Huge Google Ads Match Change! Fix Keywords With 1 Easy Hack

Published by Algorithmic Global on

google ads match change

The Google Ads match change rolls out mid-February, with functionality leaving for good in July 2021.

Google dropped a bomb on ad managers everywhere on February 4th, 2021. The new Google ads match change will get rid of broad match modified matching by lumping it together with phrase match.

If you’re familiar with making keywords in Google ads, everything with a +_ will now turn into a “_”. 

This article will dive deeper into what exactly is going on with the Google ads match change and give you a powerful recommendation about how you can make large-scale changes to your keywords.


The Google update

So what does the update say, exactly? Let me summarize it for you, but you can check it out here: Google Ads match change if you want to read it.

The overwhelming amount of data they’ve gathered on user behavior and search habits shows that broad match modified and phrase match keywords often result in the same search results.

Before we move on, broad match modified keywords are when the keyword includes the word with a + in front of it in the search query. For example, +blue running shoes has to include the word blue, but both running and shoes can show up however Google deems appropriate.

The phrase match example, “blue running shoes,” before the Google ads match change, would include this phrase, in this order, with close variants. 

If you already think they’re similar enough, Google shares your feeling!

Starting mid-February 2021, both broad match modified and phrase match keywords will fall under the same umbrella.

In plain English

Before the Google ads match change, there were four match types: exact match, phrase match, broad match modified, and broad match.

Now, broad match modified and phrase match are being rolled into one, bringing the count back to three and restoring balance to the universe.

Note: keywords left in campaigns as broad match modified will become phrase match if left alone. No changes are required (more on this below).

This update means that the new phrase match will show for more queries, and broad match modified keywords that are left unchanged will have a more restricted reach. 

The easy hack to fix your campaigns

With the Google Ads match change, broad match modified turns into phrase match starting mid-February 2021. If left alone, their behavior will continue as phrase match, indefinitely.

But, starting in July 2021, the creation of broad match modified keywords will end. At this point, the behavior will have rolled out globally. Google recommends “creating new keywords in phrase match going forward.”

What if you want to change over your broad match modified, at scale, sooner? Or take a look at your broad and phrase match keywords, double-checking that all your match types make sense?

Is there somewhere you can take proactive action ahead of the Google Ads match change?

Google Ads editor logo

Enter: Google Ads editor

For the uninitiated, Google Ads editor is a standalone program that allows you to download your campaigns, make changes, then upload those changes in bulk.

Anyone who’s tried to make massive amounts of changes in the standard Google Ads interface knows how tedious the process can be, and using Google Ads editor reduces some of this workload. This program is your best friend for tackling the Google Ads match change head-on.

Download and open the editor. Then, download the campaigns where you will make changes. If you already have Google Ads editor installed, make sure you download your most recent data.

Inside the editor, you can sort your keywords by match type. In this specific instance, look at your broad match keywords. You can narrow your search further by performing a search for “+”, which will leave all your broad match modified keywords. Change them to phrase or broad, depending on your strategy.

google ads editor match type change

If you want to change them all to phrase match—which is what will happen with the Google Ads match change regardless of your action—you can highlight them all and change the match type in the far-right field, the one for editing.

You can also search through your phrase match keywords, making sure you’re OK with them becoming a little less restrictive. If you want to keep tight control, change them to exact.

Google Ads help from Algorithmic Global

Merging broad match modified and phrase takes a tool out of the marketers’ toolkit, but with Google Ads editor, there’s a simple way to make changes at scale. 

Google believes the Google Ads match change will make it “easier to reach the right customers on Search.” There’s a lot of trust placed in the back end of their natural language comprehension software, and time will tell if this turns into more clicks and conversions for marketers.

The team at Algorithmic Global can help anyone looking for help with their Google Ads strategy after the recent Google Ads match change. Reach out to us via our contact page, and our experienced team will follow up with you and find out how we can work together on your digital marketing!


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