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2021 Search Term Glitch: Benefitting From the Treasure Trove

Published by Algorithmic Global on

search term glitch

The search term glitch gave every search query triggered by Google Ads keywords—impressions, not just clicks!

In late July, a search term glitch in Google Ads greatly benefitted those who found it. Typically, the search terms report gives a sample of queries that triggered the keywords in an ad group that resulted in a click. One key point: it doesn’t display all the search terms that generated clicks.

The 2021 search term glitch not only gave the search terms from every click, but it also gave them from every impression!

The search term glitch has been fixed and is no longer displaying the search terms from every impression. This article is for those managers who downloaded the entire list!

search bar illustration

Google’s search terms

The search terms on search engines are what people search for; ad managers take advantage of the data and discover how their keywords perform.

However, in July 2021, a search terms glitch led to significant benefits for specific campaigns—mountains of data! Surprisingly enough, these were not always large corporations.

For example, one account managed by Algorithmic Global saw over two thousand search terms that triggered an ad running for a disaster restoration client. During this period, the campaign generated one hundred and twenty-five clicks and over four thousand impressions.

Typically, we see a fraction of the search terms—and just from the clicks. We expect anywhere from fifty to one hundred reported search terms on a standard search terms report from this click volume.

In short, getting the mountain of data from the search term glitch was a genuine surprise!

The search term glitch

Sadly, Google fixed the search term glitch. The campaigns that displayed the search queries from every impression are back to showing their regular search terms report.

But, we downloaded the search terms glitch data and have some ideas about how we can dive in!

keywords written in magnifying glass

Negative keywords

Negative keywords are the words and phrases that you don’t want triggering your ads. Looking at the search terms report and adding negative keywords is an integral part of daily and weekly Google Ads management, helping craft the traffic source based on what we want.

We’re using the treasure trove of data from the search terms glitch by looking for potential negative keywords that don’t apply to the services our client offers.

For example, close synonyms like “inspection” instead of “restoration.” For some reason, Google shows “mold restoration” and “mold remediation” ads to people looking for “mold testing” and “mold inspection.” This example is watered-down because we already have these phrases on the negative keyword list, but variations on “mold testing” and “mold inspection” still generated impressions.

And we’d never know if it wasn’t for the search terms glitch!

Other potential negative keywords include competitors names, a few informational searches (such as “how much does mold restoration cost?”), and jobs that don’t fit the scope of the offered services (“mold in shower”).

Adding keywords

On the flip side, inspecting every search term that generated an impression from the search term glitch helps us find new keyword ideas.

We can add similar phrases, such as “carpet damage from flood” instead of only using “carpet water damage.”

Plus, seeing which locations are most popular in the search terms data gives us an idea about which areas are searching for particular services. We can tweak our locations or add a bid adjustment if we want more or less traffic from that specific area.

Tweak ad copy

Keywords trigger ads, right? Well, the most successful ads are the ones that include ad copy from the user’s search query.

Imagine you’re looking for “flood damage restoration.” Well, there’s a good chance that the most successful ad includes that exact phrase in the ad’s first section. A searcher sees it and thinks: “Wow, exactly what I wanted!”

So, using the search terms that generated impressions is an excellent source of potential ad copy headlines. If any of the search terms on the report from the search term glitch generated multiple impressions and are a service offered by the company, these are potential headlines that could have a high click-through rate.

Google ads menu

Expert Google Ads management with Algorithmic Global

Since Google fixed the search terms glitch and reverted the search terms report to show a fraction of the search terms that generated clicks—not the queries for every impression—the data is no longer accessible.

Our clients now have this data because our ad experts are in the system daily and noticed the discrepancy. And now, we have a roadmap of how we can sort through and utilize the mountains of data!

If you are interested in expert Google ads management, give us a call or reach out via our contact page. We specialize in the disaster restoration industry and have helped our clients generate thousands of dollars in revenue through carefully crafted campaigns.


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