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Google Tightens up DKI Policy

Posted by Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron is the Director Owner of Advent Communication. With more than 25 years experience he has a deep...
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on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 in Google

If you are running an AdWords campaign on Google and your ads use Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) then you may need to review your campaigns to avoid having your ads disapproved after Google's latest round of policy changes.

So - what is DKI?

With DKI ads any part of your ad can be programmed to include the actual keyword that triggered the ad. Note: this may or may not be exactly what the searcher typed into their search box, but for our purposes, let's assume that it is.

Let's say you sell widgets - and the headline of your ad is:

We Have Lots of Widgets.

Then let's suppose that we have a series of keywords that are designed to trigger this ad:

  • blue widgets
  • red widgets
  • black widgets
  • really cool green widgets

We can set our headline to read:

We Have {KeyWord:Lots of Widgets}

For the first three keywords above the headline would change to be:

  • We Have Blue Widgets
  • We Have Red Widgets
  • We Have Black Widgets

But the headline would not change for the fourth example. Why? Because the full headline would be longer than the permitted 25 characters - so the default headline - We Have Lots of Widgets - would remain.

So where's the problem - and why are Google tightening up?

The main reason is that too many advertisers simply don't control their DKI campaigns as well as they should.

Too many companies use a headline such as: {KeyWord:We Have Lots of Widgets}

Thus when the ads are run the headlines become:

  • Blue Widgets
  • Red widgets
  • Black Widgets
  • Really Cool Green Widgets

These don't make a lot of sense. And if one of our keywords is  "widget" then the ad might simply have Widget as a headline... looks pretty stupid.

And it gets worse, because if we have a singular keyword - blue widget - for example, we could end up with a headline that is grammatically incorrect : We Have Blue Widget.

Google is to start checking DKI ads for grammatical and plural accuracy - so we can expect to see many advertisers having large swathes of ads being disapproved.

It is well worth taking a close look at your DKI campaigns and ensuring that you are ahead of this wave.

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