Google PPC Update, Changes to Keyword Types.

Google PPC Update February 2021 - Changes to Keyword Types

Last night Google announced that they were making updates to ‘Phrase’ and ‘Broad Match Modified’ keyword types. What are these changes to keyword types and will the changes affect your PPC account?

What is changing?

Google made the announcement last night (4th of February 2021) that they will be merging the two different match types of Broad Match and Phrase Match Modifier together.

Starting on February 18th, phrase and BMM (Broad Match Modifier) keywords will begin to match the same user searches.

With this updated matching behaviour, ads may show on searches that include the same or more specific meaning as your keyword.

This can lead to an increase in traffic on any phrase match keywords and a slight decrease in traffic on any BMM keywords.

To simplify keyword match types, this new phrase match will fully replace BMM by July.

E-mail sent by Google Ads on the 4th of Feb 2021 : Important: Updates to phrase and broad match modified keywords.

With the gradual improvements over the years, Google announced that Broad Match and Phrase Match have become very similar and serving the same queries.

Therefore, Broad Match Modifiers will now have the same matching behaviours as Phrase Match.

Previously there were three match types available to use, Broad, Phrase and Exact. You can read a more detailed blog post about PPC Match types here .

Broad MatchPhrase MatchExact Match
Ads may show on searches that Relate to your keyword.Ads may show on searches that Include the meaning of your keyword.Ads may show on searches that are the same meaning as your keyword your keyword.
Keyword: Lawn Aeration PricesKeyword:Lawn Mowing Service Near MeKeyword:Grass Cutting Service
Loose Keyword MatchingModerate Keyword MatchingTight Keyword Matching

In July 2021, you will no longer be able to create campaigns using Broad Match Modified keywords. Although existing Broad Match terms will remain in your campaigns for the coming months, these will use the new combined match type behaviour.

Therefore, when creating campaigns, theres no real benefit to using legacy Broad Match types as these are being phased out.

To give you more control and better reach, we’re bringing the best of broad match modifier into phrase match.

As a result, phrase match will expand to cover additional broad match modifier traffic, while continuing to respect word order when it’s important to the meaning.

This makes it easier to reach customers and manage keywords in your account.

https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/10346549

How will it affect your PPC campaigns?

Google claims that this change will streamline keyword management as well as save time.

They are starting to phase out Broad Match modified keywords and will begin the process in February 2021, hoping to complete this roll out by July 2021.

Conclusion: As Google becomes more and more intelligent and machine learning becomes more involved, it is possible that Google has enough data to understand a basic search query and use conversational language and semantics to appreciate a users intent.

Previously, to control exactly when your ads appeared, search engines relied heavily on keyword match types. Whereas now Google believes it is intelligent enough to handle many more queries itself.

Therefore, I would suggest keeping a much closer eye on your keyword data over the coming months as changes roll out. If Google’s merged Broad and Phrase Match terms are not delivering results for you, it might be necessary to utilise negative keywords much more heavily going forwards to keep an element of control.

Amanda White PPC Consultant and online digital marketing specialist.

Published by amandawhitedigital

Amanda White is an SEO specialist with over ten years of experience working with some of the largest eCommerce websites in the UK with both an agency and in house background.

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