February 18th, 2021 is the day ‘Broad Match Modified’ keywords will die on Google Ads.
When I first read this news headline I was quite upset as this type of keyword matching is vital for creating campaigns that outperform some of the other types of matching within Google Ads. But once I read through what Google ads was actually doing I was pleased. First I’ll share Google’s announcement, then I’ll unpack its impact a little bit.
Google Ads Broad Match Modified Announcement
Starting on February 18th, phrase and ‘Broad Matched Modified’ aka BMM keywords will begin to match the same user searches. With this updated matching behavior, 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.
What Are Modified Broad Match Keywords?
Modified broad match can be viewed as a sort of middle ground between broad match and the more restrictive match types below. It allows you to reach a similarly wide audience, but better control who sees your ad by “locking” individual words in a key phrase using the “+” parameter. When you add the plus sign in front of a term in your keyword, you’re telling Google that the search query must include that term.
Modified Broad Match
For instance, let’s say you enabled modified broad match in Google Ads for the keyword “gel batteries.” If you append the “+” parameter to the word “gel,” Google can only match your ads to queries that include the word gel. If you append it to the word “batteries,” search queries must include that word before you ad can enter the auction.
What Does This Google Ads Announcement Mean?
In short, for most advertisers, this will mean very little to them unless they are fairly advanced in their campaign management. In fact, when we audit Google Ads accounts that we take over from other agencies we often find that Broad Match Modifiers are used sparingly much to the detriment of the client. For those more advanced who have used Broad Match Modifiers as part of their overall strategy, this should actually simplify things as it means one less type of keyword type within the Google Ads platform.
How The Death Of Broad Match Modified Will Impact Your Campaigns
For most businesses, they will see little impact. In fact, I think overall this is good news for the less sophisticated businesses as it will actually open up a whole lot more Google Ads impressions to their accounts. So if you’ve setup Phrase Match keywords, they will now perform like Modified Broad Match keywords. If you’ve setup Modified Broad Match keywords in the past, these will simply revert to Phrase Match, but act similar Modified Broad Match.
A Reminder To Use Broad Match Carefully
One of the biggest errors we encounter when auditing Google Ads accounts is the use of ‘Broad Match Keywords’ (not to be confused with Modified Broad Match Keywords). This match type will show your ad when ‘ANY’ word in your keyword shows up in a search. As an example, if you’re a car battery manufacturer and you want people to see your ads when they search for New Car Battery, but were to enter it as a Broad Match, your ad would show up for search with the word ‘New’, ‘New Car’, ‘Car’, ‘Battery’ and any combinations of them. Imagine the types of searches you’ll be showing up for, people search for phone battery will find you, people searching for new car will see your ad, and all of them will bounce off your landing page if they click on your ad as it has nothing to do with their intent. Google will then penalize you with a poor quality score which means you will show up for less impressions, and you’ll pay more for impressions/clicks.
Placing A Rose On The Casket Of Broad Match Modified
Broad Match Modified keywords, you’ve served us well. You’ve helped us achieve better results in our Google Ads, and although we’ll miss you, we’re thankful for your contribution. RIP Broad Match Modified.
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