Using AdWords Editor to Create Modified Broad Matched Keywords

MoreVisibility - August 2, 2010

We here at the Analytics & Site Intelligence blog at MoreVisibility don’t spend as much time as we should talking about pay-per-click. After all, pay-per-click advertising is a multi-billion dollar industry that’s only getting larger by the click.

Recently, Google AdWords announced a new keyword targeting option for advertisers globally called Modified Broad Match; this announcement coming on the heels of a re-branding effort for their Content Network, which is now called the Google Display Network.

With modified broad match, advertisers can further refine their keyword search audience without having to use phrase or exact match. Regular broad match (or, non-modified broad match) is still the keyword matching option that will allow advertisers to cast the widest possible net on Google search and their partners. Advertisers bidding on a keyword like “brown shoes” using regular broad match will have their ads appear for search queries such as “formal dress shoes”, “men’s brown shoes”, “wingtip shoes for men”, and many other variations. Advertisers who choose to use modified broad match will allow themselves the opportunity to capture misspellings while blocking out possibly irrelevant search queries by inserting a plus-sign symbol in front of every word in the search term the advertiser bids for.

If you have a large number of keywords in your campaigns, inserting a plus-sign symbol in front of every word of every search term would be a monumentally boring and nightmarish task to complete. Since this isn’t your first rodeo, you already know that using Google AdWords Editor saves you time, energy, and lets you make changes across multiple campaigns or ad groups offline without having to toggle between campaigns like you have to do on the live web interface. It’s also a great way to make sweeping changes to your keyword match types, specifically, from broad match to modified broad match.

To show you an example, let’s say that you wanted to make the switch from broad to modified broad, and you wanted to use a plus-sign symbol in front of every word within all of your keywords. First, you’d want to log-in to open AdWords Editor and download recent changes (ALWAYS download recent changes before doing anything in AdWords Editor). Next, click on the keywords tab and highlight all of the keywords using the CTRL + A function on your keyboard.

Next, click on the link at the bottom of the AdWords Editor interface that reads Replace text. This will create a pop-up window like the one in the image below. You’ll want to find the space character (one hit on your keyboard’s space bar) in keywords, and replace it with a space and the plus-sign symbol. Click on Find Matches to update your keywords.


What you should see after you click on Find matches is plus-sign symbols between each word of your keyword. However, you may wonder what you should do about one-word keywords and the first word of every keyword, since those won’t have plus-signs in front of them. For all of those instances (and to fully change all keywords from broad match to modified broad match), click on the Append text link, which is right next to the Replace text link on the bottom of the interface. Then, do what I did in the following image (select “Keywords” and enter in the plus-sign symbol underneath it, while ensuring that you’ve selected Before existing text) and you’ll be good to go:


Of course, don’t forget to click on Post Changes while making sure you select All Campaigns when you’re finished in order to post your changes live to Google AdWords. You wouldn’t want your quick, efficient work to stay offline, would you? 🙂

This chart, from the Google AdWords Blog Inside AdWords, visually explains how modified broad match differs from the other match types that are currently available.

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