20 Sep Changes to Broad Match Modifier & Phrase Match
What do the new changes to Broad Match Modifier (BMM) and Phrase Match mean for you?
Google has implemented many changes and updates throughout 2021. Earlier in the year they began making a pretty significant change to Google Ads to simplify match types by combining the reach of Broad Match Modifier with the control and precision of Phrase Match.
This has meant that as of July this year, both Broad and Phrase match keywords have fully adopted this update and are now behaving in the same way for all languages, showing the relevant ads on searches that include the meaning of your keywords.
Not everyone is in agreement that these changes will be beneficial, with plenty of upsides and downsides to the update. Google, however, believes that the changes will allow it to include the “best of broad match modifier into phrase match” and will make it easier to manage keywords in your account, giving you more time to manage specific keywords and also providing you with more control.
Phrase Match vs Broad Match Modifier
To fully understand what’s happening and how we can navigate these changes, let’s quickly revisit the two match types involved.
Broad Match Modifier keywords allow you to choose specific keywords that are needed for your ads to show, and are included using ‘+’ before the keyword. Here are some examples from Google of BMM keywords:
Phrase match keywords were similar to BMM keywords, however it required queries that you have targeted in quotations to be included in the search query in the specific order you entered, whereas for BMM order did not matter.
What does this mean for you?
Essentially no one will be able to create new BMM keywords to campaigns using the traditional +keyword notation, meaning that existing BMM keywords will behave in exactly the same way as if they were Phrase match keywords.
While you will still be able to edit current BMM keywords from a bid or status perspective, if you make any edits to the keyword text, Google Ads will prompt you to change it to a Phrase match keyword.
What changes might you have seen?
According to our PPC experts, there will likely be some who will have seen positive results from these changes depending on the setup of your campaigns.
Those that get the majority of their traffic from Phrase match keywords will see an increase in certain metrics such as impressions, clicks, cost per result and conversions. However those who get their traffic through BMM keywords will likely see a decrease in these metrics and Google’s new logic will prevent certain keywords from matching to traffic.
Ways to navigate these changes
If you haven’t already, there are a few things you can do to navigate these changes and what these are depends on your account.
To minimise potential disruption, Google’s support page have been on top of these changes and have provided some handy documents to help you navigate these changes within your Google Ads account. Steps you can take include:
- Continually monitor performance and make changes to budgets where required due to the fluctuation of traffic
- Check your recommendations, with a specific focus on the feature called “Remove Redundant Keywords”, which allows you to easily remove duplicate keywords.
- Optimise your account structure, your targeting strategy and account budgets. Consider using Broad Match with Smart bidding
- Add (additional) keywords to ensure you are blocking out traffic that isn’t relevant