When is an exact match not an exact match? When Google says it is not!… The last time it happened was 2014 when Google decided misspellings, plurals and other close grammatical variants could be included within an exact match of a searchers query.

Well on the 17th of March 2017 it happened again, Google announced that an exact match keyword added to an AdWords account will now trigger for:

  • Misspellings
  • Plurals
  • Close Grammatical Variants
  • When the search query contains the same words (even if they are in a different order)
  • When functional words are or are not included within the keywords added to AdWords

Google estimates that the changes above will generate an additional 3% clicks for advertisers which may not seem a significant change but for advertisers on tight budgets and with so many uncertainties in the market it may be the proverbial straw for some advertisers.


[Running Shoes] – shoes running will now show
[Jobs in Great Britain] – Jobs Great Britain, jobs for Great Britain will now show

It is not simply a case of one size fits all in scenarios such as this either as some advertisers are set to see a compounded impact from the changes whist others will remain oblivious to the change and simply wonder why the marketing returns they were seeing are no longer there.

Who needs to be aware:

Brand advertisers particularly those that contain a location or web address that has an exact match domain for your most commercially viable terms.

Niche industry advertisers that rely heavily on long term terms or terms where nouns are used as adjectives to help qualify traffic.

Specific and highly targeted campaigns which contain high traffic keyword variations. Wordstream give a fantastic example of this “paid search jobs” (jobs for people qualified in delivering cutting edge paid search campaigns) would under the new changes trigger for “search paid jobs” or “paid job search” and anyone who has delivered marketing campaigns will know anything to do with jobs generates a massive volume of traffic.

What can you do?

Negative keywords have always been important for every other match type it’s a case of Exact Match now requires negative permutations to be added in order to protect your account from irrelevant traffic and therefore higher costs.

Analyse your search terms, tidy your keywords, enhance your negative keywords or get in touch with Adrac and we will run your complimentary review to see how these changes could affect you going into the future and what we can do to help mitigate you against these impacts.

Author Adrac

A Google Premier Partner

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