Google recently announced that close variants now connect more people with what they’re looking for on the Google Ads Blog. (Another great blog to follow!)
Can You Explain Close Match Variants?
For those who aren’t familiar with what close match variants are, here’s a brief history on what they mean for your Google Ads management process. Google doesn’t look at the exact match keyword you want to bid on as an exact match specifically. For example, if you tell Google that you only want exact matches of the phrase “white label PPC” then it serve ads for anyone searching for “white label ppc” but also can make the intuitive decision to show your ads for “white labeling ppc” or even typos like “whit label ppc” or “white label ppcs”
Google uses the logical assumption that if someone’s search query is a close variation of your keyword, then it makes sense to show an ad for your keyword. Originally this was an optional setting, and Google reported an average 7% more clicks on exact and phrase match keywords when in 2014, close match variants became the default setting.
Today’s Close Match Variant Changes
These include: prepositions (in, to), conjunctions (for, but), articles (a, the), and conjunctions (and, but).
Google will now ignore these words and the meaning behind them, both adding, inserting and changing when it logically matches what the searcher seeks. For example, if the keyword were “white label ppc” then someone searching “white label for ppc” would still see the ad.
Based on what we know [tennis shoes] will now trigger when someone searches “shoes tennis,” although Google assures us that the meaning of the search won’t change.
It’s important to note that word reordering won’t add any words to your keywords.Your keywords also won’t be reordered to match with a query when it changes the original meaning of those keywords. For example, the keyword [SFO to JFK] shouldn’t match to the query “JFK to SFO” because the destination is different.
For example, “stress free ball” should not, according to Google, match a search for “free stress balls”
Who this impacts:
- English and Spanish keywords only to start
- Other languages will follow throughout 2017
- Search network only
What can you do to prepare for the close match variant changes?
Run a Search Query Report for close variants
Updates to Your Optimization Flow
Adding new keywords
Moving forward, you will only need one keyword, like local dentist near me, in the account to catch searches for:
- Local dentist near me
- Dentists locally near me
- Nearby me local dentist
- Dentist local near me
The good news
Google says early tests indicate advertisers could see up to 3 percent more exact match clicks on average while maintaining comparable click-through and conversion rates. Once the change is rolled out, it’s important to note the date and measure performance from it, to see if you see similar results.