What are match types?
What are the new changes?
How do the changes affect advertisers?
Google's suggestions

Google changed the way their keyword match types work, which obviously affects how advertisers approach their use of Google Shopping. The changes, according to Google, have the intention of making it easier for customers to find the products and services they’re looking for.

What are keyword match types?

Before delving into the changes Google has made, let’s quickly take a look at what match types are and how they’re used.

Utilising PPC keyword match types is crucial to getting your products/services in front of the relevant people. 

There was, prior to the change, four available keyword match types:

  • Broad match allows your ad to show up for the widest range of possible keyword searches that are related to your keyword(s).
  • Broad match modifiers, the one that has been removed, was used to add extra keywords as variables for searches.
  • Phrase match keywords must be there in the search query in the exact order specified by you.
  • An exact match is a setting that shows your ads only when someone searches for your specific keyword or a very close variant of this.

What changes have been made?

Google’s update has combined the matching behaviour of broad match modifiers with phrase matching to cover additional broad match modifier traffic, all with the aim of making it easier to reach customers.

This will affect the way the search engine reacts to search queries and what results will be retrieved.

table displaying changes to match typesClick to enlarge. Info source: Google

What do the changes mean for advertisers?

The changes Google have made to keyword match types reduces the control available over search terms, and could ultimately increase ad spend revenue for Google as more retailers will be battling over ad space.

Prior to these changes, phrase match took note of word order. With the changes, it only takes word order into account when it’s important to the meaning. In cases where the word order of a search query completely changes the meaning, this may have an impact on traffic.

Discover how Bidnamic leverages purchase intent to serve your ads for the most profitable search terms

Google’s suggestions

With these changes, Google has made some suggestions for best practices going forward.

Since the changes in match types may cause a fluctuation in traffic, it’s more important than ever to monitor and analyse your ad performance and change budgets where necessary.

Checking your Recommendations page in the Merchant Center will help you maintain your keyword coverage and allow you to keep up-to-date with the terms most relevant for your industry.

As this update had no impact on negative keywords, continue to use them to exclude matches for irrelevant terms.

Any existing broad match modifiers in place after July 2021 will continue to work, but under the new behaviour, with no modification needed by the user.

Learn how Bidnamic's machine learning helped The Union Project identify high purchase intent at an SKU level

If you have questions about Google Shopping, our team of specialists are here to help: Book a free consultation with us today to maximise your Google Shopping strategy.

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