Everything You Need to Know About Google Phasing Out Broad Match Modifier

When using search engines such as Google, users expect to find the products or services that they need using a series of words that make up a search term. With that in mind, Google is constantly working to develop its understanding of customer intent – in turn, making it easier for businesses to reach their customers.

Following a series of changes to the structure of their keyword match types, Google announced back in February 2021 that they had expanded the phrase match type, and that broad match modifier would be retired.

So, what exactly does that mean? 

Phrase match has now been expanded to cover instances of broad match modifier and Google has stated that word order will continue to be respected when it is important to the meaning of the search term.

Advertisers will be able to add broad match modified keywords up until July 2021 and after that point, you will no longer be able to add further broad match modified keywords. Any existing broad match modified keywords left in the account will continue to serve and will be matched accordingly.

How will the new Phrase match work?

Prior to Google’s announcement, broad match modifier and phrase match existed as two separate match types. The broad match modifier match type needed all specified keywords in the search term but the order did not matter, whereas the phrase match type needed the search term to contain the keywords in the order specified.

By combining the former broad match modifier match type with the phrase match type, Google’s new phrase match promises to bring the very best of both precision and reach – all whilst deciding whether word order is important and ensuring that your ads don’t show for the search terms you don’t want.

As an example, let’s say that you are a car dealer who delivers from Cardiff to London – but not from London to Cardiff. Here’s an example of how phrase match and broad match modified keywords would now be treated:

Phrase match keyword: “Car delivery from Cardiff to London”
Broad match modified keyword: +Car +delivery +from +Cardiff +to +London

As shown above, the updated phrase match type will assist you in reaching people looking for car delivery from Cardiff to London without showing up for those looking for car delivery from London to Cardiff.

It is hoped that the new phrase match type will help advertisers in streamlining their keyword management and gaining more time to focus on other business objectives. For more information on the new changes, you can see Google’s announcement here.

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