How will Google’s ‘near match’ change affect your AdWords campaigns?

Google announced that your exact match and phrase match keywords in Google AdWords will be matched with ‘variation’ or ‘near match’ starting in September. What does this mean and how will it affect your Google AdWords campaigns?

close variant matching

What exactly will Google change?

In a blog post, Google announced that it will no longer be possible to bid on exact match and phrase match keywords without including keywords that are very similar to the entered keyword.

According to Google, more than 7% of Google searches contain a misspelling. For example, if you advertise for the exact match keyword “kid scooters”, Google will show your add for the search terms “kid scooters”, “kid’s scooter”, or “kids scooters”.

Until now, ‘exact match’ meant that the ad was only shown for “kid scooters” and not for the variations.

Is this a good change or is there a downside to it?

Of course, the official Google statement is that this change is great and that you will get many more clicks with this change.

This also means much more money for Google and it’s unclear whether the variation keywords will have the same conversion rate as the initial keyword.

It’s clear that this change will be beneficial to Google but it might not be beneficial to all Google AdWords users.

This change affects exact match and phrase match keywords

As explained above, Google will show your exact match ads for more keywords. This also happens with phrase match keywords.

For example, if you advertise for the phrase match keyword “brown shoes” then your ad will be shown for the searches “buy brown shoes”, “brown shoes shop”, “brown shoes are crap”, “my girlfried hit me with my brown shoes”, etc.

When Google activates the near match change in Septemer, your add will be shown for many more variations, which means that you wil have much higher costs.

Unfortunately, there’s not much that users can do to prevent this change. You might consider changing your phrase match keywords to exact match keywords. Google won’t add too many unwanted additional keywords to your accoun then.

Further information on how to improve your Google AdWords ads can be found in the step-by-step instructions of the SEOprofiler manual:

How to optimize your AdWords ads

Tom Cassy

Tom Cassy is the CEO of SEOprofiler. He blogs about search engine optimization and website marketing topics at “”.

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