Exact Match keywords in Google AdWords are no longer an ‘exact match’: has this update also affected Broad Match?

Exact Match keywords in Google AdWords are no longer an ‘exact match’: has this update also affected Broad Match?

Back in March, the Inside AdWords blog announced that the Exact Match function would be changing in Google AdWords. Instead of yielding an exact match, Google revealed that they would be expanding close variant matching ‘to include additional rewording and reordering for exact match keywords’.

As we explained in a previous update, this means that function words (such as ‘a’, ‘the’, ‘in, ‘for’, ‘but’ and ‘to’) in a search query will be ignored or reworded, but only when doing so won’t impact the intent behind a search. As a result, your ad will match with similar search queries.

For the same reason, Google also announced that they would be reordering words for particular search queries. However, no extra words will be added to these as they could change the meaning.

Additionally, misspellings, typos, and abbreviations are also ignored when matching for close variants.

Although Google hasn’t officially reported on this, one thing the team at Traffic Jam Media has noticed is that modified broad match also seems to have been affected. It appears that in some recent cases, the old and accepted rules we know aren’t being adhered to.

Because of this, we’ve seen search terms that we wouldn’t normally expect to see appear in a modified broad match keyword.

The TJM take: So, a few months after the original announcement, what effect has this update had on ourselves and our clients? Additionally, what should you be doing to maintain your ads’ performance now that Broad Match appears to also have been affected?

When Google originally announced the update to the Exact Match function, we advised advertisers to keep their keywords as accurate and exact as possible. We also explained that they should remember the importance of including negative keywords.

This advice still stands, though we’d also advise you to check that your marketing agency (or whoever else is managing your Google ad campaigns) has reacted appropriately to the update. They should also be aware of the Broad Match issues and the best ways to overcome these.

If you don’t know where to start, or you simply need some more guidance with this, then get in touch with the Traffic Jam Media team!

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