean, it’s not like I’m trying to turn a profit or anything, right?

This is pathetic. Don’t get sucked in.

(some of the) best posts from last week

This week, we’re starting something new!

Introduction from Dan Thies:
This week, we’re kicking off something new. My evil apprentice, PJ, has been assigned to scour the web for the most interesting articles & posts each week.

You won’t find industry gossip or merger & acquisition news in here. As much as possible, we’re trying to pick out a few useful and informative things that you may have missed I would have missed some of these myself if "Da Peej" hadn’t found them for me.

Please enjoy, and let us know what you think of this as a regular feature.

What we’re reading this week:

5 Lesser Known Google Analytics Features by Thomas McMahon

Online Reputation Management for Individuals by Lee Odden

28 Ways to Make Money with Your Website by Daniel Scocco

Internet Marketing Strategy: A Step-by-Step Diagram by Ian Lurie

How to SEO Your Site in Less Than 120 Minutes by Brendan Picha

A series from Matt McGee: A Guide to Social Marketing on Yahoo! Answers

Part One: What Is Yahoo! Answers?

Part Two: Why Use Yahoo! Answers

Part Three: How To Use Yahoo! Answers

Finally, our favorite LOLCat of the Week:

We originally planned to make this an "all business" weekly post… but Dan has become obsessed with LOLCats. In the hope that this is a short-lived feature, we present the LOLCat of the Week:

funny pictures
moar humorous pics

What were your favorites? Did we miss any? Let us know!

 If there are any posts you think *we* might have missed, please feel free to let fly in the comments. Pathetic link spammers, be advised that comments are moderated.

SEO Fast Start Video Contest – Cash Prizes

The game is afoot! The first SEO Fast Start video contest is on!  I’m looking for the best instructional videos I can find, in two categories, and I am willing to pay for it:

  • Search Engine Optimization – $500 prize
  • Pay Per Click – $500 prize

I will be the sole judge. I alone will decide the two winner in each category. This means that you might want to steer toward the "white hat" side. You might want to actually read my book. You might want to bring your best stuff.

The rules, such as they are:

  1. Videos should be your own original content.
  2. Videos must be no more than 12 minutes in length. Science proves that everyone falls asleep after that.
  3. Videos should be posted to an open, public site – your blog is OK, YouTube is OK, etc. – I personally recommend FreeIQ.
  4. Your entry becomes an entry when you post the title, a short description, and the URL in the comments on this post.
  5. The contest will run until March 1, 2008 – or a total of 100 valid entries, whichever comes first.
  6. It’s my contest, I make the rules. I reserve the right to add new rules or to change these rules. I don’t owe you anything.
  7. If I decide to hand out additional prizes, that’s my business.
  8. Anyone who has paid me large sums of money in the past year is not eligible.
  9. If you bought me a drink at a conference or something, that’s OK, because I will have forgotten about it by now. I probably forgot about it as soon as you handed me the drink. But thank you anyway.

Game on. Let’s see your entries!

Two SEMMYs – Thanks, SEO Fast Start readers!

2008 SEMMY Winner times two!

 The final SEMMY results have been posted, and SEO Fast Start has won not one, but two… thanks to those readers who voted, and I’m sorry that I didn’t let you know about the voting until the last day. The winning posts, including mine:

Google

Why Google Can’t Just "Dump" PageRank – Dan Thies, SEO Fast Start

Rants

Web 2.0 & SEO: Must We Piss In Every Public Fountain? – Dan Thies, SEO Fast Start

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Ranking Factors Version 2 – Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz

Search Tech

Which Is Better For SEO: Shared or Dedicated IPs – Lisa Barone, Bruce Clay Blog

Pay-Per-Click

Optimizing Paid Search & Landing Pages for TV, Radio and Print Advertising – Greg Meyers, SEM Geek

Link Building

Help! I’m New, I Need Links, What Can I Do? – Debra Mastaler, The Link Spiel

Viral Marketing

Top 6 Ideas for Incredible Viral Content – Tamar Weinberg, Techipedia

Local Search

Anatomy & Optimization Of A Local Business Profile – Chris Silver Smith, Search Engine Land

Blogs & Blogging

The Blogger’s Guide to SEO – Aaron & Giovanna Wall, SEO Book

Reputation Management

Buzz Monitoring: 26 Free Tools You Must Have – Andy Beal, Marketing Pilgrim

Small Business

Branding For Small Business And Bloggers – Steven Bradley, TheVanBlog

Social Media

The Social Media Manual: Read Before You Play – Muhammad Saleem, Search Engine Land

Web Analytics

Web Analytics Demystified – Avinash Kaushik, Occam’s Razor

Online Marketing / General

How A Pretty Face Can Push Visitors Away – Bryan Eisenberg, GrokDotCom
(A must read, BTW – both this post and the GrokDotCom blog)

LOL Funny

9 Ways To Bore The Audience at SES New York – Lisa Barone, Bruce Clay Blog
(I voted for Ask’s "Google Pen" post, but Lisa’s post is very funny – frankly, it should have been the winner in the Rants category too.)

There’s gold in these posts!

If you want to learn a lot in a short time, and get some great ideas, you could do worse than to read every post that was nominated, especially the finalists. If you don’t discover several blogs that deserve a spot in your RSS feed reader, then you’ve either subscribed already or you’re smarter than I am.