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Google Ads changing keywords to "Broad Match"


HD Community Advisor
Staff member
If you use Google Ads, please check your campaigns and adjust as needed.

Google has announced that they will be changing and recommending users to use Broad Match for their keyword selections.
This means that they will no longer be recommending the "Modified Broad Match", "Phrase Match" or "Exact Match" in keyword suggestions. This doesn't mean that these are going away (yet), but they'll be pushing users to use regular old "Broad Match".

A brief explanation of the different types;
  • Broad Match: Match any word
    ex: Carpet Cleaning New York = will show your ad if someone types any of those phrases. So "Carpet Install" would potentially show your ad. "New Car" would also show as the word "new" is included.
  • Modified Broad Match: All words must match
    ex: +Carpet +Cleaning +new +york = all 4 words must be in the search, but in any order and could have additional words. "carpet cleaning in new york" would match. "cleaning new carpet" would not match as it doesn't have the word "york"
  • Phrase Match: The words must match in the same order (must be in quotations)
    ex: "Carpet Cleaning in New York" = if they don't type the "in", then the ad wouldn't show. But if they typed "cheap carpet cleaning in new york" the ad would show.
  • Exact Match: Contained in square brackets, they only type these words and nothing else
    ex: [Carpet Cleaning New York] = if they typed "Carpet Cleaning New York Area" then it would not show the ad as they have the word "area"
For years, the Modified Broad Mach has been the preferred route for advertisers, but now Google wants us all to use Broad Match and use the AI (Smart Bidding) to fill in other phrases automatically. So if you go after the words "web hosting" then it could match for "dedicated servers", "cloud hosting" or similar phrases.

"Smart Bidding" has been active at Google for a couple of years now, but previous tests have shown mixed results. With the new AI formulas added to Google, it seems to be doing better (or at least that's what Google says).

Be prepared to open your wallet as more phrases will start to show than you can shake a stick at, but it could make life easier for the individual business owners. As a marketer, I like as much control as I can get, however that's my job. If I was running a book store, I need to be focused on the store, and not also learning and managing ads too.