We’ve mentioned countlessly the many changes Google is making to AdWords, especially after Google Marketing Next 2017 which focused on innovations to landing pages, and the introduction of Unique Reach in Display Search Ads and targeting of relevant audiences with ads, and new tools such as Google Optimize and Google 360 among many other topics. And most recently Google has made a particular change to AdWords to eliminate word order and function words, in a continued attempt to attach even more potentially relevant search queries to the ads that are featured in Google by millions of advertisers. We’ve talked endlessly about close variants and the impact of features like Broad Match and Phrase Match in generating generating more web visitors to your website so you can increase your conversions and gain insight into the intended queries behind search terms that are linked to your ads. However we really must consider if this change to Exact Match is really as effective as Google’s expects since many marketers are already succeeding with Exact Match.
The recent changes to Exact Match will account for word ordering and function words, so Google will disregard both these variations when deciding whether any set of queries will trigger Exact Match in PPC ads. Google first introduced covariants to advertisers in 2012 to appeal to a much broader range of potential buyers so AdWords users could generate more revenue, and then removed the ability of users to eliminate covariants in Exact Match to continue helping advertisers experience success with the tool. However this was a huge blow, so we are wondering how effective the current changes will be since diluting Exact Match to begin with wasn’t hugely successful.
In terms of the details of the latest changes, they include changes to:
This includes words like, the, that, and, but, all, some, could, would, and hedging verbs like be, might, or will. Examples are below:
Reason Behind Match
|Employment United States||Employment in the United States||Function Words Added|
|Rivers in New Jersey||New Jersey rivers||Function Words Removed|
|World Updates for today||World updates from today||Function Words Changed|
Exact Match will now take into account word orders behind intended queries, once again to broaden the range of potential users who are trying to make Exact Match queries. Examples are below:
Reason Behind Query
|Women’s Purses||Purses Women||Words Reordered|
As mentioned earlier, covariants like Broad Match and Phrase Match have been shown to help marketers attach relevant search queries to the keywords of many search ads, so more traffic is driven to advertisers’ websites and more conversions created as a result. Broad Match is actually a default match type that marketers can account for variations in keywords, such as synonyms, misspellings, stemmings, singular and plural forms, etc., in order to attract more relevant queries to PPC ads. In Phrase Match, Exact Phrase Match will trigger your ad, but your ad will get triggered even when someone searches for close variants of Phrase Match keywords, once again accounting for misspellings, singular and plural forms, acronyms, stemming, abbreviations, and accents. While these have been effective for those search queries which fall into those categories, wouldn’t further modifications to Exact Match blur the lines amongst all close variants, eliminating the point of it altogether?
Opponents of the change are saying that Exact March is fine the way it is and that it shouldn’t be changed, however we have wonder why Google would even initiate it in the first place? Some sources claim that Google’s data is telling them it will make money for them, but wouldn’t they avert these changes knowing in the long range they would avert larger name advertisers from using the system since queries may not be as accurately matched to their PPC ads? Where does the line get drawn between Exact Match and the already effective covariants that are accounting for these variations in search queries?
For whatever the situation may be, advertisers must be aware of how they will address the issue, since the blurred definitions could potentially create issues for advertisers who are genuinely looking to generate income from all the exact matches that are coming their way. So in spite of the changes, I would say one of the feature activities would be to ensure those Exact Match keywords that immediately pertain to your PPC ads will be accounted for in your ad campaigns, and that the design and overall structure of your ads will directly appeal to those users who are likely to make those Exact Match queries. Titles, keywords, and perhaps landing pages with a strong call to action. For whatever decision you make, it’s important to know that it’s in your power to modify your campaigns around a change that could potentially be disempowering and still generate revenue in spite of it.
If you are looking to optimize any other aspects of your ad campaigns which could help you compensate for the changes being made to Exact Match, check out our AdWords Grader here.