Google Ads Match Types Getting Changed in 2021

Google Ads Match Types Getting Changed in 2021

Google Ads’ purpose has always been to connect people with businesses. It can be a marketer looking for project management tools or a traveler looking for great places to dine in New York. No matter what their background is, people expect to find services that they want using Google.

It’s a go-to search engine for advertising for many reasons. First is the fact that Google shares a major portion of the search engine market. So businesses want to grab customers when they are searching for something related to them.

The second is that it doesn’t require much time to get results. Though, in my opinion, SEO combined with organic content marketing is better in the long-run. But paid ads can get you good revenue in short term.

As Google is a top company, it continuously brings changes to its ad platform. These changes are made to improve businesses’ reach to new customers.

So without further delay, let’s look at the most recent changes to Google Ads:

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Google Ads Changes 2021

On February 4, 2021, Google announced the most recent changes to its ad platform. According to these changes, phrase match will expand to include broad match modifier traffic. As a result of this change, the broad match modifier will be phased out.

On Thursday, Google announced the news that support for broad match modifier will end. The changes will start rolling out in two weeks. There has been a lot of distress among PPC professionals since then.

To understand how the phrase match will change, consider an example. An advertiser can use the broad match modifier for the keywords +moving +services +NYC +to +Boston. This way, they may show up for query “moving services NYC to Boston.”

However, this is not the only possibility. They can also show up for “moving services Boston to NYC.” Now if you offer services just in NYC, a customer who wants to move out of Boston is irrelevant to you.

So the updated phrase match will exclude ads for irrelevant search queries. Google has illustrated it in the following example:

Image(1).png comers here.


Google Ads Changes Image 1

Source: Google

The changes to phrase match won’t affect word order that much, especially when it’s important to the meaning. Here’s another picture from Google that shows the changes in matching behavior after this update:


Google Ads Changes Image 2

Source: Google

According to Google’s announcement:

“We’ve seen that phrase match and broad match modifier often serves the same use cases and that you can reach more of the right customers through a combination of the two.”

The broad match modifier is going to disappear soon

In a couple of weeks, both phrase match and broad match modifier will move to the new matching behavior. The good news is that you will get to keep your performance data. Plus, there’s no need to migrate keywords because this change is happening to both match types.

In July, you will not be able to create new broad match modifier keywords. However, the existing broad match modifiers keywords will serve under the new behavior.

A brief history of keyword match type changes

2014: Google made it a requirement for all campaigns to use close variants. This ended support for the pure exact match type. At that time, plurals, misspellings, and other variations of exact match and phrase match keywords were included in close variants.

2017: Google added word order and function words to close variants.

2018:  Google began matching search terms that have the same intent as the given keyword.

2019: Same-meaning close variants were extended to phrase match and broad match modifiers.

What does the industry think about Google Ads changes 2021

With all these changes from the past years, the control that the match types offered previously is gone. But what we gained is more automation. The most recent update does the same thing.

This change can help save time for advertisers when it comes to managing keywords. But plenty of time will be spent on recalibrating campaigns.

This may result in a change in traffic. But as these changes will happen gradually, what you can do is keep an eye on the performance metrics and make the necessary adjustments.

Google Ads Changes

Here are some more concerns from advertisers:

  • You might end up spending more money and knowing less about your ads. It will also create more work for advertisers in return for not that much.
  • If you already have some great performing campaigns, you might have to reconstruct them, which will be very hard for those who don’t have many resources.
  • Google does whatever they want because they are the leaders. They share 14 percent market share of search engines while Bing, the second search engine on the list, just shares 6.18 percent. So people are blaming them for running a monopoly game here.
  • There are also concerns about if they are going to follow their statement, “respect word order when it’s important to the meaning.”
  • Even if the change is made to help small businesses such as local barbers, at the end of the day, Google is benefiting more from it. There isn’t much for the advertiser.
  • And some people are triggered that Google is calling it, “Making it easier to reach the right customers on Search,” when it’s causing troubles for them.

There’s even an argument about how there’s not much difference between broad match and phrase match. But in the end, everyone will have to forget the broad match and create new keywords in the updated phrase match.

So what are your thoughts on Google Ads changes 2021?

Are you happy that BMM is buried in the Google Ads graveyard?

Or do you think it’s a dumb move by Google (or just a money-grabber?)

Please let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear your opinion!

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