Important Update From Google: Phrase and Broad Match Modified Keyword Changes

If, like us, you run campaigns utilising Google Ads, you’ve probably heard by now that there are a few changes coming to the platform throughout 2021. One of the most notable ones is the change to matching behaviour of phrase and broad match modifier keywords (BMM). Google announced this change late last week and will come into place from mid-February with the goal to be rolled out worldwide by mid-year.

What does this mean?

Google will be transitioning your phrase match keywords to cover broad match modifier searches within their SERPs results – this is a match type we currently use across some campaigns in your accounts.

To understand this better, see the examples below:

How will we adapt to continue practicing best practices and delivering results across campaigns?

We will be monitoring phrase match keywords across your account and the traffic being delivered for these and adjusting budgets accordingly the continue to deliver on KPIs and deliver the results you’ve come to expect. The existing BMM keywords within your account will automatically be converted to phrase matching starting this month.

With this updated matching behaviour from Google, ads may show on searches that include the same or more specific meaning as the keywords you are currently bidding on. This can possibly lead to an increase in traffic on any phrase match keywords within your account and potentially a slight decrease in traffic on any BMM keywords starting from Feb 18.

How will this impact you?

We will continue to update you where necessary as the update is rolled out across the next few months. You may notice traffic shifts across different campaigns across February and Month as the full extent of the updates are known and we can update our best practice methods, especially across any BMM match keywords across your campaigns.

Starting July 2021, once the change has fully rolled out, we’ll no longer be able to utilise BMM keyword matching and will only be able to use phrase matching. We are adapting as soon as possible to ensure your campaigns are impacted as least as possible.

  • Any new keywords we uploaded to your account will now be keyword phrase match not BMM.
  • As phrase match and BMM will behave the same, there will be no impact on performance
  • Any Smart bidding in place will automatically optimise to and set bids on new traffic based on KPI goals

If you’d like to read more on this update from Google and how it will be rolled out, you can do so on the Google Blog.

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