Get In Touch
1500 W Georgia St suite 1300, Vancouver
Ph: (778) 689-9029
Work Inquiries
Ph: (778) 689-9029

Understanding Match Types in 2022

It is critical to understand the remaining three match types as well as learn the best practices with each, as we approach official sunset of the Broad Modified match type for Google. Earlier in 2022, Google announced that Broad Modified match will no longer be allowed to function, leaving Broad, Phrase and Exact match types. Existing Broad Modified match keywords will now be serving with new Phrase match rules.

Hypothetically, these changes should not influence execution of data. In any case, it’s vital to comprehend the accepted procedures for keywords, campaign structure and ad groups. With every best practice, each record could behave in a diverse way and it is vital to test what will perform best, one case at a time case. This blog contains discoveries from testing structures with new expansive modifier match type and design suggestions from our digital marketing agency.

Google Ads Match Types and How They Work

Considering the BMM phase out, we now remain with three match types: Broad, Phrase, and Exact. The names of these three match types are very familiar to Google Ads services. However, over the past years, google has immensely changed how it treats each match. This has been evident in the past with the introduction of Close Variants though it looks like we keep drifting far from how these match types used to be. Google now describes Broad Match as “Loose Matching,” Phrase as “Moderate Matching” and Exact as “Tight Matching.” In 2021, keyword matching types need to be thought of in this sense, as the old meaning of “exact” or “phrase” is no longer relevant. Advertisers should now focus on Google’s intentions of these changes rather than what keywords they may show up for. The biggest change across all these match types is that Google is relying on AI to understand meaning and user intent, rather than the prior, more linear keyword matching where keywords were keywords.

Below are more details on how every key word match type has changed:

Exact Match:

Initially, Exact match type was moderately direct, whereby, users only needed to type exact keywords or close incorrect spelling in order to set off the advertisement. Google currently defines this since “Advertisements might show on similar searches or words that have a similar significance or same goal as the keywords.” For instance, the specific match keyword [lawn mowing service] can now additionally set off keywords like, “grass cutting help”, on the grounds that the expectation of the search is something very similar. Definite is as of now not precise using any and all means, and should be considered “tight matching.”

Phrase Match:

In the recent past, Phrase match type implied that the user was expected to incorporate the keywords. For instance, “shoes for men,” could set off searches, for example, “tennis shoes for men,” “purchase shoes for men online” and so on. Like the specific match change, Phrase match has now loosened and Google says that “ads may show on searches that include the meaning of your keyword. The meaning of the keyword can be implied, and user searches can be a more specific form of the meaning.” 

The search does not necessarily need to have the keywords, just like in the case of exact match, as long as google understands that the meaning or the intent is the same. For example, keyword such as “lawn mowing service” can produce a search for “hire company to mow lawn” because the implication between the two keywords are similar. 

Broad Match:

The definition of Broad Match on Google is not so different from what marketers are used to, since it states, “Ads may show on searches that are related to your keyword, which can include searches that don’t contain the keyword.” In addition, Google also states that in order to deliver relevant matches, the users system also considers their recent search activities, other keywords in the ad group as well as the content of the landing page. All these go together with Googles’ changes to improve the users need rather than keywords.

The example given is that the broad match keyword “lawn mowing service” can produce a search for “lawn aeration prices.”  However, the search may be related to the keywords but may not be a business that does not offer aeration services. Therefore, broad match keyword search terms should be clearly monitored to ensure high-quality traffic.

Account Structure Recommendations: When to Use Each Match Type

Being enlightened on the differences between these match types is very important in so as to implements the ones that fit your goal since they produce different results throughout your search. As much as the Broad match type should not be used in all instances, it is recommended because it updates and increase resilience with time.

Ideally, Broad match should go with Exact match for those keywords that are branded, if your brand’s name is not a commonly used phrase, like, “Dress Shop” or “Equipment.”  You can think of starting off in small numbers of broadcast match keywords when looking to cut on budget and search volume in your non-brand campaign. You will however need to be monitoring search terms report every day or a couple times a week and include a large negative terms list. To be precise, Broad match keywords start out with low performance for the initial 2-4 weeks up to when Google learns the variations that produce the results you want.  In case you can that deep in performance, Broad might surprise you from the other side once used with smart bidding. Phrase match types should be what you start with for non-brand campaigns. This way you have more control without wasting money on an influx of irrelevant searches. Phrase does see substantially less volume than broad match. You still want to monitor the search terms report as you may be appearing on searches that contain the words in your keyword phrase but have a different meaning.  

Since Google will prioritize these terms over other match types, Exact match types should be used in any available opportunity and will be racked on top in the auction. These are great to use for brand and non-brand keywords. They should also be continuously added for high-performing search terms that come through. 

On the off chance that your brand campaigns create in excess of 50 changes every month, you ought to think about gathering Phrase or potentially Broad match keywords in one ad group, yet in a different mission than Exact match keywords. This way you can offer higher on the exact match of your brand that ordinarily drives the best presentation. Consolidation is critical, particularly for lower changing over keywords. For non-brand campaigns, think about gathering Exact, Phrase or potentially Broad keywords in a similar ad group (broken out by keyword topic) to give Google more information to learn, and to pick the match type it considers best for each inquiry.

Moving Forward Without Broad Modified Match

The BMM phase out has really changed how marketers structure accounts. With all the changes, one should have an open mind since growth may be different between budgets, location, industries and setting within google ads.


We're excited to hear from you! Tell us a little bit about yourself.

We are set up to be long-term partners for our clients, acting as an extension of your marketing team!