Changes to Adwords Match Type from Mid May

By April 19, 2012 PPC No Comments

Starting mid-May, Google is making changes to the match types in Google Adwords – to allow more flexibility, and shorter keyword lists.


Currently, with “phrase match” and [exact match] anything inside [] or “” has to match exactly. Meaning that if you want to use only “” and [] terms, your keyword list will have to be pretty long to include typos, plurals and misspellings.


I loved Broad Match Modifier, where you put a + in front of a word in a broad match search term, and it meant that the search term had to have that exact term (or closer variant) in the search term. This would have covered typos, plurals, misspellings and very close variants. Broad Match Modifier meant you could expand the reach of your campaign, while ensuring that all search terms included specific terms.


Starting mid-May, phrase match and exact match rules will be changing to allow for close variants like misspellings and plurals. This change is to help advertisers by reaching more people with fewer keywords, and to help users who might not be the best typers or spellers! Google says that at least 7% of queries have a misspelling (although I would have imagined it to be more).


When the new matching roles out, you will be automatically opted in, but will be able to opt out on the settings tab at the campaign level – See Advanced Settings.

Google new match types


Broad Match Modifier will still have a place in your keyword lists, especially for any terms longer than one word.

e.g. the broad match +microwaves may soon have the same intent as the phrase match “microwaves” – that is, allowing plurals, singular, typos, etc.

But the term “cheap microwaves” will still mean that the words have to be in that order, whereas the keyword +cheap +microwave would show for

Cheap Microwave
Microwaves cheap


Once the changes go live in Mid-May, I would keep my eye on the “See search terms” report, just to make sure it is matching what you want it to. Then, after a month or so, if it is working ok, you can start tidying up your keyword lists, by removing unnecessary misspelling and variants in “” and [].


I think the biggest benefit will be in campaign structure – allowing more streamlined keyword lists.

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