Blog.

Is the recent Google Ads announcement on match types a glimpse of the future?

“This is a glimpse,” says Cash (Don Cheadle) in the 2000 film The Family Man to Wall Street Investor Jack Campbell (Nicolas Cage).

And just like Cash, Google has given us another glimpse of its future with an announcement regarding changes to its keyword match types on Google Ads.  The question is, how big a glimpse has Google given us?

Well, first off, starting from mid-February 2021 Google will be rolling out changes to phrase match and broad match modifier that will make it apparently easier to reach your customers, no matter how they’re searching.

What this essentially means is, I quote, “bringing the best of broad match modifier into phrase match.   As a result, phrase match will expand to cover additional broad match modifier traffic, while continuing to respect word order when it’s important to the meaning.”

This change therefore means from the middle of February instead of four match types there will now be three match types:

  • Exact match for precision
  • Broad match for reach
  • Phrase match for a balance of both

According to Google, this will give advertisers more control and better reach.  Essentially “phrase match will expand to cover additional broad match modifier traffic, while continuing to respect word order when it’s important to the meaning.”

This has the potential to make life a little simpler for advertisers, but at the same time it reduces keyword match types to just three and raises the question – will Google go further one-day and make it just two types or even less? If so, then perhaps Google will eventually offer no match types and instead a complete smart bidding service and no opportunity to manually match phrases to searches.

Time will tell of course, but in the meantime one thing advertisers will need to accept is Google’s continuous move towards automation and machine learning.

Author:

Chris Baines.

Head of Projects