Google Tweaks Phrase and Exact Match Keyword Behavior

Kye Mou
April 18, 2012

Yesterday, Google announced changes to the way phrase and exact match type keywords will behave in AdWords. Traditionally, advertisers have had to compile large keyword lists to account for misspellings, plurals and other keyword variations. Starting mid-May, AdWords’ phrase and exact match keywords will begin matching close variants, including:

  • Misspellings (“waterproof sunblock” will match “waterpoof sunblock”)
  • Singular/plural forms (“bollard cover” will match “bollard covers”)
  • Acronyms (“MLB” will match “Major League Baseball”)
  • Stemmings (“single serving coffee” will match “single serve coffee”)
  • Abbreviations (“st.” will match “street”)
  • Accents (“cliché” will match “cliche”)

AdWords Phrase Exact Match Type Matching Updates

This level of matching is already baked into Google’s organic algorithm, but the impact it will have on search advertisers has yet to be seen. Initial Google testing yielded a 3% increase in clicks, with comparable CPCs, however those who don’t want the potential for more clicks have the option to opt out.

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