Google’s Updates to Phrase Match and Broad Match Modifier

By: Anamarie Tarantino Feb 08, 2021

Google’s Updates to Phrase Match and Broad Match Modifier

This week, Google announced their plan to phase out support for broad match modifier keywords, and phrase match keywords to expand to cover additional broad match modifier traffic. These changes will essentially take the place of BMM keywords. Google’s overall strategy is to make it easier to reach customers and manage keywords. The improvements will allow you to reach the searches you’re looking for by just using phrase match, which will improve and limit the searches you aren’t looking for.

Google has made several changes to match types over the past year. These changes include:

  • Broad match keywords now look at additional signals in your account to deliver more relevant searches. When paired with Smart Bidding, broad match signals–which include landing pages, keywords in your ad group, and more–can help you unlock new opportunities for your business.
  • If an exact match keyword is identical to a query is now always preferred as long as it’s eligible to match. This gives you more control over which keyword matches to a search and can help reduce account complexity.

Although some transitions to match types will start happening in mid-February, both phrase match and broad match modifier keywords will begin transitioning at the same time.

How should you respond?

While new changes won’t be completely rolled out globally until July, to begin transitioning, schools should move away from modifiers and begin to use phrase matches. Create new keywords in phrase match going forward to ensure that your ads are being displayed where you want them to be.

Recommended Next Steps for Advertisers:

  • Use broad match keywords with smart bidding
  • Monitor BMM traffic and add new phrase match or broad match keywords where necessary so you don’t lose coverage
    • Regularly check “Add new keywords” Recommendations in your account. Keywords to recover previous BMM traffic will be labeled.
  • Create phrase match keywords going forward instead of broad match modifier keywords
    • Existing broad match modifier keywords will continue to serve under the new behavior, so there is no need to migrate keywords to the phrase match type.
  • Remove duplicate keywords
    • Starting in April, Google will extend the “remove redundant keywords” recommendations to help identify and remove duplicate BMM keywords within an ad group.
  • Consider removing directing negatives
    • If you are using negatives to redirect your traffic to exact match keywords, you may not need this going forward: an exact match keyword that is identical to a query is now always preferred as long as it’s eligible to match.