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.
Google AdWords recently updated matching behavior to two of the three match types. In the past, Google had three distinct match types: broad, phrase and exact. Now, Google says that phrase and exact match keywords will match close variants, including misspellings, singular/plural forms, stemmings, accents and abbreviations. Previously, advertisers had to manually add all of the aforementioned keywords to their keyword list.
Google believes that these changes will be broadly beneficial for users and advertisers.
Adding misspellings to phrase and exact match types helps advertisers focus on user intent because people aren’t perfect spellers or typists. Google says that at least seven percent of search queries contain a misspelling; and the longer the search query, the higher the rate for a misspelling.
In addition, adding singular and plural forms of keywords as well as stemmings (example for the root trim, including stemmings such as trimming, trimmed, trimmer, etc.) will keep the same intent of the searcher but make it easier on the advertiser to create keyword lists.
Google has been rolling out this new keyword feature and it will be available to all advertisers by mid-May. Advertisers will still be able to use the traditional phrase and exact match types without the added variants if they desire. Under the “Advanced settings” section in the “Campaign settings” tab, Google AdWords users will see the following Keyword matching options: