On Friday 8th June, Google announced some changes to their exact match keywords for online ads. If you aren’t very familiar with Google AdWords and the terminology that comes along with it – we are here to help. However, if you are already using AdWords and know about Exact Match keywords, you may as well skip straight to what’s changed.
For you to understand what we are talking about, you need to know what two things. Firstly, you need to know what a ‘Keyword’ is. Secondly, you will need to understand what ‘Match Types’ are on AdWords.
You may already know from our Keywords – What Are They? post, but this is our description of a keyword;
Keywords are important words and phrases that you decide you would like your prospective customers and search engines to find your site because of. They are used to define what your website or web page is about.
As for ‘match types’, they are a feature on AdWords. They specify to Google how strict to be when matching up keywords with user’s searches. There are several match types, the most precise being ‘exact match’ keywords. Keywords with this match type are the most specific and strict of them all. A user’s search query on Google would have to exactly match your exact match keyword for it to appear in the given results.
Of course, this was prior to Google’s new announcement.
Exact match keywords have been given leeway. Since the update, they now allow ads to appear when users haven’t typed their keywords exactly. Rather than users having to search the same words as the keyword in the same order, there is some (not a lot obviously, but some) room for variation. For example, if the exact match keyword is ‘Hotels and B&Bs in London’, a matched search result could be ‘London B&Bs and Hotels’.
As well as allowing for a slight rearrangement of the subject, Google also allows for removal of any function words in a search. This can include prepositions and articles too. Essentially, any ‘filler’ words like ‘in’, ‘and’, ‘the’ etc. As you can see from the ‘Hotels and B&Bs in London’ example I used above, the word ‘in’ was removed. So, even just a search for ‘Hotel B&Bs London’ would trigger that same Keyword. The words ‘in’ and ‘and’ can be taken out of the search as they are both function words.
In addition, Google has also allowed spelling mistakes, incorrect grammar and plurals to be overlooked.
Regarding these new updates, predictions by Google have estimated that ads will receive 3% more clicks. This is because of the ‘additional exact match’ allowance. These updates are a great improvement to the way that exact match keywords work. Because even though it has made the strictest match type a bit, well, less strict, it has still ensure maximum relevancy. This just makes searches easier and companies are able to present their ad to more potential customers too – bonus!