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June 14, 2006 10:09 AM   Subscribe

How do Ebay and others do Google ads that put your search term in the ad?

Here's an example I just tried:

Whatever you're looking for
you can get it on eBay.

How do they do that? Or do they really take out ads for all conceivable search terms, including "entrails"?

Hope it hasn't been asked before, couldn't find it on Google.
posted by Help Me Impeach Bush to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
I have a Google Ads account, and there's no way to do "wildcard" ads, so I assume they just list ads for thousands upon thousands of search terms.

You get an eBay ad for "scam", which I always thought was funny.

Be aware though that most of them probably aren't created by eBay themselves - they are usually people with affiliate accounts.
posted by Mwongozi at 10:30 AM on June 14, 2006

I'm sure that big advertisers (like eBay) have access to options that small time players don't.
posted by Good Brain at 10:35 AM on June 14, 2006

See here.

Google will automatically insert the word you searched for into an ad, but it will only show the ad in the first place if it matched a list of search terms the advertiser bought ads for.

(Which presumably means that "entrails" was on eBay's list)
posted by cillit bang at 10:42 AM on June 14, 2006

Seems to me that it wouldn't be too hard to take out ads for any unique word in their auctions. They would just need to parse their auctions' text, generate a list of words, and start buying AdWords through the AdWords API.

Sure it's expensive, but remember that this is the company that spent US$2,600,000,000 on Skype. They can't be hurting for cash.
posted by revgeorge at 10:57 AM on June 14, 2006

I think most of those ads are from eBay affiliates, not eBay itself.
posted by davar at 12:22 PM on June 14, 2006

Also, Google almost certainly has a different contract with eBay (the biggest adwords customer) than the standard one that you or I would get. So the fact that something (e.g. wildcards) is not possible under the standard terms doesn't mean that eBay can't do it.
posted by winston at 1:56 PM on June 14, 2006

Like cillitbang said. The official term for this is dynamic keyword insertion and I personally have found this to be a very successful way of increasing clickthroughs on my ads.

The thing that amazes me is the number of keywords thay eBay is actively serving ads against. It's monstrous. Their paid search budget must be enormous.
posted by superfurry at 2:57 PM on June 14, 2006

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