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Say Goodbye to This Google Ads Match Type

by: Digital Marketing Team

Are you ready to manage your digital campaigns without it? 

Google knows how to keep us on our toes! Next week, Google will begin to change the way digital marketers manage search ads. Paid search, or search engine marketing (SEM), allows you to appear at the top of the search engine results pages (SERP) based on keywords you bid on that are triggered by the search query of the prospective customer. 

Currently, when building search campaigns within Google Ads, there are four different types of keywords that can qualify to appear for a search term. These are called match types, and they dictate which ad will show up under varying search queries. The first is exact match, which means the ad will only show if the keyword and the associated search are identical. Phrase match allows the ad to serve when a search includes the exact wording of the keyword (or close variations), with additional words before or after. Next up, broad match modifier (BMM) allows an ad to appear when a searcher types the in the exact keywords, variations of the keyword, as well as other related topics. The last is known as “pure” broad, which is basically as broad as you can get while still being somewhat related to the original query. 

In this case, the big change Google is introducing will affect the broad match modifier match type. 

This update expands the phrase match capabilities to include more traffic while respecting word order when necessary and essentially eliminating the need for the broad match modifier. With this shift, digital marketers can still get their keywords included in search results with just phrase match and maintain the same level of relevancy. This update can also help save time when optimizing new campaigns by simplifying the keyword set up and minimizing the sheer volume of keywords that need to be monitored. 

The elimination of broad match modifier in search campaigns will happen slowly over the course of the next few months. Keywords using phrase match will expand to cover the broad match modifier in mid-February 2021. Marketers will not need to migrate any keywords. Then, starting in July 2021, the broad match modifier will no longer be available when setting up new campaigns. However, pre-existing BMM keywords will continue to exist after this update (although we can assume that eventually they’ll become obsolete). 

Even though this change can mean a more efficient way to manage campaigns in the future, it may cause some headaches along the way. That being said, over the coming months, watch out for fluctuations in traffic. Also note that because setting up new search campaigns will require the stricter phrase match, this will require more thoughtful keyword research, a deeper understanding of user intent, and possibly a shift in your bid strategy. 

We know that’s a lot to take in, but don’t worry—we’re here to help! If you aren’t quite sure how these changes will impact your Google search campaigns, feel free to reach out to see how our digital marketing strategists can assist.