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Someone Took a Wrong Turn at Albuquerque

Posted on Thu, January 1,2015 @ 12:27 PM

Some Friday afternoon goofiness...

We get a few chuckles internally when the “ABC” in our name results in misguided phone calls, like “Is this where I get tickets to Regis and Kathy Lee?” or “How do I get on the Bachelorette?” Okay, the latter call may have come from inside the building.


It’s not quite as funny when Internet searches for “driver registration,” “gun registration” or “cash register software” cost us money via our Google Adwords account. We use exact matches with most of our keywords (the search terms that trigger search results) and we cull through our account monthly to remove mismatches, discarding them in the “negative keywords” file.

A recent culling effort sparked a visit to our negative keywords listing. Some of them are just funny; others have us scratching our heads. People search for crazy things. In our tiny segment of Google’s universe, the search terms used are relatively tame and as you will see below, mostly suitable for work.

In the funny category, we have:

  • “How to sign up for pirates online” (We think they meant "Pilates," or perhaps it was some shady individual Googling in Somali.)
  • “How to hack the registration system” (That’s subtle. Kind of hope they trusted all of the sites that come up in that search.)
  • “Sibelius registration help” (We don’t think this has anything to do with the Obamacare rollout mess.)
  • “ergistration,” “gistration” (There are lots of misspelled searches, which challenges marketers to consider using misspelled keywords. Seriously.)
  • “Make my own marriage license online” (And make my bride Kate Upton!)
  • “Medical marijuana registration system” (I guess we can now take this one off the negative list, at least in certain states.)
  • “Free online citizenship registration” (There are millions who wish it were that easy, and millions more who don’t.)
  • “Register alien online” (There’s a couple of ways to take this one – the ET version tickled our fancy.)

In the head-scratcher category, here are a few mysterious keyword choices that somehow led to ABC Signup:

  • “Free bible software” (We are a pretty pious group at ABC Signup, but we’re not sure how we came up as an option in this search.)
  • “Free unblock private caller ID software” (Could this be some stalker unhappy having his/her calls being blocked?)
  • “Sign up for sex” or “Sign up sex online game” (No comment, other than see item number one under “head scratchers.”)
  • “Get your web license” (With apologies perhaps to Spiderman, what even is a “web license?”)
  • “Nigerian navy online registration” (Okay, we get the online registration part. But, who knew Nigeria has a navy?)
  • “Online free karaoke” (There’s no connection between ABC Signup and karaoke, at least during business hours.)

The only take-away from these paid-search-gone-awry examples is to be careful with your keywords if you use Google Adwords. The software is relatively intuitive and will make great suggestions for adding keywords, but they are typically in broad-match format, meaning if any word in the keywords matches any word in the search, your paid listing may show up. Put brackets around your keywords and those Google suggests. This simple addition requires searches to be exact matches. Also, use the negative keywords feature to remove ineffective strings that may have slipped through the cracks.

If you have anything you’d like to share about this article – perhaps some odd ways folks mistakenly find your organization – please post away in the Comments section below. If you would like to know more about online registration software and ABC Signup, email or call us (866.791.8268 ext. 0) at your convenience.

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