01 May 2012

New Phrase and Exact Keyword Matching in AdWords

When you are putting together your ad campaigns, you want to know that you are snagging as many potential customers as possible. The last thing you want to be worrying about is damage control. Unfortunately, for many PPC advertisers this was inevitable. Because of the way that exact and phrase matching formulas were created, something as small as a misspelled word could keep your ad from showing up when users submitted related search queries. Lucky for you, that’s all about to change because the scope of exact and phrase match related queries in AdWords is about to expand drastically.
Starting in the middle of May, Google has announced that they are releasing a revamped version of their exact and phrase match tools. This upgrade will ensure that your ad will be displayed to relevant customers, even if they slip up and confuse a word or search on a variant. In addition to misspellings, the new formula will work to include other variants of your keywords or phrases including by not limited to acronyms, plural and singular forms, accents, abbreviations and even “stemmings.”
Stemmings refer to base words which can take on a variety of other meanings. For example “Gardening” is a stemming of “Garden.” You can see why it’s so crucial that these words are also being included within the phrase and exact match universe. With the new upgrade, you won’t have to worry about potentially missing out on eager audiences whose phrasing of a search was slightly different from your keyword.
Previously, exact and phrase match options made for more limited returns on search queries. For example if someone triggered your ad on a Phrase match: “keyword” then your ad would have only appeared because it was the in the exact word order. If they searched for “Pizza Delivery” only ads with the words “Pizza Delivery” in that order and spelling would appear. With the new changes, ads will return on searches such as “Fast Piza Delivery” or “Pizza Delivering Now.” Similarly, before with Exact matches, your ad would only appear if the search query matched the keyword exactly and excluded any other words in the search term. Now when someone searches for [Pizza Deliveries] or [Piza Delivery] this will still be considered an exact match on [Pizza Delivery].
These changes will be put into effect automatically, but you can deactivate this new feature should you choose to restrict the exact and phrase match options to exclude variants. When you are modifying a campaign under the “Settings” tab in AdWords, simply click the “Keyword Matching Options” link located inside the “Exact and Phrase Match” section. You’ll want to click the box labeled, “Do not include close variants.” The keyword matching options are located within the “Advanced Settings” section.
Because of the changes, you will also see some differences in the related search terms reports. For example, the “Match type” column will now designate whether the type of search term match was exact or if it was a close variant of your set keywords. You can also segment this data in an attempt to try to get a deeper understand of how your keywords, and their variants, are performing.
One other important thing to know – your exact keyword is used exclusively to calculate your Quality Score and first page bid estimates. Close variants are not included in the determining factor of this number.