Google Ads to Phase Out Modified Broad Match

Google announced on Thursday what could be a considerably significant change for many Google Ads campaigns- in two weeks, the broad match modified version of keywords will phase away.

There has always been four main match type versions: Exact Match, Phrase Match, Broad Match and Broad match modifier. Exact match is used for control, broad match for volume with phrase match utilising a combination of the two. After various changes with regards to close variants, it’s no surprise Google wished to further simplify the campaign management process.

Google Ads to Phase Out Modified Broad Match

A Brief History of Match Type Changes

2014: Google ended support for “pure” exact match types when it started requiring all campaigns to use close variants.

2017: Word order and function words were included to close variants for an exact match.

2018: Google began matching search terms that have the same intent as the given keyword to exact match close variants. This included implied words and paraphrases.

2019: Same-meaning close variants were also added to phrase match and broad match modifiers.

Google Ads to Phase Out Modified Broad Match screen

Google Ads to Phase Out Modified Broad Match

What Does This Mean?

Put simply, Google is combining broad match modifier and phrase match types. This means that Phrase match will begin to reach the volumes that broad match modifier reaches, while still following the rule of matching keywords to search terms in their specific order.

Initially, the keyword matching changes are being rolled out slowly, over a number of months, so specific action needs to be made, as data such as conversion rates and volume, will stay where it is while the new matching behaviour phases in.

Google anticipates that this roll out will be complete by July 2021, meaning that broad match modifier keywords and phrases may still be added. Existing broad match modifier keywords will continue to serve, but will be adjusted according to this new update. This means that you willl begin to see slightly less traffic coming through your broad match modifier keywords and slightly more traffic coming through your phrase keywords.

The updated phrase match changes are expected to help reduce account and keywords management time for Google Ads Campaigns.

Thus, it makes sense to migrate these keywords over to Phrase over the next few months, not only so your account can continue to grow as you add additional keyword match types and manage negative kwyqords, but so that this simplification of match types provides additional time to focus on wider goals and strategy.

Google Ads to Phase Out Modified Broad Match

How Does This Update Work?

Traditionally, modified broad match types were less restrictive than phrase match, while still having more control than broad match. This was done by specifying specific search terms that must be included in a search in order for an ad to display.

Phrase match allowed ads to be triggered on the SERP when the phrase is searched in the correct order. However, unlike broad match types, the search could not include words within the middle of a phrase.

While Google isn’t specific, they explain that Phrase Match will now cover both of these needs, while considering whether word order is important.  Through the use of an example (as seen below) Google explains that with this update we needn’t worry about showing up in searches we do not want as it is able to distinguish intent.

Google Ads to Phase Out Modified Broad Match

Google Ads to Phase Out Modified Broad Match

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In a broader context, Google has worked for years to prevent advertisers from focusing on keyword search level as it wants advertisers to focus on personalized targeting and search themes.

This change could save advertisers time managing phrase or exact match keywords, but there is sure to be a lot of time spent revising and adjusting campaigns as traffic will fluctuate as these changes roll out.

At Digital Nomads HQ we’ve always taken the best approach of using various match types to ensure each of our campaigns are performing optimally.

Concerned about how this announcement will impact your Google Ads strategy? Reach out to our experts and we can discuss the best options for your campaign. Our PPC consultants will provide bespoke insight into how your strategy will perform against to all upcoming Google updatesGet in touch with the DNHQ team today!

Google Ads to Phase Out Modified Broad Match

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