In February 2021, Google announced that it will be changing how the search engine triggers ads – in the biggest change to the platform in many years. In short – Google are changing the way in which keywords are targeted and changing the definitions of their match types. Say goodbye to your trusty ‘Broad Match Modifiers’ and hello to a new type of ‘Phrase Match’.
The change relates to how a person’s search within Google triggers ads. Previously, one option to target ads was through using Broad Match Modifiers in your keywords. This meant that Google would show your ads to those who search for those words, even if they had typed them in a different order or added extra terms into the search.
In the update that is soon to be implemented, this match type is being combined with another called ‘Phrase Match’. This type only allows for your search to appear if a person types in your keywords in the correct order and have only added additional terms at the beginning or end of the phrase.
For example, if my keyword was ‘Facebook Advertising’ and a potential client searched for “Advertising on Facebook” my ad would appear using the broad match modified match type but not phrase match. For the same keyword, if a client searched for “Facebook Advertising Agency” my ad could be triggered by phrase match types.
Basically, rather than a phrase match only triggering when additional keywords are placed before or after your specified term, it will now also trigger when those additional terms are placed within the phrase. It will also respect the order of the search to “preserve the searchers intended meaning”.
Google has stated that this change was brought on by their ‘improved understanding of intent’ and aims to ‘make it easier for you to reach your customers’.
However, this change does have the potential to tighten your targeting and, if you’re using a lot of broad match modifiers, reduce the impressions your account is recording.
Not ones to sit around – the Google update will start taking effect from Mid-February. While broad match modifiers will remain active in your account until July, when the global roll out is completed, they will begin using the new matching behaviour in as little as two weeks.
Change can be terrifying, but if you were looking for an edge in the hyper competitive Google Ads landscape – this could be it! Google loves accounts that take on their updates quickly, and a swift transition of your campaign structure could bump you up those ad positions and lower your costs.
If you’re worried about how these changes will impact your account, let us know! Our Google Ads Specialist can look over your account and let you know your risk levels.
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