Improving exact match and phrase match (Ad Words PPC)

When people search for your products or services, they probably misspell a word every so often. In mid-May, we’re making improvements to our exact and phrase matching options so your ad will be eligible to show when people search for close variants — yes, that includes misspellings — of your keywords. In addition to misspellings, other close variants include singular and plural forms, acronyms, stemmings (such as floor andflooring), abbreviations, and accents.

With our improved exact matching and phrase matching, you can better target your ads, helping to improve your clicks and impressions.

Improvements to exact match and phrase match

With our improved exact and phrase matching, we’ll also show your ad when someone searches for close variants of your exact match and phrase match keyword. This means you can broaden your reach to customers who search for close variants of your keywords, while still having more precise control over which search terms trigger your ads.

Example

Exact match keyword Ads may show on searches for Ads won’t show on searches for

[tennis shoes]

tennis shoes red tennis shoes
tenis shoe buy tennis shoes
Phrase match keyword Ads may show on searches for Ads won’t show on searches for

“tennis shoes”

red tennis shoes shoes for tennis
red tenis shoes tennis sneakers

 Note

We’ll use your exact keyword, and not close variants, to determine your Quality Score andfirst page bid estimate. This means that when a close variant of your exact match keyword shows your ad, it won’t affect your Quality Score or first page bid estimate.

Choosing your exact match and phrase match option

In mid-May, your exact match and phrase match keywords will automatically be eligible to show your ads for close variants. We recommend that you keep this default match setting for your exact match and phrase match keywords. However, if you’d like to restrict your exact match and phrase match targeting for new campaigns or existing ones, follow the steps below.

Here’s how to restrict exact and phrase matching for new campaigns:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at http://adwords.google.com New Window
  2. Click the Campaigns tab.
  3. Click +New campaign.
  4. Scroll to the “Advanced settings” section. Click the Keyword matching options link.
  5. In the “Exact and phrase match” section, select Do not include close variants.

Here’s how to restrict exact and phrase matching for existing campaigns:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at http://adwords.google.comNew Window
  2. Click the Campaigns tab. Select the campaign you’d like to change the matching options for.
  3. Click the Settings tab.
  4. Scroll to the “Advanced settings” section. Click the Keyword matching options link.
  5. In the “Exact and phrase match” section, select Do not include close variants.

Keep in mind

When you narrow your exact and phrase matching, your ads won’t show for close variants of both your exact match and phrase match keywords. Since your ads are only eligible to show when someone searches for your exact keyword, or your exact keyword with additional words before or after it, you might not receive as many impressions or clicks.

Performance and reporting

Viewing a search terms report

When you view a search term report, you’ll see a “Match type” column that tells you how closely the search terms that triggered your ads on Google are related to the actual keywords in your account. With the improvements we’re making to exact match and phrase match, you’ll see some changes to the “Match type” column.

Here are the additional search terms match types you’ll see when you view the “Match type” column:

  • Exact match (close variants): The search term is considered to be a close variant of a keyword from your account.
  • Phrase match (close variants): The search term contains a close variant of a keyword from your account.

Remember, close variants include misspellings, singular and plural forms, acronyms, stemmings (such as floor and flooring), abbreviations, and accents.

Example

Let’s say you have two ad groups with the following keywords:

  • Ad group A, with the exact match keyword [purple flowers]
  • Ad group B, with the phrase match keyword “purple flowers”

This table shows the match type that appears in the column, depending on the search term and the ads it triggered:

Your keyword

Search term

Search term match type

Reason

“purple flowers” purple flowrs Exact match (close variant) The search term is a close variant (misspelling) of your exact match keyword from ad group A.
“purple flowers” free purple flowrs Phrase match (close variants) The search term is a close variant (misspelling) of your phrase match keyword from ad group B.

Using segments to view your keyword performance data

You can segment your keyword performance data by search terms match type to help you understand how actual search terms relate to the keyword you have in your account. Here’s an example of how your improved exact match and phrase match keywords will appear when you segment your data by search terms match type.

Example

Let’s say you have a keyword, dog toys, that you’ve set to broad match. If the customer searches for buy dog toys or buy dogs toys, the search terms match type will be phrase. If the customer’s search is dog toys or dogs toys, the search term match type will be exact.

Your keyword Search term Search terms match type
dog toys buy dog toys Phrase match
buy dogs toys
dog toys dog toys Exact match
dogs toys

Next steps

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