Fush And Clicks

A Blog On All Things Digital (And Not).

Google Revised Match Types

on April 18, 2012

Today we noticed Google pushing out notifications about an upcoming revision in mid-May to the exact and phrase-match types across search campaigns. More information can be found here.


It appears to have been rolled out globally from an earlier beta alluded in this post, with the change is intended to be a means of increasing coverage and volume on Exact and Phrase match keywords, finding incremental traffic with minimum effort. From our understanding, it now appears that matching is now broadened to include misspellings, variants, plurals, acronyms, accents, abbreviations and stemmings. From the example they provide, an exact match keyword can now show up against a misspelling for that keyword.Google states that quality score and first page bid estimates would not be affected as these would still be calculated based on the exact keyword itself. Also, there’s the option to restrict the variant match types by navigating to each of the campaign settings. But this needs to be manually changed after the switchover for each campaign that does not want to use the variant.

Trials from the beta reportedly resulted in a 6.5% increase in click volume and a 9.8% increase in impression value. At first glance, it sounds great if we can easily get additional traffic but we’ll also need to carefully monitor the impact of the change for our clients. For example based on the beta results it would appear that clickthrough would fall based on the increased broadness of the matching.

For some cases it will mean reviewing the keywords lists to identify any misspellings or other variants we don’t want to appear against (e.g. cars vs. cards) and running a few experiments to compare the difference between campaigns that have been opted out of the setting. In the meantime, we’ll monitor industry press or Google updates to keep updated on what the likely impact may be.

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