Broad Match Modifier – AdWords Broad Match Modified

Google just announced a new modifier to its broad match.  AdWords has been offering 4 main types of keyword matches for quite a while: Broad match, phrase match, exact match and negative match.

Broad match: night stand can trigger ads for Cheap Night Stand, Night Stand Deals, Stand For Night Lamps, One Night Stand!

Phrase match: “night stand” can trigger ads for Cheap Night Stand and Night Stand Store

Exact match: [night stand] will only trigger ads for Night Stand

Over years Google has made some adjustments to broad and negative matche types.  As for broad match, they started offering extended matching meaning Google AdWords could show the ads for phrases that Google thinks are relevant. For example showing your ads for Night Stand when people search for Bedroom Furniture.

The advantage this matching type has is that it helps advertiser reach a broader audience as it triggers your ads for close variants and synonyms of their keywords. However, the challenge is that it can also trigger your ads for some irrelevant search queries.  So, it is important to continuously run Search Query Reports to identify possible negative keywords to add to the campaign.

Google also added phrase and exact negative matches to help advertisers better control what phrases trigger their ads.

The recent addition to Google AdWords match types is the broad match modifier that lets PPC advertisers create keywords which have greater reach than exact and phrase match while giving them more control than broad match. If you only use exact and phrase match keywords in your account, adding modified broad match keywords to your pay per click campaign can help you get more clicks and possibly more conversions at an attractive ROI.  However, if you use broad match, using the broad match modifier will mostly likely reduce your traffic and number of conversions.

You can implement the modifier by putting a plus sign (+) in front of one or more words in a broad match keyword. Only if the word or its close variants (e.g., singular, plural, abbreviation, past participle and other stemming variations) after the + sign is part of the user’s search query, the ad will be triggered.  Synonyms are not considered as close variants.  

As usual, the keyword match does not have any major impact on keyword Quality Score.  The Quality Score depends on the relevance of your keyword to the user’s search query, ad copy and landing page. The Quality Score is often higher if CTR is higher.

If the same keyword exists with different match types in the same ad group, then the keyword with the most specific match type will trigger.   However, if the same keyword exists with different match types in different ad groups or campaigns, then the keyword with the highest Ad Rank will be triggering the ads.

Filed Under: PPC Advertising


About the Author

Nima Asrar Haghighi is an Internet Marketing consultant with expertise in SEM (PPC Advertising), Organic SEO, RSS, Social Media and Web Analytics (Google Analytics IQ Certified). Nima holds an MBA in marketing, B.Eng. in Electrical Engineering, Project Management Certification, and CIW (Certified Internet Webmaster) in E-commerce. You can reach Nima at +Google Plus or LinkedIn.

Comments (4)

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  1. avatar Ari says:

    So per your last paragraph … which scenario makes sense for advertisers?

    Putting keywords with multiple match types in the same adgroup or in different agroupds?

    • It really depends on your objectives and account structure and size. Having different matches can give you more control over ad copies and stats such as Avg. Position will be more accurate with the exact matches. Another reason you may for example want to use exact matches in a separate ad group is because you would like to use DKI ad copies as broad or phrase match can potentially create unprofessional ad copies. However, it makes managing the account more complicated and cumbersome.
      In MHO, in most cases, having different keyword match types in the same ad groups is good enough.

  2. I too found that modified broad match has little (no) effect on Quality Score:

    Although since CTRs were higher and CPCs lower for modified broad matched keywords, the new match type should perhaps be something all PPC advertisers should be implementing.

  3. avatar Kevin Louis says:

    @Calculate Marketing: we also tested with this new match type. Results are positive! This type is more relevant, so the CTR is in many cases a lot higher! It’s quite a job to change the keywords to modified broad. After a long search, I found this tool: . It saves a lot of time: enter your keyword list and transform it to modified broad. I really recommend this tool!

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