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Google AdWords is Messing with my Match Types

By DOM Team| 2 Min Read | April 27, 2012

As an agency, we use Google match types as intended and exact match means we only want that exact term to trigger our ads. The same can be said for phrase match- we only want that exact phrase to trigger our ads. Yet, we realize that users do misspell terms and that we cannot devise every variation of keywords…that’s where modified broad plays into our strategy.

My jaw hit the floor when I logged into AdWords last week and saw that Google was going to start inferring variations on our exact and phrase match terms. Really? If I wanted Google to infer exact and phrase match, I would have made them broad in the first place.

After I regain my composure, I click on the link and learn that it’s not as bad as I thought. Google is not treating these as broad as the broad match, but rather pulling “close variants” to the keywords.

I can see the benefit to this option, but it still scares me because the close variants can include: misspellings, singular/plural forms, stemmings, accents and abbreviations. (Sounds a little like broad match to me, yeah?) However, I was relieved to learn that there is an off switch. Under the main Setting tab, scroll to the bottom and find Keyword Matching Options. It looks like this:

Oh, and for all your price conscious folks, have no fear because Google will still use the exact match term to determine your quality score and first page bid estimate.

In all seriousness, this could be great for advertisers who just don’t have the time to research and get the most out of the match types. However, this could be detrimental to a campaign that has close variants which are irrelevant to products/services at hand.

As such, I don’t believe we will be using this feature for our clients, but I would be interested to hear if you have any success or failure with the new option.

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