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A (broad) match made in heaven: Google lends another helping hand to marketers


Always keen to work with online advertisers to improve its search engine, Google has announced yet another modification to AdWords. The new broad match modifier is a targeting feature which provides a happy medium between broad match and phrase match, allowing keywords a far greater reach than was previously possible.

Google’s AdWords offers four keyword matching options, the set of criteria that determines which search terms bring up ads. Negative match allows clients to highlight words that they don’t want to associate with their ad, the somewhat self-explanatory Exact match only makes ads eligible for display when the keyword exactly matches the search term and Phrase match displays an ad when the keyword appears in a phrase. Broad match, the default setting, matches an ad to a search term if the keyword appears in any order, with other terms, as a synonym or in a singular/plural form.

The new broad match modification goes a step further, displaying ads only when the keyword appears in a Google search exactly or as a ‘close variant’. These still include singular and plural variations but the feature has been modified to now include abbreviations, acronyms, stemming and misspelled search terms while synonyms and related searches no longer qualify for ad eligibility.

The modified broad feature can also be used on any amount of keywords depending on how general or targeted the client wants their ad. The more it is implemented, the more specifically matched a keyword has to be. The new feature then earns its place as a broader than phrase search, more targeted than broad search and completely customisable between these two boundaries as per the advertiser’s needs.

Google’s new feature not only offers marketers a new level of control over keywords but ultimately provides more relevant ads for their users, which the search giant promises will significantly increase the success of online marketing campaigns. “Adding modified broad match keywords to your campaign can help you get more clicks and conversions at an attractive ROI,” said Dan Friedman, one of the Inside AdWords blog team. “During initial tests, advertisers who mainly used phrase and exact match found that adding modified broad match keywords increased campaign clicks and conversions, while providing more precise control than with broad match.”

Written by Carli Harris

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