Changes to Google AdWords Match Types & What It Means For Your Account

Since June 2012, managers of AdWords accounts have had the option to opt in or out of targeting misspellings, plurals and close variations of the keywords within their account. This was great as we could closely control which terms were matching to which search terms and could then in a well split out campaign, tailor ad creative to match exactly what was typed.
However, this is all about to change. After Google released data, stating that ‘at least 7% of Google searches contained a misspelling’, they have decided that this setting will now become an automatic opt in and part of how keywords match to search terms going forward.
So, what does this mean for us as AdWords advertisers? Well, the main difference will be that you will potentially see search terms appearing in multiple areas of your search term report, so it will be important to give this more of an overview than perhaps was previously done when in a rush you only checked the top few keywords.
It also means that you need to dedicate much more time to optimising your negative keyword list. Cross matching across multiple Ad Groups could become a more prominent feature of your account and you need to understand where you want to drive this traffic through and to use Ad Group negative keywords to channel this traffic correctly. Reviewing negative keywords should also become a wider part of your strategy if your keywords through misspelling could relate to a different product or service altogether (I’ll leave that one to your imagination).
On a positive note, this does mean that keywords will now match to searches from a wider audience. It is near impossible to build into an account every possible keyword variation that could be searched for and this ‘new’ matching option will help to increase your understanding of the related searches around your product.
SO, this may be the death of phrase and exact match, but as long as you invest more time in search term analysis and negative keywords, you should be able to turn this to your advantage.
If you are still unsure how this will affect your account, then why not get in touch and have your account reviewed by one of our Google AdWords professionals.

Written by Alex Wright

Head of Search