Dan Thies reports that Google AdWords started sending beta invitations to advertisers for testing a new feature called "Automatic Matching."
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. [Dan]
Automatic Matching way for Google to help the advertiser utilize their full budget towards keywords that they may have not been targeting. So if they have used only 50% of their ad budget, Google can detect that, and expand the advertisers keyword list based on their current keyword list and past history.
Barry writes: There has been a lot of heated debate about this beta product. Many feel Google doesn't have the right to automatically expand one's keyword list just to deplete an advertiser's budget. But it can be a useful and profitable feature for many advertisers who don't have the time or talent to expand their own list.
When I asked Google for a statement, they said:
As part of our ongoing commitment to provide advertisers with innovative ways to reach users online, Google is currently testing a feature known as 'Automatic Matching.' This feature is currently in a limited beta with a small number of advertisers. We have no news to announce at this time regarding developments in our AdWords product offering.
To be fair, they wanted to chat with me on the phone - but I just didn't have the time. Luckily, I found a more comprehensive statement from AdWordsAdvisor at WebmasterWorld that explains this from Google's perspective.
Google, AdWords, Automatic Matching, Advertisers, Beta, New Features