Google’s Latest Changes to Keyword Match Types.

Boosting Online Advertising While Satisfying User Intent? Yes, Google Knows How!


Ever wondered about how Google is so adept at guessing your meaning when you search a phrase? After all, there are about 400 million active websites across the Internet.


How, then, does Google know which results to place at the top of your page each time? As it turns out, much of Google’s success comes down to how well it can churn out relevant results. Google does not just place an emphasis on the precise keywords you type in, but everything from your location to your online behaviour. For businesses and brands, this means that online advertising is targeted and catches the attention of those seeking specific products and services.


What happens, though, if two different people search for the same product using different keywords? This happens more often than you would think – 2017 saw 150 000 unique ways that Google users searched for deodorant. Google also estimates that up to 15% of daily searches are phrased in a new way. Campaign managers, advertisers, and agencies help businesses in this regard by implementing various strategies to match users with content, products, and services with which they will engage or purchase. Core to these strategies are keyword match types.


Defining Keyword Match Types.


Within the Google Ads platform, keyword match types are the parameters one can set to determine which search words will result in the appearance of certain ads. Each match type comes with complexities that must be used with care, or one can risk missing out on user clicks. There are four basic keyword match types, and without getting too technical, below is a summary of how each works:


  • Broad Match: This option allows you to reach a far wider audience because users that type in any of your keywords will trigger your ads. Close variants, like misspellings and synonyms, will also summon your ads. This option is sure to get you more clicks, but the downside is that much of that traffic may be irrelevant.
  • Broad Match Modifier: This type is similar to Broad Match, but it also allows you to lock certain keyword phrases in place. This means that Google will only trigger ad results containing the locked keyword. A user can thus search any query (in any order) that includes your locked keyword, and your ads will still pop up.
  • Phrase Match: In this type, your ad will be triggered by a search that includes the exact keyword phrase in a precise order, along with additional keywords before or after the phrase. This option is best for two-word keyword phrases.
  • Exact Match: Once the most restrictive type, exact match has been updated to include small variants in the search, called “close variant matches”.

Google Continues to Optimise Match Types.


As mentioned above, last year, Google changed the exact match option to include close variants (misspellings, similar phrases, singular and plural form, stems, abbreviations, and accents). Implied words, function words, synonyms, and paraphrases are also considered close variants. Because queries continuously change, and their AI keeps learning, Google is now able to fill in the gaps and determine user intent. Advertisers no longer need to create an exhaustive list of keywords to get their ads seen.


On the 31st of July 2019, Google announced that broad match modifier and phrase match keywords will also now match queries with same-meaning close variants (words that mean the same as the keyword). Google allows advertisers flexibility and control over their ads while improving the scope of users reached.


While the technical geekspeak may be a little challenging to process, the takeaway is that Google is allowing businesses a wider reach, while giving Internet users the most relevant search results available. At iLEAD et al, we bridge the gap between your brand and your target audience. Injecting personality into your online presence is our forte, so get in touch with us today to find out more.


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