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Adwords: Improving exact match and phrase match

 10:33 am on Apr 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

Saw this announcement today on Adwords: [support.google.com]

With our improved exact and phrase matching, we'll also show your ad when someone searches for close variants of your exact match and phrase match keyword. This means you can broaden your reach to customers who search for close variants of your keywords, while still having more precise control over which search terms trigger your ads.

Example given was that an exact match of

[tennis shoes]

would now trigger ads for

tennis shoes
tenis shoe

So, effectively there is no such thing as exact match now?

[edited by: engine at 4:26 pm (utc) on Apr 18, 2012]
[edit reason] added link [/edit]



 12:24 pm on Apr 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

So, effectively there is no such thing as exact match now?

That's what I gathered from it too. IMO, this should be applied to phrase match, not exact match. This seems like an obvious revenue booster for Google.


 4:28 pm on Apr 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

Here's the official announcement

New matching behavior for phrase and exact match keywords [adwords.blogspot.co.uk]
Starting in mid-May, phrase and exact match keywords will match close variants, including misspellings, singular/plural forms, stemmings, accents and abbreviations. Based on our research and testing, we believe these changes will be broadly beneficial for users and advertisers.


 4:57 pm on Apr 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

An alarm bell went off when I saw the Google announcement that began 'Good news...'. I think the translation of the announcement is: In case you were carefully targetting your phrases to get more clicks for your budget, from mid May Google will claw back the extra clicks you were getting so you'll have to pay more.


 5:04 pm on Apr 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

They still gave an option to turn this feature off on the campaign level.

So one may create two identical campaigns, one with this feature ON and the other one with OFF setting.

I would still prefer that they introduced a new keyword variant like they did with broad match and plus sign.

At the end, this is positive as long as they leave some options on the table so we have the control over it.

Plus, this is yet another step that made paid and organic search be closer. I see this happening all the time from both sides.


 5:09 pm on Apr 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

It seems to me like the negative match list is going to have to expand, assuming it'll work like that.

I did note this from the announcement.
If you don’t want the potential for more clicks and prefer to maintain the current matching behavior in your campaign, you’ll still have that option. In the coming weeks, we’ll begin rolling out controls which will allow you to adjust your keyword matching options.

So, perhaps there will be an option to deselect the new matching.


 1:32 am on Apr 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

There is definitely the option to opt-in or opt-out of this new matching feature. Obviously, mis-spellings & many variations will need to be reviewed along with negatives. I see this as good & bad depending on the person managing the account & clients needs. More changes by the Google machine


 2:22 am on Apr 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

If someone wasn't really wanting to tackle the nuances of Adwords before they sure won't be any more thrilled with the prospect now.


 4:19 am on Apr 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

If it is opt-out for campaigns currently running, it is just another over the top cash grab by Google taking advantage of advertisers who are to busy or don't know enough to shut it off. What if your auto-ship supplier of widgets decided they were going to ship you all the exact products you ordered and some they thought were close, bill you for all of them and refuse to issue a refund?


 9:19 am on Apr 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

Do we know if campaign-level on/off will be the only way to control this?

broad match and plus sign

I didn't know about this. Are there any other matching tweaks available?

supplier of widgets decided they were going to ship you all the exact products you ordered and some they thought were close, bill you for all of them

This happens a lot in my niche unfortunately.


 9:14 am on Apr 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

I suppose the unavoidable effect of this keyword matching change on advertisers is this:

In my campaign over the last 30 days, [small widgets] received 164 clicks at $0.18/click and [small widget] received 181 clicks at $0.04/click. Once this change goes into effect, most people won't opt out and everyone bidding on [small widgets] and not bidding on [small widget] will all-of-a-sudden be bidding on both and the average CPC of [small widget] will rise to closely match that of [small widgets]. This could be a seriously large revenue increaser for Google.

Opting out will still allow the most granular control of my bids to coincide with ROI. Not opting out will mean picking up some keywords that aren't in my list. I'm not sure which way to go. What do you guys plan to do?


 4:28 pm on Jul 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

Not sure which way to go either, any recommendations?


 6:35 am on Jul 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

Have opted in for the moment. Can't blame google really, fairly clear revenue booster.


 2:43 pm on Jul 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

some more discussion of it here:

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