Do These 3 Things Before Google Changes How Keyword Match Types Work


Do These 3 Things Before Google Changes How Keyword Match Types Work

Google Ads announced another round of updates to how close variants will work. Follow these tips to ensure you can take advantage of this latest change.

UPDATE: Broad vs Phrase vs Exact Match

When it comes to Google Ads, there are three main match types: broad match, phrase match, and exact match.

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Broad match is the most flexible option, allowing your ad to show up for a wide variety of searches that are related to your keywords. Phrase match is slightly more restrictive as it allows you to show your ads on searches that include the meaning of your keyword. Exact match is the most restrictive option, only showing your ad when someone searches for a very close match to your keyword phrase. Which option(s) should you choose? In this video we’ll discuss the similarities and differences of the match types, and what combination could work best for your business.

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Use Google Ad Keyword Match Types The Right Way in 2021

Learn how to create a successful Google Ad in 2021 by using the right Keyword Match types. Understanding match types is your first step to having a cost-effective and successful google ppc search ad campaign. When you learn how to better control when your ad will be displayed, you can take full control over your cost and your budget.

This is part of our series on how to create a better google ad campaign from scratch. You can watch over my shoulder as I go step by step thru all the settings and strategies you should follow to create a google ppc search campaign from scratch.

Here are the 8 videos in this series. Created by

1. Create a Google Ad Campaign From Scratch (Step by Step Guide Introduction)
[introduction to creating a google ad campaign]

2. How To Use Google Ad Keyword Match Types The Right Way in 2021
{keyword match types]

3. Create a Better Google Ad in 2021 With These Campaign Settings
[Campaign Creation & Settings]

4. Ad Group Settings for a Better Google Ad Campaign in 2021
{Ad Group Keywords & Budgeting]

5. Create Better Responsive Google Ads in 2021 (Step by Step Guide)
[Responsive Ad Creation & Text Ads]

6. How To Use The Google Keyword Planner 2021 (Step By Step Guide)
[keyword research/keyword planner tool]

7. How To Use The Google Ad Dashboard to Run A Better Search Ad (2021 Guide)
{Google Ad Dashboard / Going Live]

8. Optimize Your Google Ad Search Campaign in 2021
[Review Results & Optimizations}

Created by the team at

If you have any questions about google ad campaigns, we can help! Email us directly at [email protected]

Important (Feb. 2021) Google Ads Keyword Match Type Changes Explained

Did you know about the upcoming Google Ads phrase and broad match modifier keyword match type changes starting February 18th, 2021?

Watch this video to learn everything you have to know about the upcoming changes and how they’re going to affect you.

Table of contents:

0:00 – Introduction
1:07 – Why these changes are happening
2:20 – Change #1
7:28 – Change #2
9:15 – How does this affect you?

Part 1: Why these changes are happening

Google is shifting towards a more automated/machine-learning approach.

Ideally, they want to be able to sell you as many customers as you want and be the “broker” with guaranteed sales.

Obviously this isn’t possible right now, but it could be with the billions of dollars Google has to get to know their customer base and thus be able to show your ads to the right people.

This is why they introduced various exact match type keyword changes in the past already, and why they introduced machine-learning bidding strategies, like target CPA or target ROAS.

They are slowly shifting towards an automated approach and want you to join them in the process.

The change I’m about to discuss in this video involves a little bit of this “automation”, so let’s go through the changes and see how this applies.

Part 2: Change #1

For a more detailed overview of the changes, see Google’s official post:

�� Google Ads official keyword match type changes post:

The first main change pertains to the phrase keyword match type.

The order of the words in this match type WILL NO LONGER MATTER, which means it’ll be 100% exactly the same as the broad match modifier match type.

HOWEVER – Google will still respect the order of the words you have in the keyword if it makes sense.

For example, if your keyword is “trip from New York to Chicago”, as long as all the words in this keyword are in the search term, your ad will show up.

BUT – in this specific case, the order of the words DOES matter – namely, if someone types “trip from Chicago to New York”, your ad will NOT show up because Google deems that the order in this specific case matters, and so it has to respect the order of these words.

On the other hand, if your keyword is “buy flowers”, and someone types in “flowers buy”, your ad WILL show up because the order of the words in this case does NOT matter.

See where this “machine-learning” comes in?

Google will determine where the order of the words matters or not and show your ads accordingly.

That said, let’s look at the 2nd change…

Part 3: Change #2

The second change relates to the first.

Namely, the broad match modifier keyword will now be the exact same as the phrase match type…

And you will no longer be able to create any new broad match modifier keywords as of July 2021.

In the meantime however, if you do want to add new BMM keywords, you can just add a little plus sign at the beginning of the keyword and that will be enough to trigger the broad match modifier.

(Before, you had to add a plus sign in front of EVERY word in the keyword).

That’s about it for the changes – let’s move on to the final part of this Google Ads changes video.

Part 4: How does this affect you?

The main takeaway here is for you to go through your phrase match types if you have any and make sure that if you reverse the order of the words or have them in any order, you still want your ad to show up.

Keywords such as “Halloween party” for example – would you want someone typing in “birthday party on Halloween” for example and seeing your ad? Maybe, maybe not. That’s for you to decide.

But if not, you would want to go in and add negative keywords.

We do not know how good this Google system will be and how far they will go to respect the order of the words in your phrase match keyword.

If your keyword is “Halloween party” and someone types in “birthday party during Halloween”, will Google still show your ad? We don’t know and we’ll just have to wait and see how good Google’s automated system really is.

But we do know that in general the search volume for your phrase match keywords will go up and the search volume for broad match modifier keywords will go down.

And that’s the summary of the upcoming Google Ads keyword match type changes starting February 18th, 2021!

Additional resources:

�� Google Ads official keyword match type changes post:

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Keyword Match Types in Google Ads: How to Use the 3 That are Left

Once upon a time, there were 4 available match types in Google Ads. But as of February 2021, there are now only 3 left.

The broad match modifier is now no more. The 3 remaining match types are broad match, “phrase match” and [exact match].

Learn more about using match types and how to set them up in the Google Ads platform.

Root and Branch offers free digital marketing training and tips focused on Google Analytics, Google Ads, Google Tag Manager, and SEO.

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