This month Google will be removing the ability to target exact match keywords in Google AdWords. I know I know more changes! But don’t worry there are steps you can take to minimise its impact and ultimately Google is trying to deliver the best user experience possible to its users, we must remember that.

What is exact match?

Exact match means that when someone types in a search query into Google the query has to exactly match with no plurals, misspellings or close variants to the keyword in your ad group. So if you typed in ‘black handbag’ only those who exactly typed in black handbag would see your adverts.

Why are Google scrapping exact match?

Well many think that it is a money making scheme, if you run your ads on exact match they will soon be making many more impressions via broad match and therefore receiving more clicks and this means more revenue for Google!

That said this is a shift towards basing adverts around the intent of the searcher and therefore delivering a more accurate response in search. Like the Google Hummingbird update, we need to become more aware of keyword and intent matching, a little less towards the exact match targeting. This will ensure that we cover off all the potential interests and intent around the query.

What does this mean for Google advertisers?

Reduced control is the obvious issue. The default setting is actually phrase match anyway but for those advertisers who want to exercise a great dal of control over their ads this is bad news.

Tips for success.

As part of this update there will inevitably be variants of your keywords that you do not want your ads to show for. Run a search terms report at least monthly to identify what keywords are triggering your ads. Exclude any that are not relevant. This will build up your negative keyword list and improve the efficiency of your campaign and save you £££s. This is an essential part of running your campaign effectively, especially in light of this update.