Google Ends Exact and Phrase Keyword Match Ability in AdWords; Now Applying Close Variant Keyword Matching

Since we’re not all “perfet tpists” it translates that according to Google at least 7% of Google searches contain a misspelling. But, even given that, we don’t all search the same way. We may not all use the same terminology or phrase to find what we want. But, we still want to connect with the businesses, products, and services they’re trying to find.

Perfect Matching

So whether I’m searching out “Kid’s swimming lessons”, “kids swim lessons” or “kids swimming lesson”, people interested in swimming lessons for their child want to see the most relevant ads there – despite their variations in search queries.

That’s why starting in September Google is applying close variant keyword matching, an intuitive way to connect people with the businesses they’re searching for, to all exact and phrase match keywords.

To be fair this has always been a feature, but there was an opt out to that feature for those wanting exact matches only. That won’t be the case anymore.

Reach More Customers

According to Google, “a vast majority of you are already matching to close keyword variations, receiving an average of 7% more exact and phrase match clicks with comparable click-through and conversion rates. In addition to increased keyword coverage, these incremental clicks represent valuable opportunities that are missed by “Low search volume” keywords, common for misspellings and abbreviations.”

An example of what this means:

Shopify – “We’re passionate about achieving high-efficiency, high impact, and high relevance with our customers. Having our keywords match to close variations allows us to do exactly that. Additional matches like “online shopping” to the keyword “online shop” resulted in a 100% increase in relevant clicks across exact and phrase match keywords–with cost per click remaining steady. What’s more, we’ve gained valuable time savings since manually adding misspelled keywords to our campaigns is now unnecessary.”

Less Complexity

In September this variant keyword matching will apply to everyone. Many may not notice the difference. Those that do, may realize an improved per click-through rate as well.

So this update means no longer building “exhaustive lists of misspelled, abbreviated, and other close variations of your keywords to get the coverage you want,” instead allowing your team to focus on negative keywords to shape your traffic and reduce cost.

“Keep in mind that the AdWords system prefers to trigger ads using keywords that are identical to search queries, so you can still use misspelled, abbreviated, and other close variations of your keywords. If you find that performance varies much between close variants, you can add the better performing ones as separate keywords and adjust their bids accordingly.”

In Conclusion

This may not change much for many PPC advertisers, but if handled correctly it can improve your campaign’s ROI with an improved click-through rate and lower cost per click.

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