Beware: Google Ads Expands Broad & Phrase Match To Include Keyword Close Variants

Aug 1, 2019 - 7:25 am 4 by
Filed Under Google Ads

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Yesterday, Google announced that in the coming weeks broad match modifier and phrase match keywords will also begin matching to words within the search query that share the same meaning as the keyword. The SEM/PPC community is not surprised but still very frustrated by this news.

It is Google Ads (formerly AdWords) expanding the keywords you want to match on for your ads to even more types of keyword phrases. That ultimately can lead to your ad showing more often but also it can lead to your ad showing for queries that you do not want your ads to show for. This has been the trend Google Ads has been going with since 2014 and has been a huge frustration point for the SEM industry.

Ginny Marvin at Search Engine Land summed it up great in her Google extends same-meaning close variants to phrase match, broad match modifiers. As expected, Google is further loosening the reins on close variants, this time extending same-meaning close variants to phrase match and broad match modifier. With the changes, Google is also changing its keyword selection preferences to prevent keywords from competing against each other," she wrote.

Broad Match Modifier

Broad match modifier close variants have historically only included misspellings, singular or plural, stemmings, abbreviations, and accents. Moving forward, close variants will also include words with the same meaning as the keyword.

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Phrase Match

Phrase match keywords allow your ads to show when the query includes your keyword or close variants of the exact phrase of your keyword, with additional words before or after. Like the update to broad match modifier keywords, this now includes queries that contain words that share the same meaning as the keyword.

click for full size

Here is Ginny's tweet about this:

Here are some other reactions from the community:

Forum discussion at Twitter.

 

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