Google Phrase Match: Everything You Need to Know

Keywords and match types are one  of the Sweden Phone Number most fundamental elements of PPC but like almost everything else in technology, there is constant change.

Even if you’re a seasoned PPC veteran, the Google Ads phrase match you grew up with is probably no longer the phrase match we have today.

In fact, the current iteration of phrase match has only been around since the middle of February 2021, when it absorbed some of the functionality of broad match modified (BMM) keywords.

In this post, you’ll learn the key things you need to know about the new phrase match. But first, let’s cover the fundamentals of match types.

What Are Keyword Match Types?

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At their core, match types define how close a user’s search query needs to be to an advertiser’s keyword in order to be eligible to trigger an ad.

In the early days of Google Ads, match type behavior was very straightforward:

  • Exact match: Show an ad only when the query is the exact same as the keyword.
  • Phrase match: Also show the ad if there are extra words before or after the keyword.
  • Broad match: Show the ad so long as all the keywords are part of the search, regardless of word order.

As you can see, exact is the most restrictive  match type and broad is the loosest. Phrase match sits somewhere between.

By offering match types, the ad platforms let advertisers specify their willingness to show ads for searches of varying degrees of similarity to their keywords.

Rather than having to think of every possible query a user could do if they were looking for what an advertiser sells, they can use looser match types like broad and phrase to still show ads for those queries.

Close Variants

But like I said, things change all the time and those easy-to-understand match types became muddled when Google introduced close variants.

Regardless of which match type you use, close variants change what your  keywords really are and give the ad platform significant leeway in how they match keywords to search queries.

Think of close variants as a set of defined ways that Google is allowed to change your keyword. What may look like one keyword in your ad group is in fact potentially hundreds of pretty similar keywords behind the scenes. You don’t see them, but they’re all there ready to serve your ad.

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