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Keyword Changes on Google Adwords

Exact match and phrase match keywords are disappearing from Google AdWords.

Google announced that these will be replaced with ‘variation’ or ‘near match’ varients starting in September. What does this mean and how will it affect your Google AdWords campaigns?

What is Google changing?

In a blog post on 14th August Google announced that it will no longer be possible to bid on exact match and phrase match keywords without including ‘close varients’ – keywords that are similar to the entered keyword.

According to Google nearly 10% of Google searches contain a misspelling, and there are other varients that need to be included.

They give the example that if you advertise for the exact match keyword [kid scooters], Google will now show your advert for the search terms “kid scooters”, “kid’s scooter” and “kids scooters”. Until now, ‘exact match’ meant that the ad was only shown for “kid scooters” and not for the variations.

A similar approach will effect phrase match keywords.

Good or Bad?

The official Google statement is that this change is great and that you will get a lot more clicks. But as an advertiser you will have less control over your target keywords as it’s unclear whether the variation keywords will have the same conversion rate as the target keyword.

The cynic in me says this change will be beneficial to Google but might not be beneficial to Google AdWords users. Unfortunately, there’s nothing users can do to prevent this change.

What to do

You could change your phrase match keywords to exact match keywords so that Google can’t add too many unwanted additional keywords to your account. You can also use negative keywords to remove unwanted phrases, but this canbe a very long-winded process.

As is often the case with Google updates we will have to wait and see what happens, assess the impact and make any necessary changes to keep our Adwords campaigns working efficiently.


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