Google are rolling out the new Near Match Types for AdWords which will be available in May. 4Ps explores what this means for searchers and advertisers alike:

Consider these exact and phrase match keywords within AdWords

[waterproof sunblock]     “bollard cover”     [single serving coffee maker]

Now take a look at these two rows of search queries:

waterproof sunblock     buy bollard cover     single serving coffee maker
waterpoof sunblock      buy bollard covers    single serve coffee maker

At present, only the queries from the top row are considered a match by Google AdWords. The latter examples will not trigger an advert based on the keywords mentioned above, because they do not comply with Google’s current matching system, regardless of how similar they are in content.

As of mid-May however, this will all change. According to Google, phrase and exact match keywords will be able to match close variants, including misspellings, singular/plural forms, stemmings, accents and abbreviations going forward. This will almost certainly mean that advertisers will need less extensive lists of keywords in their accounts, in order to ensure they are visible for all variations of the terms they wish to bid on.

Google’s main focus was user intent, and according to a recent blog post they stated “People aren’t perfect spellers or typists. At least 7% of search queries contain a misspelling, and the longer the query, the higher the rate.”

Aside from spelling, users also approach search queries in different ways based on their speech and conversation methods, and from the early testing, Google has identified “benefits for many advertisers” in the new system. According to their stats, on average, the new matching behaviour increased AdWords search clicks by 3%, with comparable CPCs.

What advertisers need to be careful of is simply being aware of these new changes, especially those who work on an exact match policy, thinking they won’t need to double check which search queries they are appearing for in reality.

The change appears to automatically opt users into the new match system, however there is an option to opt out by navigating to the campaign settings tab, scrolling down to “Advanced settings” and selecting Keyword matching options:

Note this will not take effect until mid May.

4Ps isn’t just another PPC management agency. To discuss how paid search strategies are evolving alongside new developments in ad technology and tracking, give us a call on +44 (0)207 607 5650 for a no-obligation coffee and chat about data, marketing and user behaviour across all inbound channels. What could a performance marketing agency like us do for your business?