Explore our Paid media Toolkit

Google AdWords changes match type criteria [@SmartInsights alert]

Author's avatar By Dave Chaffey 22 Aug, 2014
Essential Essential topic

“Close variant” keyword matching to become default by end September can increase clicks by 7% on average

Importance: [rating=4] (If you’re not already using this feature)

Recommended link: AdWords official announcement

Context for the change to match types

The Match types advertisers use in AdWords are important since they control whether relevant ads are displayed to searchers based on the keywords they type. This in turn affects the clickthrough rates, Quality Score and the ROI you get on your campaigns.

Here’s a reminder of the main match types from iProspect:

Match types

What is the change?

In their announcement, Google explain that starting in late September, they’re applying close variant keyword matching to all exact and phrase match keywords. Previously it was possible to opt-out of these.

Close keyword variations include Close variations include misspellings, singular and plural forms, acronyms, stemmings (such as floor and flooring), abbreviations, and accents.

Google gives this example:

"Whether it’s “kid scooters”, “kid’s scooter”, or “kids scooters”, people interested in buying a scooter for their child want to see the most relevant ads despite slight variations in their search query”.

Implications for Marketers

Whether this is relevant to you as an AdWords advertiser and whether you need to discuss with your agency or search specialists depends on whether you have opted out of using close keyword variations previously.

Google estimates that this technique drives an average of 7% more exact and phrase match clicks with comparable clickthrough and conversion rates, so if you’re not using it already it’s a technique we thought worth alerting readers about.

Google also mention a new keyword matching whitepaper which could be worth downloading if you’re not fully up-to-speed on keyword matching.

Author's avatar

By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of online marketing training platform and publisher Smart Insights. Dave is editor of the 100+ templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ digital marketing experts. Our resources are used by our Premium members in more than 100 countries to Plan, Manage and Optimize their digital marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. My personal site, DaveChaffey.com, lists my latest Digital marketing and E-commerce books and support materials including a digital marketing glossary. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.

Recommended Blog Posts