Google changes match type
Google recently announced that in the next 30 days they will be rolling out a change to the way their algorithm reacts to ‘Exact’ and ‘Phrase’ match types in organic search results. As the system “detects and compensates for misspellings and close variants” they are extending this to Adwords ads. Details
When searching in Google we’ve all seen the common corrections that Google applies to the search results.
Showing results for single serve coffee maker
Search instead for singe sevre coffe maker
This is intended to help searchers connect to relevant results and counteract two facts that Google points to as reasons for making this change:
- “At least 7% of search queries contain a misspelling, and the longer the query, the higher the rate.”
- “Two people searching for the same thing often use slightly different variations, such as “kid scooters” and “kid’s scooter” or “bamboo floor” and “bamboo flooring.”
How this will be implemented is clearly stated as Google shares that “starting in mid-May, Phrase and Exact match keywords will match close variants, including misspellings, singular/plural forms, stemmings, accents and abbreviations. Based on our research and testing, we believe these changes will be broadly beneficial for users and advertisers.”
This last assumption is based on “early experiments on the impact for advertisers getting a 1/3 or more of their clicks from Phrase or Exact match terms. On average, the new matching behavior increased AdWords search clicks by 3%, with comparable CPCs. Keep in mind that results may vary by advertiser.” The last part is what many of us will have to watch out for. Implications
What we expect to see from this change is that campaign management will need to be more frequent, especially utilising the Search Query Report (SQR) which shows the keyword queries that triggered your ads to show. Reviewing the SQR can help uncover queries that you do not want to appear and these can be added to your negative keyword list. With more triggers, advertisers should expect to see an increase in impressions and possibly a lower CTR, though how much of a shift is difficult to tell at this early stage.
Although this change is imminent, Google does offer a method to opt-out in the advanced settings. This is a safe option; however, you are losing the chance to see new opportunities that can help expand your keyword lists. Seeing the different ways that people search for your products and brand can help you craft better ad copy and learn more about your target audiences’ emotional triggers. Summary
Clearly Google expects to achieve an increase in clicks for most advertisers. While 3% may not seem substantial, it can quickly lower the overall effect of Adwords advertising. Even with more clicks leading to an increase of visitors to your site, there is still the need to review the quality of these visitors. While Google may be fulfilling “user intent” by connecting misspellings and stemmings, you will have to track closely in your analytics whether these visitors actually turn into buying customers or just increase your page views and bounce rate with no increase in sales. Useful Links
: http://adwords.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/new-matching-behavior-for-phrase-and.html http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2012/04/18/rip-phrase-match-exact-match http://support.google.com/adwords/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2537522