If memory serves me right, at one point in search history, AdWords Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) was used to insert a user’s query into your ad copy. Whether or not that was the case in the past is now irrelevant because Google’s documentation is clear that DKI only inserts keywords from the same ad group.


This is a big distinction that many bloggers continue to miss as recently as December 2014 by either carelessly interchanging “query” and “keyword” or by forgetting to update their research when describing DKI.

Why does it matter that DKI has nothing to do with queries? Well, since it’s only inserting keywords from that ad group, the “con” of crazy broad matching and ending up with ad copy as horrible as “Save on Leg Amputees” (as PPC Hero called out way back in 2009) is now completely within the advertiser’s control. This ad copy would only be possible if the advertiser was bidding on the keyword “leg amputees” within that ad group, not if the query “leg amputees” matched to “leg prosthesis.” One possible solution is to isolate keywords that are safe or make grammatical sense when being inserted from those that are not and only use DKI in pre-checked “safe” ad groups.

Better still, avoid DKI completely and use single-keyword ad groups.


  1. Just a Note January 28th, 2015

    Just wanted to mention that the comments on the PPC Hero article you referenced are 5+ years old. Like you said, it could’ve been when queries actually were dynamically inserted. Not cool to call out another blog without context.

  2. Hillary Read January 28th, 2015

    Hey…sorry for that! Just updated with a note. Didn’t realize you guys were putting dates on your posts now, but that’s helpful.

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Caitlin Halpert
Caitlin Halpert is an Account Director at 3Q Digital. She has worked in digital marketing since 2011 and held positions at Dealer.com and iSearchMedia before joining the 3Q team in March 2014. Caitlin graduated from Dartmouth College and is a native of Vermont.