Google Updates Phrase & Broad Match Modifier Keywords

Google recently announced an update to the matching behaviour of phrase and broad match modifier keywords.So, what does this mean for our clients and PPC advertisers out there?The concept behind this change is to bring the best from broad match modifier to phrase match. The aim is to increase traffic and maintain control, enabling you to reach customers irrespective of how they are searching.


Previously with broad match modifier, it was necessary for keywords to match search queries that include the same words as the keyword (or close variants). However the ordering of the words did not matter.


By comparison, phrase match keywords required keywords to appear in the order of the search query. By combining the two, the proposed behaviour is designed to achieve the best of both worlds by concentrating on word ordering when it is important to the meaning.


During the transition period, traffic will fluctuate meaning optimisation is more crucial than ever. Advertisers are advised to closely monitor campaign performance throughout this period and shift budgets where necessary.


Monitoring negative keywords will be pivotal. It is imperative that we keep a close eye on duplication and redundant keywords. This could be a natural impact of this behaviour change. Google will help us stay on top of these points within the recommendations section to ensure you are not showing up for irrelevant search and keeping your account in optimum shape.


The good news is that broad match keywords will continue to work for advertisers so there is no need to rush and amend the keywords within your campaigns. You may wish to convert your BMM keywords to phrase match and in this instance, Google have announced that additional tools will be made available throughout the year to help remove duplicate BMM and phrase match keywords.


For simplicity, our advice would be to add any new keywords as phrase match from this point forward.


This change has been introduced to provide an increase in reach. The new behaviour distinguishes intent therefore making your keywords work harder as there is now consideration as to whether the ordering of the query makes sense.


Overall, this will mean less time managing keywords for all the Account Managers out there, particularly when running a smart bidding campaign. However we strongly advise closely monitoring these changes throughout the transition period.


If you would like any help or advice relating to this announcement, please contact us and we will be happy to help.