Chris makes two very interesting additional points (Beyond the great name “laziness tax”.)
Advertisers typically set higher daily or monthly AdWords budgets than they want or expect to spend, simply because setting a budget equal to what they actually *expect* to spend would result in Google throttling back on delivery of their ad as the advertiser approaches the budget limit. So what you have is a scenario where a strong double-digit percentage of Google’s customers currently have higher budgets set than what they expect to spend, and an automatic matching beta that wrong assumes the advertisers actually *want* to spend all that budget.
Keep in mind that even should you opt out of “automatic match”, you will likely still feel its effects. If the history of AdWords new feature rollouts is any indication, 30-40% of advertisers go with whatever new features Google suggests. Were 30-40% of Google’s advertisers to use “automatic match”, I’d expect the increase in coverage and competition in Google’s ad space to result in keyword inflation as bad as the rising gasoline and food costs we are now experiencing.
Two great points. The Automatic Matching Option helps Google and nobody else.
Turn it off. And complain to your Google Rep.