Google Modified Broadmatch Initial Analysis

May 11, 2010

Google just launched a fourth keyword match type to it’s pay-per-click platform adwords. Why?

The latest addition is called “modified broad” and sits neatly between phrase match and the traditional broadmatch keyword type. By using the modifier “+” in front of a specific broadmatch keyword in a phrase, it will only show against searches that include that keyword (including misspells, abbreviations, acronyms and stemmings). The biggest difference compared to traditional broadmatch, is that it will not show for synonyms and related searches.

Adwords match type chart from inside adwords blog. Click for fullsize image

Why is Google doing this?

As Google outlines in its blog post, the modified broadmatch keyword will generate more traffic than exact and phrase matches, whilst providing increased control compared to traditional broadmatch. Simply put – they want advertisers to spend more money by daring to broaden their campaigns. Of course clever search marketers will also utilise the modified broadmatch keyword type to improve relevance of any existing broadmatch keywords.

Google has previously been playing around with expanding the broadmatch keyword, and I suspect that this announcement also means that the traditional broadmatch will be expanded further to capture more traffic. So, if your campaigns have a lot of existing broadmatch keywords (UK and CA only for now), it could be worthwhile keeping an extra close eye on performance and search query reports.

Since it’s just been announced, it’s too early to report on any results, but I’ll update any findings.

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matthewncube May 11, 2010 at 1:49 pm

RT @nilsson_magnus: BLOG: Google Modified Broadmatch – the fourth match type… Some initial thoughts #ppc

RobBarham May 11, 2010 at 1:50 pm

RT @nilsson_magnus: BLOG: Google Modified Broadmatch – the fourth match type… Some initial thoughts #ppc

Adrian Key May 18, 2010 at 4:18 pm

This is a big step forwards for AdWords. It actually makes me think that it the level of control this modifier offers lives up to expectations then it might be worth using the broad match option for some keywords once more.

Calculate Marketing October 28, 2010 at 8:08 am

I agree that the new modified broad match should be used to increase the relevance of exisiting ‘standard broad match keywords. I recently did some anaysis comparing modified broad match keywords to standard broad match keywords and found that those which were modified had significantly higher click through rates and lower average cost per click prices than those which were not modified:

Would be great to hear your thoughts.


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