Will Google's New Broad Match Modifiers Help You?

Keywords with Plus Symbol
Google Adwords has released a new function known as Broad Match Modifiers. It will essentially limit your broad match type, but not as much as phrase match type. It is essentially, the happy middle ground.

Google Adwords is always pushing the boundaries of traditional PPC marketing, and to add another layer to creating an effective marketing strategy, they have introduced a new match type. It is known as Modified Broad Match and the beta release has taken place in both Canada and the UK. Actually using the modifier is fairly straightforward; all you need to do is a plus sign in front the word or words that you would like to limit. For example, +PPC instead of PPC.

Understanding What the Broad Match Modifier Does

When you add a plus sign to the front of a keyword, it must either be entered into the search exactly, or at least a very common variation. Google Adwords has defined a “close variant” as: stemming words (+wash = washing), misspellings (+wash = washh), known acronyms, and plurals. To help keep this modifier more targeted, related searches (fruit = strawberry) and synonyms (small = petite) will not be included.

What Can PPC Marketers Gain from Using the Broad Match Modifier?

The broad match modifer has so far had more of an impact on PPC marketers that focus their efforts on exact match and phrase match keywords. In early reports, adding the broad match modifer will increase total click-throughs as well as total conversions.

PPC marketers that currently focus most of their time and energy on broad match keywords, have reported this new feature as being less useful. Since the broad match modifier will decrease the search terms that an ad will be displayed for, these marketers have reported an overall decrease in total clicks and conversion volume (nothing has been released about the actual conversion rate).

The Future of the Broad Match Modifier

During beta testing, the broad match modifer has shown promising results, more for some than for others. This type of tool is most likely to be used by PPC campaign managers that have traditionally avoided using broad match keywords for one reason or another. The broad match modifier will give them a way to restrict when their ads will be displayed more than the traditional broad match, but still gain more visibility than with phrase match.

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Nathan:

Two thumbs up for Google

This is excellent news. I can wait for this feature to roll out worldwide. In lot of my campaigns I was bidding on phrase and exact match only because broad was showing for huge amount of completely unrelated keywords. This will make broad match much more usable. Two thumbs up for Google!

Alan Mitchelll (not verified):

Higher CTR and Lower CPCs

I did some analysis recently comparing modified broad match keywords to standard broad match keywords, which you may find interesting.

Not only did I find that modified broad match keywords generally exhibit higher CTRs (largely due to their increased relevancy and focus), but modified broad match keywords also tended to have lower CPCs.