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Google Makes Changes to Keyword Match Types

Ellie Gunville
by Ellie Gunville on Apr 25, 2012 2:59:00 PM

Last week Google announced some major changes to the Google AdWords keyword match types. Starting in mid-May, exact match and phrase match keywords will trigger ads to show for search terms that are close variants, including: singular and plural forms, misspellings, abbreviations and other similar key phrases.

For example, in the past, if your AdWords program was targeting the key phrase "Search Engine Marketing", your ad would only appear if those 3 words were searched in that exact order with that exact spelling. The phrases "Search Engine Marketer" or "Serch Engine Marketing" would not trigger your ad. With Google's new adjustments to matching options, your ad will now be eligible to appear for those phrase variations.

According to Google, 7% of search queries contain some type of misspelling; therefore, AdWords campaigns that utilize exact and phrase match options may be missing out on valuable impressions. The new match type adjustments will help eliminate or reduce those missed opportunities! Google has been testing out the changes with a few advertisers and most have seen very positive results; increasing clicks by an average of 3%.

So how will these new changes affect your Google AdWords program? The matching options will likely eliminate the need to seed though Search Terms Reports looking for misspellings and phrase variations to add to your keyword list, saving you a lot of time. If your program contains several phrase and exact match keywords, you'll likely see an increase in impressions and clicks. Whereas programs that focus primarily on broad match keywords and have very few exact or phrase match keywords won't notice a significant difference in results.

If you'd rather keep your account as-is and don't want your ads to be triggered by search queries that contain phrase variations, Google is giving AdWords users the option to opt out by simply changing your advanced settings. Advertisers that have already spent time building campaigns that contain verb stems, misspellings, plurals and other phrase variations will likely choose to opt out to maintain close control of their programs.

Some have argued that these match type changes are simply a way for Google to bring in more advertising money, others are excited about the opportunities the new changes may bring. What are your thoughts on the new matching options? Will you be opting out of the new feature or using it to your advantage?

Leave a comment

Ellie Gunville
Written by Ellie Gunville
As the Manager of Online Advertising at E-Power Marketing, Ellie focuses on developing targeted advertising campaigns to boost sales, increase trade show and event registrations drive leads and strengthen brand recognition. She has become an expert in all things online advertising, and expanded her focus to also include Google Analytics and conversion optimization.

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