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We recently published a nonfiction book: Anti-Aging Medicine: How we can extend lifespan and live longer and healthier lives on KDP Select and are now attempting to use AMS keyword pay per click advertising, so far without success, although category advertising on other book pages seems to work. A number of issues have appeared with keywords.
The “automatic” keywords default mode produced the title, individual words from the title, author’s name, and mostly essentially meaningless short words and phrases from the subtitle namely: anti aging medicine, anti aging, live longer, how live, how can, we n, how anti, we can, how we, how we live, we live, can.
Anyone searching for the author’s name or title of the book has been pre-sold and doesn’t need promotion and advertising. The implications are that none of the keywords provided in the metadata, and essentially no meaningful words in the subtitle, and no keywords derived from the book description are being used by Amazon to connect keyword-searching buyers with the book. Apparently, the Amazon robot learns successful keywords from sales but how would search sales occur if no keywords ever match? Is this a “catch 22” that makes AMS keyword advertising infeasible for indies?
External incoming links such as from author’s web site or external free or discount promotions do in fact work to produce sales (or downloads) but do not help train the robot because no keywords are involved. Using manual keywords has produced low impression rates but relatively high CTRs but no sales. We did notice that free promotions seem to increase KU reads. This suggests that at least some KU subscribers also subscribe to free eBook email lists.
Of course, it is possible that for unpaid search results the robot uses a different keyword list than the one provided in the default keyword list. But why would Amazon intentionally suggest a spectacularly ineffective list as the default? I suspect there is something important that I am missing here!
The documentation for AMS for Authors does not appear to cover what might be key details:
What does TARGETING_CLAUSE_STATUS_LIVE but blank suggested bids in the spreadsheet mean?
What does “No Current Data” mean? Can bids be made if “no data?” What bid should be used?
Is it useful to add a second keyword containing “book” to essentially every broad search keyword: “search term” and “search term book?” Are many searches done from “All” as opposed to “Books?”
What is the thinking on the custom text vs no text ads for keyword campaigns? Ads with text are more obviously sponsored on search result pages.
 
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