Google Ads expands to consolidate match types

Google announced on Thursday, phrase match will begin to incorporate behaviors of broad match modifier (BMM) to simplify keywords and make it easier to reach relevant audiences. This move makes total sense seeing the state of matching, advertisers need to consider “Phrase” match will begin to perform differently. This change will start rolling out in two weeks.


Both phrase match and broad match modifier will move to the new matching behavior from mid-February. As the change is happening to both match types, advertisers will not have to migrate keywords as their performance data will still stay where it is, just the new matching behavior will start to take place.


Google also mentioned once this new behavior is completely rolled out worldwide by July, advertisers will not be able to create new broad match modifier keywords. Existing broad match modifier keywords will continue to serve under the new behavior.


Google moved on with an example to explain how this new matching mechanism will work. At present, broad match modifier tells Google “these terms must all be present in the search query.” It is expressed by putting a plus sign in front of the keywords required in the search. Whereas the Phrase match traditionally tells Google “the words must appear in this order”. While Google is not specific, they note that Phrase Match will now cover both of these needs, which means that the new matching behavior will consider word order when relevant to the meaning.


For example, the phrase match keyword “moving services NYC to Boston.” will continue to cover searches like “affordable moving services NYC to Boston.” It will also cover searches that traditionally only matched under broad match modifier, such as “NYC corporate moving services to Boston.” Phrase match will not show ads for searches where the direction is reversed (for example, people looking to move from “Boston to New York City”).

Google said the updated phrase match will continue to respect word order when it’s important to the meaning. Google also provided the following examples to demonstrate how matching behavior will change after this update:

“We’ve seen that phrase match and broad match modifier often serve the same use cases, and that you can reach more of the right customers through a combination of the two,” Google said.

Sources: searchenginejournal.com, searchengineland.com

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