How Google Drive Can Improve Your Paid Search Program

By — 03.18.13

There are a variety of products and features that Google is working on at any given time. Many of them fly under the radar upon their release. A few weeks ago I came across a brief Techcrunch article that showcases a new tool that lives within Google Drive. While it’s something that can be used by a lot of people, I think it is of particular value for anyone with a paid search program.

If you were to navigate to Google Drive and create a new spreadsheet, there is an autofill option that gives users the ability to do automatic list creation. Techcrunch used beer as an option. For example, if you were to put “lager” in cell A1, then highlight the cell, select Ctrl, and drag the cell down, you’ll be left with a long list of beer types―ipa, stout, ale―and so on.

Aside from the novelty of seeing what list will result from two random words (my name and my fellow coworker’s resulted in a list of keywords associated with Lady Gaga), this functionality has more practical uses. For example, it can be used by SEM managers to create keyword lists for new paid search campaigns or it can help expand existing ones.

Let’s say a pet supply store is looking to create a paid search campaign revolving around their cat products. They could leverage automatic list creation by following these steps:

1. Create a new spreadsheet in Google Drive

2. In cells A1 and A2, input two broad head-terms (you can actually do this with only one, but the list is much more relevant if you choose two or more). In this case, I used “cat food” and “cat toys”


3. Select both boxes, hold CTRL (option key for Mac users) and drag down however long you see fit; there isn’t a limit to the number of keywords, so stop when the list becomes less relevant:

It’s that simple. Below you’ll find a link to another example. In this one, we’ll create two lists, one comprised of sporting goods manufacturers and one with generic sporting good terms.

Sporting_Good_Keyword_List

From here, all you need to do is run these two columns through a permutation tool and you will end up with a list of hundreds of new keywords to bid on.

While this won’t create an exhaustive list by any means, it can help amateur PPC managers to expand small accounts in a quick and efficient way.

Have you found any hidden tools within the Google suite that others would find valuable? If so, feel free to share below.

Mitch Metcalfe

Mitch Metcalfe is an account manager at Adlucent, specializing in PPC, analytics, display, and PLAs for his retail clients. Connect with him on LinkedIn.


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