Google Expands Their Exact Match Variants


Google Expands Their Exact Match Variants

Ned duPont

Examples of Google’s expanded exact match variants

AI is expanding even further into search: Google recently announced a new update to its exact match type that further focuses on machine learning. Ads triggered by exact match used to show when a user typed the exact keyword or close variations such as plurals, misspellings, typos. Now, the exact match keyword will extend to include implied words, paraphrase, and queries with the same intent. This basically broadens the options that come up with “did you mean…” in a Google search.

According to Google, about 15% of daily searches are completely new. With this update, advertisers will be able to tap into more searches that will be relevant to your campaign’s goals.

What’s changing?

This update will pair exact match keywords with queries that carry the same intent. Based on early estimates, Google expects that this will expand the amount of auctions by 3%. Google provides a few examples of what could match to the exact match keyword “Yosemite camping”. Note that this update does not impact negative keyword match types.

What does this mean for Advertisers?

Google’s update means that advertisers can expect to see an uptick in traffic from their exact match types as this expands to cover more searches. As this progresses, it will be important for advertisers to monitor what their keywords are matching to and ensure that you aren’t matching to any unwanted queries. We encourage marketers to analyze search query reports against exact match terms over the next few weeks to understand how the reach on these terms has expanded. Updating negative keyword lists to prevent any unwanted traffic will take priority.

This is a welcome modification – it’s expected to increase relevant traffic to your site. With the increase of unique queries each day, as well as the rise in voice search behavior, having the ability to reach even more relevant queries is a good thing. Advertisers will need to adapt to the change and plan accordingly, by preparing additional negative keywords. However, we anticipate that this change will ultimately result in improved traffic for a variety of brands. 


Additional reporting by Kelvin Estevez and Michelle D'Andrea of Digitas' Search Team

Ned duPont

Ned duPont

Senior Analyst, Search Marketing

Ned is a Senior Analyst in Search Marketing at Digitas New York. 


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