Google to merge Phrase Match and Broad Match Modified for Paid Search

Google is always trying to improve their understanding of how users search and what the intent of each search is as the company strides to make it easier for businesses to reach their customers. In February, Google announced that they will be rolling out changes to paid search, almost immediately, to phrase match and broad match modified keywords. This change essentially brings the best aspects of broad match modified keywords into phrase match. Phrase match keywords will now expand to cover searches that broad match modified traffic would previously capture.

The official Google release included the following statement “With these improvements, you can reach the searches you want just by using phrase match—without worrying about the searches you don’t want. Let’s say you’re a moving company that wants to reach people interested in moving out of New York City. With the updated phrase match, you can reach people looking to move from NYC to Boston, for example, without showing up for people looking to move from Boston to NYC.”

What does this mean for your campaign?

Google will be phasing out support for broad match modified terms. In order to minimize any disruption, these changes will be rolled out over the next several months.

Starting in mid-February, the new behavior for phrase match and broad match modified keywords will begin to transition. No immediate action is needed from advertisers as they will simply merge. Come July 2021, advertisers will no longer be able to create any new broad match modified keywords – existing keywords will continue to serve, however they will serve under the new behavior. At this time, you will continue to be able to adjust keyword bids and keyword URLs, but if you try to edit the text the match type will be updated to phrase match. Google recommends that advertisers begin to adopt this change now.

It is possible that existing Phrase Match keywords in your account may begin to see a lift in traffic once the transition is complete. AVX recommends that you increase the frequency of Search Term Reports to ensure that the terms you appear for are relevant and aligned with your messaging, as well as keeping a very close eye on performance. Existing BMM keywords are predicted to see a decline in traffic.

Lastly, Google announced that this change will not impact the Quality Score of your ads account.

Contact AVX Digital for help with this transition.

The AVX Paid Media team will be proactive in making adjustments and watching performance as this keyword change rolls out.

The company’s high-quality paid search performance, proven by an array of satisfied clients, has been recognized as a 5x Google All-Star Partner. Through this accomplishment, AVX Digital is acknowledged as within the top 0.5% of all agencies in the United States. This partnership grants AVX Digital direct access to a dedicated team of Google representatives that provide additional insight and resources.

The Paid Media team does not anticipate experiencing any issues with this change, but will remain in close contact with agency reps at Google to ensure a smooth transition.


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