Google announced last February what is potentially a huge change for certainly paid search managers: the broad match modified version of keywords will be going away. Here’s what this means for your business and the things you need to know, and how queries match keywords. Here is what they announced:

At the heart of Google Ads is our ability to connect businesses with the people who are looking for what they have to offer. Whether they’re searching for “takeout restaurants”—which have grown more than 5,000% year over year—or something Google has never seen before—which makes up 15% of queries every day2—people expect to find the products and services they’re looking for.

Over the years, we’ve improved our understanding of intent to make it easier for you to reach your customers. For example, your keywords can now match to the meaning of a search, and broad match is now more effective at driving performance–especially when paired with Smart Bidding. With these improvements, we’ve seen that phrase match and broad match modifier often serve the same use cases, and that you can reach more of the right customers through a combination of the two.


First, What are Broad Match Modifiers and Phrase Match?


Broad Match Modifier is responsible for showing ads if the keywords show up in the search query in the exact or a similar variant form. The keywords are highlighted using a “+” sign to determine that the keyword needs to be part of the search query. While Phrase Match is a keyword matching option whereby Google matches your ad only against keywords that include a phrase you designate. Phrase match is more targeted than broad match, but more flexible than exact match.


Google’s announcement of phasing out Broad Match and replacing it with Phrase Match.


Due to the changes that Google has set, broad match modifier as a separate matching behavior is no longer available. This change means that existing BMM keywords will behave exactly as if they were phrase keywords and you are no longer able to create new BMM keywords.

As of July 2021, according to Google:

  • New keywords cannot be added using the legacy BMM notation (+keyword).
  • Legacy BMM keywords will continue to serve, but will behave as phrase match keywords.

To get a better idea of what exactly is changing, let’s take a look at a the example that Google included in its announcement:


What does that mean for local businesses, advertisers and marketers?


It is now easier for businesses to contact more accurate clients thanks to Google’s updates. Your keywords that relates to your business, service, or product, may suddenly match what consumers are looking for.

Such a move will streamline campaigns and make them more manageable for both advertisers and marketers, but there will be occasions where a broad match modifier will attract search phrases that phrase match would not, thus, this must be addressed when adding more keywords.

Bonus tip: Make your broad match and audience targeting work

  1. Check your bids

Whether you’re bidding manually or automatically, it’s always a good idea to double-check your bidding strategy to make sure it’s in line with your objectives.To put it another way, if you have to place a bid limit to Max Clicks, you might want to lower that objective little as well, to encourage slightly lower bidding and keep costs down.

  1.   Add negative keywords

If necessary, add more negative terms. Remember that you’re still in charge of the campaign even if Google has more control over what queries to show to their audience. You’ll want your queries to show up on more and accurate searches possible.

  1.   Review your campaign setup

Always check and review your campaign before going live. Check any errors or information that you might have missed. Taking these extra steps might be time-consuming but would definitely benefit you.




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