How Google’s Close Variant Matching Change Will Affect Your Search Campaigns

Max Braglia - September 2, 2014

In August, Google announced that AdWords advertisers can no longer disable “close variant matching” to all phrases and exact match keywords. Simply said, “true,” exact or phrase match is no longer going to be possible. Advertisers should take action in order to optimize their campaigns with this new reality in mind.

Although the option to “Include plurals, misspelling, and other close variants” is selected by default in AdWords for search campaigns, many advertisers choose not to include close variants in order for their ads to be served exclusively when users’ queries match the keywords they bid on.

Close variant keyword matching is no longer available
This means that if you had set your campaigns to “Do not include close variants” you can expect to see an increase in traffic and cost now that this change of policy is implemented – because your keywords will be matched against more keywords.

If your campaign is running on a very tight budget, then you’ll have to carefully monitor your Search Query report and add the variants you don’t want your ads to show up for to your negative keyword list.

On the other hand, this sudden increase in traffic may be the key to discovering valuable keywords that were “hidden” when excluding close variants.

In the end, it all comes down to one practice: daily optimization and monitoring of your campaigns in order to maximize the return on your interactive advertising dollars.

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