Did you know about the upcoming Google Ads phrase and broad match modifier keyword match type changes starting February 18th, 2021?
Keep on reading or watch this video to learn everything you have to know about the upcoming changes and how they’re going to affect you.
Part 1: Why these changes are happening
Google is shifting towards a more automated/machine-learning approach.
Ideally, they want to be able to sell you as many customers as you want and be the “broker” with guaranteed sales.
Obviously this isn’t possible right now, but it could be with the billions of dollars Google has to get to know their customer base and thus be able to show your ads to the right people.
This is why they introduced various exact match type keyword changes in the past already, and why they introduced machine-learning bidding strategies, like target CPA or target ROAS.
They are slowly shifting towards an automated approach and want you to join them in the process.
The change I’m about to discuss in this video involves a little bit of this “automation”, so let’s go through the changes and see how this applies.
Part 2: Change #1
For a more detailed overview of the changes, see Google’s official post:
The first main change pertains to the phrase keyword match type.
The order of the words in this match type WILL NO LONGER MATTER, which means it’ll be 100% exactly the same as the broad match modifier match type.
HOWEVER – Google will still respect the order of the words you have in the keyword if it makes sense.
For example, if your keyword is “trip from New York to Chicago”, as long as all the words in this keyword are in the search term, your ad will show up.
BUT – in this specific case, the order of the words DOES matter – namely, if someone types “trip from Chicago to New York”, your ad will NOT show up because Google deems that the order in this specific case matters, and so it has to respect the order of these words.
On the other hand, if your keyword is “buy flowers”, and someone types in “flowers buy”, your ad WILL show up because the order of the words in this case does NOT matter.
See where this “machine-learning” comes in?
Google will determine where the order of the words matters or not and show your ads accordingly.
That said, let’s look at the 2nd change…
Part 3: Change #2
The second change relates to the first.
Namely, the broad match modifier keyword will now be the exact same as the phrase match type…
And you will no longer be able to create any new broad match modifier keywords as of July 2021.
In the meantime however, if you do want to add new BMM keywords, you can just add a little plus sign at the beginning of the keyword and that will be enough to trigger the broad match modifier.
(Before, you had to add a plus sign in front of EVERY word in the keyword).
That’s about it for the changes – let’s move on to the final part of this Google Ads changes video.
Part 4: How does this affect you?
The main takeaway here is for you to go through your phrase match types if you have any and make sure that if you reverse the order of the words or have them in any order, you still want your ad to show up.
Keywords such as “Halloween party” for example – would you want someone typing in “birthday party on Halloween” for example and seeing your ad? Maybe, maybe not. That’s for you to decide.
But if not, you would want to go in and add negative keywords.
We do not know how good this Google system will be and how far they will go to respect the order of the words in your phrase match keyword.
If your keyword is “Halloween party” and someone types in “birthday party during Halloween”, will Google still show your ad? We don’t know and we’ll just have to wait and see how good Google’s automated system really is.
But we do know that in general the search volume for your phrase match keywords will go up and the search volume for broad match modifier keywords will go down.
And that’s the summary of the upcoming Google Ads keyword match type changes starting February 18th, 2021!
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