Keyword Categorisation for PPC Search Engine Marketing

sometimes it’s strange that you never get to think about creating a solution for a manual task that you have to do, even though it would be totally easy to do.
such for me was building a tool that categorises keywords… i have probably categorised keywords manually for way too long, probably 10s of thousands of keywords. often i cut corners, often i would just wrap keywords into an ad group by the way that i generated them, running a quick sense check if the keywords are in the right place.

it turns out that the way that i was doing this was actually quite straight forward: i look at the keyword and decide, based on a few key phrases, what category i would map that keyword too. let’s take an example. the company i (hypothetically) work for is an airline with the name paddyjet:

  • i have brand terms, ie: paddyjet, paddy jet and so on and so forth.
    everything that has these words or ‘paddy’ in them will be brand terms, with the possible exception of keywords that have the word ‘review’ or ‘compare’ in them. maybe i also want to exclude the words ‘contact’ and ‘customer service’, as they too should be in another category called ‘paddyjet cs terms’
  • i have competitor terms that i may or may not want to bid on: british airways, ba, delta, – i would probably want to create a rule with these other brand terms and put them in another category, again with the exception of ‘review’ and ‘compare’ terms
  • there are the ‘review’ and ‘compare’ type terms
  • budget type terms will probably have the terms ‘cheap’, ‘discount’, ‘bargain’, ‘low cost’ and so on
  • cs terms should be our brand name and the words like ‘customer service’, ‘contact’, ‘complaints’…
in short, there are rules in your mind that make you decide quite instantly where to put terms. these rules are:
  • must include this word
  • must exclude these words
  • must include these words and these words
so i wrote a little python script to categorise keywords based on your rules. click on the link to go to my website and get the file and also samples
it needs the list of keywords in a text file (default keywords.txt), a list of noise words to remove (default: noiseWords.txt – it is optional to provider content in this file, the file itself has to be there) and the categorisation rules file (default keywordCategories.txt). 
the rules file needs to be marked up and structured in an ordered way:
  • more important rules need to go at the top
    ie: paddyjet tickets – if you rather want this in the ‘brand terms’, then put the brand rules first. if you rather want this to be categorised as ‘ticket terms’, then put this one first
  • one line per rule – no exceptions
  • start the line with the category name, followed by a colon (:)
  • words that mean the keyword does not fit in this category need to be in curly brackets ({…})
  • words that need to in combination with the term need to be in hard brackets ([…])
  • you can create combinations of words that need to be included and the search term.
    ie: you have vanity urls that you wish to treat different from brand terms (‘flypaddyjet’, ‘premierpaddyjet’ or paddyjetbusiness). simply put a tilde at the required position. ie:
    vanity urls: [premier~, ~premier] paddyjey, tickets, bookings, paddy
    will create the word combinations:
    premierpaddyjet, premiertickets, premierbookings, premierpaddy, paddyjetpremier, ticketspremier, …
finally, anything that can’t be categorised as ‘unknown’.
at the end a file will be generated with three columns: the original keyword, the noise words removed and the category based on the rules. the default name of the file would be date-time stamped and look like: YYYYMMDD_HHMMSS_categorisedKeywords.txt
i hope this tool could be useful for some people in digital marketing who currently struggle to categorise thousands of keywords manually. contact me if you have any questions, i’m happy to help.
it’s a very quick and dirty solution, so if you have problems, find bugs or would like more features, feel free to contact me. 

Hate when people “sign” emails, but you can’t reply

i really think it’s the worst!

the conversation about whether or not to sign emails by an officer of your company has been going on for some time. in principal i don’t have a strong opinion about this, but i have certain expectations from such ‘signed’ emails:

  1. the person that signs this message has read the content and approved it’s content
  2. the email does not come from a ‘no-reply’ address (an address that only sends and all replies are discarded)
  3. when a reply is received, the person that signs the email is aware of the response
i have worked in a few online organisations and i’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly. surprisingly it’s the smaller organisations that seem to get it right. your emails aren’t signed by anyone, but when you reply a bunch of people, including the customer service and marketing teams still see your reply and answer to it.
the bigger companies however get it completely wrong: singing the communication, sending from a ‘no-reply’ address and then don’t even make the customer aware of the fact that the email won’t be received by any human being!
two of these companies are british gas and british telecom. funny enough, you can find the bt-guy on twitter: warren buckley. he actually replies there and told me that he signs it so people can find him and he does hear what the customer comments are. i have an idea for you warren: put your email address (or a secondary mailbox, if you want) on the communication you crooks send out – i’m sure that people would be happy to reply!

More and more sponsored content on facebook

I logged into facebook today to see how Myko was getting on yesterday (he was on a UK game show).

Unfortunately, facebook is taken over by useless ‘like’ messages. All I can see is this guy likes Heinz Beans, this girl like Burberry, someone else likes Coca-Cola, Amazon,…

Is there something wrong with me that I don’t care what sh*t you people like? Or something with other people that need to tell everyone when they like something so trivial and unimportant like a brand? it makes me wonder how much people really like beans? A lot more than me?

Or could it be facebook being incredibly desperate to get some kind of advertising revenue that they swamp us with this nonsense? Unfortunately I seem to be unable to opt-out of these ‘This c*nt likes that sh*t’ messages.

Am I the only person that is bothered by all the adverts that are being communicated out to me? The way that this is done is also incredibly subliminal – first there were few messages here and there, now it’s everywhere and meant to be adapted by us all.

I have never been a ‘fan’ of facebook, but I’m getting increasingly turned off by the whole ordeal.

Websites won’t work properly without cookies

Yet the European legislative that has passed a few weeks ago now make it mandatory to advise people how cookies are being used.
It’s like stopping every customer that enters your high street store and telling him how the CCTV system works, what they are going to do with your purchase and other information and only then letting them through…

Nevermind, protecting yourself from pesky third party advertising cookies is easy. Check this page to opt out of all sorts of networks that use behavioural and remarketing cookies.

This, btw, also works through cookies!

Twitter tools

I don’t think much of tweet-deck. Maybe it’s because it uses Adobe Aero and who wants to install any more software than necessary and let’s face it: Twitter is still pretty useless…
I do however get “twats” to my Android phone, using both Twitgit and Twidroid. I will comment on the later some other day, cause it’s really well developed and free.
But I found a widget for the Google Homepage that works fantastic and keeps you up to date with the twats you receive – it’s intriguingly called ‘TwitterGadget’ and looks something like this:

eBay initiative: Demand an end to unfair trade practices


I received an email from eBay this morning, informing me about a petition they want their users to sign.
I can only recommend everyone signs it as it is, in my opinion, a very important part of retaining your rights and a free market – it’s about the sale of branded goods.

We all know that there are more counterfeit products on the markets than genuine ones. I myself tend to buy branded goods, although they have to be reasonably priced. I also buy ‘counterfeit’ products – or ‘like’ products – not because I want to damage the brand that’s been copied, but because I like their product, but find that less quality at a much more affordable price is what I’m happy with.

Who expects to buy a genuine Armani jacket for £15? – Someone incredibly stupid! But if it’s nice, I would buy it, well aware that it’s fake, but I’m happy with purchasing it.
When Armani says that this damages their profits, they clearly do not understand that I would never pay £500 for the same item, no matter how wealthy I am. I am clearly not their target consumer. Nor would I go and claim that this is a genuine product or do I care what the label says.

While I do buy counterfeit and often prefer counterfeits to the real brand, I encourage the purchase of those products from countries that have ethical workplace policies: no child labour, fair wages…

There is another side to it. The bigger brands are trying to eliminate the re-sale of their products through eBay alltogether. This is not because they fear for their brand name, but simply because of their greed. If you really want Prada, but can’t get it used, you will have to purchase it new.
This not only puts pressure on your wallet, it also infringes on your rights as owner of the products.
When you buy something it becomes rightfully yours… You should be allowed to wear, show off, sell or destroy the product as you please. It’s yours.

Once authorities take away your rights to your own property, what could that mean? – You would own a watch, but will later be forbidden to look at it; you have dog food; but you aren’t allowed to feed it to your dog, throw it away or consume it yourself; you have a bank account, but won’t be allowed to get money off it; you have a house, but won’t be allowed to live in it. The abstractions are endless, but it’s important to understand the concept: if something is yours, you should have all rights to do with itas you please as long as you don’t harm others…

For all these reasons, I encourage you to sign the eBay petition!

mySpace Account


I thought that I need some inbound links for my webshop (Badgercomp – a retailer for computer hard and software) and so I decided to give mySpace a go. Afterall, sooner or later all these SNS will huddle together…

Anyhow, I opened an account and here it is: My mySpace profile. I actually thought that this was pretty easy, but it turns out the navigation and features aren’t really as easy and as ‘plug-and’play’ as on facebook.

I also didn’t set up my shop as an endorsed link, simply because I thought that there must be some link to my “website”. I guess some things need to be done manually there…
In the meantime, I will see if there are any cool apps on Blogger that work plug & play…

Microsoft Employees Forced Into Op To Make More Evil

Yes, the rumors have been around for quite some time. Since 1998, to be precise. A friend of mine, Dick Scratchy, has recently quit working for the corporation ‘that want’s to dominate the world by eliminating any other operating system’, [sic].

Dick told me how, after successful interviews, he was invited to a private surgery to turn him into a ‘Microsoft Compatible Employee (TM). Little did he know, he received a full anesthetic upon arrival and what happened to his body was blanked from his memory – only traces of the terrible experience remain with him.

Apparently, Microsoft Doctor (TM) removed the sublingual gland from his mouth and replaced it with a venom gland of a king cobra (see picture).

King Cobra poison gland in human mouthMicrosoft, so he Dick tells me, altered his body and installed the poisonous gland to ‘deter enemies of the company and allow their employees to spit blinding poison in the faces of users of other operating systems or also people who are generally unhappy with Microsoft or any of it’s products.’

Poor Dick had a lot of problems with his girlfriend because of the new gland, the two eventually split up.

This clearly illustrates what we all suspected: Microsoft wants to dominate the world. They don’t care about you – the user. User friendliness is an illusion that only used to capture audiences initially. Now, as other operating systems clearly bring better value to the user, they use anything in their power – that includes their vast arsenal of employee resources around the world – to fight their competitors.

Be careful, never trust Microsoft and if anyone near you identifies themselves as an employee of said company – destroy their jaw! It’s where the poisonous gland sits!

Some god be with us!