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A guest post by Scott Spjut of Professional Marketing International.

The Microsoft adCenter (and then Bing) is getting an update, which you will want to check out, but definitely not use permanently.

Starting in June, the keywords and phrases you use for your pay-per-click campaigns through adCenter will automatically include plurals. So, for instance, if you’re already bidding on “boat,” you will automatically also start bidding on “boats.” The apparent goal is to help your ad campaign capitalize on the traffic relevant to your interests. But for those of us who like to keep a close eye on every aspect of our campaigns, we may want to opt out of the tool as it does take away some control.

Some important details to point out:

  • Not all of your keywords will automatically be affected. Terms whose meaning or purpose change when they become plural (think of searching for “soap” like the cleanser versus searching for “soaps” like the daytime television dramas) are not included.

  • If you’re already bidding on both singulars and plurals of your keywords, nothing will change. The singular ads will show for singular terms, and plural ads for plural terms.

  • You don’t need to worry about double dipping. If you have a search term for a singular keyword and someone searches for that plural, you won’t have two ads pop up on the same search results page.

  • The tool will also work the other way around. If you’ve included plural terms but not singular ones, your ad will automatically show when the singular term is searched.

So What Does This Mean for You?

If you’re one who thinks that having your marketing campaign run on autopilot, or having other people control what your potential customers are seeing, this new tool is great. You will now be charged for all of those keywords you may have missed, regardless of how successful those keywords may or may not be for your business.

For the rest of us, the tool is only good ... and only in the short term. Admittedly, it’s not likely that a plural keyword will function much differently than a singular keyword. But if you’re someone who isn’t going to leave things like that to chance, you’re not going to assume visitors will react the same to each type of keyword.

But even so, you can still use this tool. There may be some plural keywords that you aren’t already bidding on which really could generate more traffic for your site. You may not have considered them or may not have realized there was significant traffic for that term. Because of this, feel free to let the service run for a few weeks and track what sort of results you get. There may be a few new keywords and phrases you can capitalize on.

As mentioned, if you’re already bidding on both singular and plural keywords, then you don’t really need to change anything. But if you have tried out some plural keywords and are purposefully not bidding on them, but sure you disable the tool immediately so you don’t get charged unnecessarily.

Overall, you should have ultimate control of your marketing campaigns, and you should continually be A/B Testing all the different variables on your own---including plural keywords vs. singular keywords.

So, don’t leave these types of things up to others. Take charge, and manage them yourself.

Scott Spjut is a writer has been featured in various magazines, newspapers and websites. Scott writes for Professional Marketing International, teaching clients how to achieve financial freedom.


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