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Watch Out – Close Variants Now Applies To Exact Match

There is no surprise that there are a lot of nuances in language, especially English. No one knows this better than Google actually.

You will hopefully appreciate that there is a distinct difference between the type of person who types into Google “help with digestion” or “helps with digestion”.

Or how about this image we found…

That’s our job as search marketers, to really understand the differences in search queries in order to best target your ideal client.

How Does This Relate To AdWords?

To get around such nuances in language, search advertisers would implement “Exact” match types into their search campaign. Exact Match syntax is denoted by [ ] around the keyword. This was essentially telling Google that the search term had to exactly match what someone types in. Sounds great, right?

Till now….

Google have just rolled out an update this month which you need to be aware of. You can read the article here, https://adwords.googleblog.com/2017/03/close-variants-now-connects-more-people.html or if you can’t be bothered reading it in full (which I understand completely!), I will summarise for you below….

Essentially, what they are saying is that ‘close variants’ (which are slight language nuances as we explained and illustrated above) now applies to Exact Match. WHAT!? That’s the whole POINT of Exact Match right….that it has to exactly match!

They actually write about a few applications of this, and the one which is the most concerning is where there is a difference in the order of the words. So, an exact match type of keyword “lawyer Sydney” means that now your ad will also show for “Sydney lawyer”. Now, in this example, it might not matter. But I know that there would be MANY instances where the order of the words DOES matter.

What Do You Need To Know Now?

  1. Exact match really no longer means exactly matched
  2. You need to be EXTRA careful and pay CLOSE attention to the search term reports

How Can You Get Around This Issue?

If you want to force an exact match, you would need the add in the negative keyword of the variant you do not want. An extra step which you didn’t have to do before.

So, be vigilant folks and don’t let Google take any unnecessary money from you….

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