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Timothy Martell

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Romney and Negative Matching

Well, it looks like Mitt Romney wasn’t able to knock out the incumbent Barack Obama. Whether this news makes you celebrate or despair, there are lessons to be learned from how both sides managed their internet marketing during the campaign. I’ve covered a few of them during the race, and now I’d like to cover the most recent digital gaffe.

This one, not surprisingly, is on the Romney campaign. They’ve come a long way, but the GOP still lags behind the Democrats when it comes to social media and internet marketing savvy.

The Romney campaign tried to get into pay-per-click ads specifically focusing on the terms “mom”, “mother”, and “grandmother”. The problem? They forgot to set negative match settings. Negative match settings are Google’s way of tuning a campaign’s language, making sure offensive searches don’t yield pay-per-click results.

Adwords ScumbagDuring the campaign, searches for “loving mom” and “mother gifts” would yield results for mittromney.com. Unfortunately, because the campaign didn’t use negative match settings, pornographic searches containing variations of “mom” (use your imagination) ALSO yielded mittromney.com.

It would be extreme to say that this cost Romney many votes, but the fact remains that Mitt’s website was being prominently displayed near vulgar terms. What this shows is a fundamental lack of understanding of the ins and outs of Google’s mysterious ways. So while it might not directly cost votes, think of all the votes he could have gained if he was truly using SEO to it’s fullest?

By the way, you have your negative match settings up to snuff…right?

Original article about the Romney campaign negative match mistake posted on Wikimotive's blog under the title Politics and Negative Matching.

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