What Happened to SKAG? | | JumpFly Digital Marketing Blog
The 2010 PPC was another world. Match types mean a lot, algorithms were just beginning to learn, and the whole industry was outraged by Google’s new Quality Score metric. The idea was (and still is) that Google focused specifically on its own ads and copy that matched well with keywords and landing page content, effectively lowering the cost of clicks compared to competitors’ ads. . The intention was to make the ads more relevant, thereby generating more clicks for Google (never mind our competitors do this too, creating a race to the bottom in every industry). .
Everyone wanted to maximize their Quality Score over their competitors, so no one knew how to match keyword content to ad content when ad content was held at the ad group level. started asking.
Enter SKAG, which is short for single keyword ad group. Advertisers create ad groups for all keywords in their campaign (sometimes grouping all match types together, or each match type in a separate ad group), and ad copy includes each Add keywords. In theory, this will increase your Quality Score and Google will “discount” your ad purchase.
Did it work? To some extent, yes.
Google didn’t go so far as to reveal how much Quality Score adjusted the final click cost, so it’s hard to say for sure, but the overall data suggests it’s not overkill. Even so, there were hints of change that showed it was worth doing. .
So what happened to this big trend that has taken the industry by storm? In a word: automation. Google has started releasing bidding algorithms that handle keyword bidding at the ad group or campaign level. This meant that keyword segmentation was ineffective. The more keywords and ads were grouped together, the more effectively and quickly machine learning generated value.
Next, Google released Responsive Search Ads (RSA). This effectively did the work of automatically matching the ad copy to the keyword content. RSA still produces ad copy (more than it used to, in fact), but now it’s piecemeal. Google picks the best ad copy for each individual search term that triggers the display of your ad.
And the nail in the coffin was the elimination of keyword mappings to search terms. If exact match really means exact match, then it makes sense to split the keywords into their own siled ad groups so that they can be adjusted directly to the ad copy. Currently, it’s blurred to the point that keyword match types and mappings are largely irrelevant, making it impossible to match ad copy to all possible “variations” of a keyword. All keywords are broad matches in nature, making ad copy relevance an RSA-only feature.
Finally, after all these changes, the industry was overwhelmed. Manually creating ad groups for each keyword was an industry-wide waste of man-hours. Automation was hailed as an advantage.
In 2022, SKAG is a thing of the past. Automation is increasingly handled at the campaign level, with split ad groups focusing more on organization than performance.
However, there is a lot of discussion in the industry about new strategies to get the most out of the new Performance Max (PMax) campaign type. Instead of single-keyword ad groups, could PMax’s single-product campaigns be the next trend? single-keyword campaigns?
This depends on what Google does with PMax campaigns and the data provided to advertisers with this campaign type. Automation was once a welcome change, but many industry experts are becoming hesitant about the lack of valuable data within the highly automated PMax campaign types, and have taken steps to clarify the data. We are beginning to break down these campaigns into these detailed strategies.