Google recently announced that they are Improving Exact and Phrase Match on Google AdWords. This is a really important change that’s happening right now (mid May). If you’re advertising on Google AdWords, today’s post is going to be super important for you.
So what’s Google doing? Basically, they are expanding the reach of exact and phrase. In addition to their classical definitions, both exact and phrase will now match to close variations (such as plurals and misspellings). An example: Let’s say you’re buying [mortgage]. It could now match to [mortgages] or even [mmortgage].
For advertisers who are smaller and have fewer overall keywords in their accounts, this could actually help. You’ll automatically match to more keywords (which should perform more-or-less similar since the variations are really close). You’re going to get more traffic (and hopefully conversions)! However, if you have a larger account with all the variations, this change could create some mapping and bidding issues. Why? When you’re large, it’s all about control. While a small advertiser may just have the word [mortgage] in their account, the large advertiser may already have [mortgage], [mortgages], and [mmortgage]. Moreover, the really savvy advertiser will have these split into separate adgroups with custom ads (and will have all three variations bid at different levels depending on their performance). With Google’s change, you don’t know which one will get triggered and you may therefore potentially deliver the wrong ad to the user. Moreover, you may overpay on some variations if you have lower bids set for them.
However, don’t worry! Right now, you can go into your advanced campaign settings and opt out if you’d like. My advice: Whether you are a smaller advertiser or larger, I recommend testing selectively. You’ll want to opt out for most campaigns, but opt in a few test campaigns. Then, you’ll want to test and see how the new exact and phrase matching do in your test campaigns as compared to the controls.
Also, keep in mind that the new matching will not affect quality score. Quality score is only calculated on Google.com for the exact query you are buying. That is good news! The net effect: I think this is a good change Google is making and I’m thrilled they give the advertiser the control to opt out if they’d like.
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