Google are always changing their rules to the AdWords landscape. And although it is their domain and they can do what they want, I don’t always agree with their decisions. And I have to admit, I am not too happy this latest change.
At the moment, there was a setting dug deep within your Campaigns settings in which you could choose to allow your ad to show for ‘include plurals, misspelling and other close variants‘ or not.
So, for example, say you are bidding on a keyword “red jacket”. If you chose to not show your ad for close variants and plurals, your ad would not show when someone typed in “red jackets”. In my opinion, there is quite a difference in the searchers intent when they type in “red jacket” or “red jackets”. And to be honest, if I wanted my ad to appear for “red jackets”, I would add it to my keyword list. Bear in mind, this only applies for exact and phrase match keywords.
As of September, advertisers will no longer be able to opt out from this setting.
Google have defended their actions saying that close variant matching was already the default setting for campaigns and so most people won’t notice the difference. And yes, this was a well hidden setting and I am sure that not many people will notice. Not the case for us, all of the accounts that we manage have this setting turned off.
This change is yet another reason why you need to be actively managing any campaigns and watching for any terms which are wasting your hard earned marketing dollars.