Google Ad Updates

By on May 11, 2021 in Marketing

Surprise! Google is changing its match types again. This is the fifth time that Google has changed match types. And as we all know, algorithms are constantly evolving as well. We’re here to help you out with a quick overview of what’s changed, how it might help, and who benefits most.

So long and goodbye beloved match type!

The Google Ads that we all know and love have four match types. From least to most restrictive they are broad, modified broad, phrase and exact.

In 2010, Google introduced modified broad. It accounted for misspellings, different tenses, and keywords presented in different order. It bridged the gap between the array of relevant queries that searchers submitted and who marketers intended to reach.

In 2014, broad match improved so that the structure of the keyword mattered less. Searchers would submit queries with or without necessary hyphens and spaces. “3 bedroom garden style apartments in Philly” and “3 bedroom garden-style apartments in Philadelphia” would behave the same.

Marketers were in love. Broad match became one of the most popular and successful match types alongside phrase. It offered flexibility, versatility and ease of use.

Now we’re saying goodbye.

What’s changed as of Feb 2021?

Modified broad match type is being eliminated in July 2021. You won’t be able to add any keywords to this match type.

Phrase match is incorporating behaviors of modified broad. In doing so, Google aims to simplify keyword usages and make it easier to find more relevant customers. Moving forward, both match types will have the same matching behaviors to the same traffic.

This change isn’t entirely surprising. A lot of specialists have noticed that the lines between the two match types have been blurring for about a year now. What we wonder, though, is how Google will take into account when keyword order is necessary.

Someone searching for “units converted from factory to lofts in Minneapolis” will not be equally as interested in “units converted from lofts to a factory.” That would make for confusing and uncomfortable living conditions. Google reports that this will be taken into account, but not much detail is given.

Why is Google changing its match types and what are the advantages?

Per Google, The Rule of Close Variance and other factors make it so that there is no need to have two distinct types. The algorithm has gotten smarter and “learned” to decipher what advertisers and searchers intend when using modified broad and phrase match types.

You may feel that’s a lot of trust to put into artificial intelligence. It is. But less hands-on engagement with match types can free up marketers to other creative tasks that are not so easily automated.

There is also greater potential for traffic. More traffic could be good.

The PPC community has mixed feelings about these changes. That’s okay.

Is the PPC advertising community pleased to see the merging of the match types? Feedback varies.

In an interview on the topic, PPC expert Mark Irvine states that each change to keyword match types brings “a lot of unpredictability to advertisers” and “may not lead to more [desirable] traffic.” Advertisers will have to re-work their strategies without the guarantee that they’re gaining efficacy in marketing.

The boost in volume without greater specificity means that there is a small risk of getting more irrelevant traffic. This could also mean increased spend without increased conversions.

Irvine notes that only accounts that get more traffic from phrase match keywords should expect an increase in their ad impressions, clicks, costs and conversions. Conversely, ads from modified broad match keywords and other match types will see a decrease in engagement or no change.

Marketing expert Brett McHale adds that the recent change “blurs the lines between match types” and strongarms advertising into relying on Google’s recommendations. “The change to phrase match and phasing out of modified broad match appears to me to be another step in the automation direction for Google,” he says.

Overall, McHale notes that marketing automation works in advertisers’ favor. Less time rummaging through match types is a benefit for everyone. Smart bidding and dynamic search campaigns empower marketers to move away from the time-consuming, hands-on approach to keyword match types.

What do you need to do?

Modified broad keywords are already shifting to match your phrase behaviors, so there is no need to pause all of your modified broad match keywords. This is especially true for marketers who are benefiting from their current strategy.

Consider refining and amending your phrase match keywords. For example, perhaps you pause old modified broad keywords that overlap with your phrase matches. Otherwise, duplicates compete against each other. You’ll end up paying to compete against yourself.

If you’re already a RentCafe Reach PPC client, you’re good to go. Catriona Orosco, director, RentCafe Reach at Yardi explains, “We’ve known this change is coming for some time. We’ve already adjusted our accounts and strategies in preparation for when this is fully live. We make sure that our clients’ accounts are fully prepared, and no further action is needed on their part.”

Esther Bonardi, vice president, marketing at Yardi adds, “These Google match type changes illustrate the importance of having an advertising partner. PPC advertising is a constantly evolving field. It can be a lot for property marketers to manage. External support empowers property marketers to focus on what they do best and leave fine-tuning PPC strategies in the hands of experts.”

If keeping up with Google’s changes is more than you care to juggle, we’re here to help. Join a webinar to learn how RENTCafé Reach PPC can help you optimize your marketing spend.