<< by on August 13th, 2010
Originally rolled out in May 2010 only to advertisers in the UK and Canada, the Google AdWords broad match type modifier capability was finally made available globally in July. And now I am completely ready to fully welcome it into the “match type” family.
Historically, there have only been three main match types: broad, phrase, and exact. In 2006, Google came out with a variation on the broad match type (called the “expanded broad match”) which was basically a way to expand the reach of broad match keywords to include all sorts of random phrases that Google claimed were “synonyms.”
The way to protect against the dangers of untargeted broad-matched search queries was to make SERIOUS use of negative keywords to restrict certain streams of unwanted traffic. However, with the modified broad match type, Google gives us another tool to manage our broad match keywords.
Here’s how it works:
Let’s take the sample keyword phrase “accounting software.” Under the traditional broad match rules, that keyword could trigger an ad for the search query “accounting freeware.” Google may consider “freeware” a synonym for “software,” but if the product requires a purchase then the advertiser probably disagrees. You could add “freeware” as a negative keyword. Or you could modify the broad match keyword to be this:
According to Google, the syntax of the broad match modifier simply requires you to add a plus sign (+) in front of any word in the keyword phrase that you want to remain required. In our example above, since the + appears in front of the word “software,” no other synonym can be substituted (except a singular/plural variation or an obvious misspelling).
Google provides a nice visual of the difference among the various match types, including modified broad match:
This is great news! Although I still recommend using negative keywords for sculpting, I am so excited to add the broad match type modifier to our PPC toolbox!