Google has announced that they’re going to connect more people with what they’re looking for by no longer making exact match “exact match”. Close variants are now being expanded to include additional rewording and reordering for exact match keywords. Once again Google is saying that they know best and removing your control over your campaigns.
Along with the rewording and reordering of searches, Google is also going to ignore your use of function words such as “in, to, for, but, a, the”. They claim it will only remove the safely ignored words but they’ve claimed similar things in the past leaving you scratching your head wondering why some terms sneak through that you purposefully block.
What’s most frustrating is that Google already has a mechanism in place for Adwords managers to achieve the same freedom if they so desire. The broad match modifier (+) can be used to do exactly what this new exact match does, but it still leaves you the ability to use exact match where you want that more precise control.
Google’s close match variants aren’t perfect either and that makes it dangerous to rely on. I’ve got one client that uses “online” as a must-have keyword in a lot of the ad groups; people don’t just search for online though, they search for “on line” and “on-line” too. These should be picked up as a close variant but they aren’t so as soon as you add the other versions the traffic climbs. There are similar issues with plurals or other subtle spelling differences/mistakes. Even though you shouldn’t have to worry about it, when you do look for the oversights you are left shocked and confused. If you can’t rely on it being correct then don’t you have to do the extra work anyway to make sure nothing gets missed?
Just be careful relying on this new feature and do some of your own tests if you think you’re missing out on traffic. Also be vigilant on looking over the search terms to make sure you aren’t getting unwanted traffic.
This is how Google claims things will work. Time will tell.
Rewording and ignoring function words
Same meaning, different order