Google Ads Alert: No More Google Broad Match Modifier?

At the beginning of February, Google started treating phrase match and modified broad the same. What does that mean for you and your business?

The Difference Between Phrase Match and Modified Broad

With phrase match, the way you order your words when bidding for a keyword makes a difference. 

Modified broad, on the other hand, is more targeted and uses plus signs (+) to direct a search. With modified broad, the words that are preceded by a (+) sign must appear in the keyword phrase exactly or as a close variation in order to produce a successful result. 

Google Is Now Strictly Modified Broad

In February, Google eliminated phrase match entirely, treating everything as modified broad instead. This is a pretty big change — and Google made it without much of a heads up — so it may have left a lot of businesses scrambling.

This adjustment makes sense for Google. According to Search Engine Land, 15% of the queries Google sees are brand new. Back in 2007, that figure was closer to 20% to 25%, but 15% is still significant nonetheless.

Managing Negative Keywords

In shifting to modified broad, it’s crucial to monitor negative keywords. As Google explains, negative keywords let you exclude search terms from your campaigns and help you focus on only the keywords that matter to your customers.

It’s important to watch what keywords are being searched in correlation to your business on a weekly basis, removing those negative keywords to maximize reach.

Ultimately, this will benefit Google, since some agencies aren’t hiring to manage negative keywords. In the end however, Google is getting better and better with its machine learning, which is a plus for everybody.  

If you haven’t already, we recommend trying out a Smart campaign to help highlight the selling points of your business and attract more customers.

Adjustments to Make Going Forward

Starting in July 2021, the creation of broad match modifier keywords will no longer be available, but the same matching functionality will be available through phrase match. Google states existing BMM keywords will continue to serve using the new behavior. You can learn more about this here.

In a nutshell, keyword matching inside of Google has changed. If your business doesn’t have somebody watching keyword matching and negative keywords, we recommend looking into that as Google shifts to a new era of modified broad.

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