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Exact Match Keywords Killed by Default

By Snap Agency August 15, 2014

Google announced this week that starting in September 2014 they are ending optional close variant keyword matching exclusions for Adwords advertisers. Beyond catchy blog titles that you will or have already seen hyping this topic there are very few actual changes that most advertisers or managers will notice. Exact and phrase match are not going away so take a nice deep breath and read on.

Let’s break down our three highlights, what Google says this will mean and what we suspect the actual impact will be.

Extending your reach.

If you are familiar with how exact match and phrase match works within Adwords then you already know it is all about controlling when and where your ads show to potential customers. Google says that relevance is still their goal, they will simply be including misspellings and close matches to your exact and phrase match keywords. According to Google, at least 7% of all searches already include a misspelling or typo of some sort so why not include those in paid search results.

Match types will still exist.

As stated earlier, Google says they are not doing away with your ability to use exact and phrase match types. Despite having variations included by default you may still use those variations implicitly as their own keywords within your account. By doing this you can still control the variation keyword bid and optimize accordingly.

Manage with less complexity.

This is how Google is selling us on the announced change. Do we believe it? Sure we may still have control over match types, and in theory most account managers and advertisers should be able to utilize the new “default” variation inclusion to have basic optimization options. However, experienced managers will most certainly spend the same amount of time if not more generating negative keyword lists, close variation keywords and match types, and setting new rules for bid optimization. Google strives for relevance, we strive for optimization and that is not going to change despite the changing toolbox.

Wrap it up then.

How much pain will we really feel? Probably not much in the long run. If history can continue to be our guide, we would anticipate some extended functionality in the near future to compensate for these newly announced changes.