Free Tool To Cluster PPC Phrases Into Related AdGroups — RKG Duck

Last week, we released RKG Duck, a Windows Clipboard Filter. I described some simple uses in an introductory video demo. I wanted to make a second video to show how write your own filters.

With George’s post on the limitations of AdGroups still fresh on the blog, (AdGroups as a Barrier to Success), I decided to write a RKG Duck filter which approximates AdGrouping. That is, given a list of keywords, write a filter which yields a signature which clusters similar phrases.

I chose a rudimentary algorithm: for each phrase, remove stop words, stem, alphabetize, and crush into a signature. It took me just under ten minutes to code it.

Here’s a 90 second preview video showing the filter in action:

And here’s a link to the full 10 minute video. It covers installing RKG Duck, using CPAN modules, and writing the stemming AdGroup filter.

Video Link: RKG Duck II: Google AdGroups And Stemming

Note: this example is a demonstration of what one can do with RKG Duck. This isn’t how our firm builds AdGroups — we don’t recommend building out phrases then AdGrouping later. Rather, the right approach to build campaigns is to go through every relevant URL on the site; build out rich keywords for each URL; assign targeted copy, smart match types, and sensible initial bids; then adgroup them appropriately. As George mentioned, there’s significant benefit in databasing ads in a richer taxonomy than the simple Campaign >> AdGroup >> Term hierarchy.

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  • Alan Rimm-Kaufman
    Alan Rimm-Kaufman founded the Rimm-Kaufman Group...
  • Comments
    9 Responses to “Free Tool To Cluster PPC Phrases Into Related AdGroups — RKG Duck”
    1. Jeff says:

      Hey, this looks great. I installed the duck, grabbed Perl active state and have the built in .pl files working properly…but I can’t get the adgroup filter to work. The Youtube video was a bit distored – can you confirm this code?

      use strict;

      use Text::English;

      my %stop = map {$_=>1} qw(
      a about an are as at be by for from how i is it
      of on or that the this to was what when where who will with the);

      while () {
      my @w=split( /\s+/. $_);
      @w = grep { ! $stop{ $_} } @w;
      @w = Text::English::stem(@w);
      print join(”. $ @w), “\n”;

    2. Jeff says:

      I found a few errors, now it just pastes what I copied, but the result is noting.

    3. Hi Jeff —

      • You shouldn’t need to install Perl.
      • You do need to install Text::English. Did you look at the longer video:
      • You can’t run the tool thru a Windows shortcut link, as it looks in “.” for filters.
      • If the window turns red, there’s an error. Are you seeing red?
      • As a test, can you get a simpler filter to work? say, the uppercase filter?

      Cheers –


    4. Daniel says:

      I downloaded your duck tool however the software does not capture the filters that come along with the download, ie: on the left side of the user-interface, there are no filters which I can click on, there is just an empty white space. I thought I was doing something wrong however a friend with strong technical skills also had the same problem. Any advice??
      Thanks so much!

    5. mike says:

      Thank you for offering this tool, but I also can’t make out the code in the adgroup stemming video. Any chance you could post this for download? I would love to experiment with it.

    6. Rob says:

      I’m having the same problem as Daniel, when I load Duck there are no filters in the sidebar. What’s the fix?

    7. Rob says:

      Just an update for anyone experiencing the problem I mentioned above, the fix is to install Active Perl.

      However, now I’m having the same problem as Jeff… I have the script right and all the pre-packaged scripts work but the text in the window turns red when I turn it on. I have “Text” as a subfolder in the folder rkg-duck.exe is in, and in the “Text” folder.

      Some more detailed instructions that didn’t involve trying to figure out what’s going on in the video would be a big help, would love to use this tool but just can’t get it to work..

    8. Alan says:

      Sorry if the video instructions were terse. In the simplest case, the duck tool takes a stand-alone perl filter, no modules, and so there’s no issue of include paths. If you need a module, the easiest fix is to install activeperl on the local machine, then install the module using ppm (or ppm3?). Once you can run the filter on a dos command line, it should work fine in the Duck tool too.
      Hope that helps!

    9. Vertical Return says:

      Hmm, the adgroup filter turns red for me too but all the other “pre-made” filters work just fine… strange indeed.