Google Dropped Modified Broad – What Does It Mean?

Google made a recent announcement in their post “Making it easier to reach the right customers on Search”. But did the changes really make it easier and more profitable? Here are my notes on what Google’s announcement really means.

  • Google wants to make more money out of 15% of the new queries every day that haven’t been seen before. This means further decline in traffic for SEO experts unfortunately.
  • Google wants to push Smart Bidding. The post is about changes to “phrase match” and “broad match modifier”. It appeared 10/11 times in the whole post. They mentioned Smart Bidding 5 times! Seems like I’m not that far off with my guess in this blog post.
  • The term “Exact match for precision” scared me a bit. Considering the bad development regarding close variant in exact match keywords, I wonder how will the performance look like when you go broad?

Better start adding your negative keywords used for MBroad in the past to your phrase keywords now. Only 2 weeks left before the changes take effect!

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  • “Starting mid-February both phrase match and broad match modifier keywords will begin to transition to this new matching behavior. Because this behavior will be applied to both match types, you won’t have to take any immediate action”. In fact not taking immediate action can be a problem. You will get a lot of new traffic to phrase match queries now. Probably with a lot of noise. I highly recommend you to start adding your negative keywords used for MBroad in the past to your phrase keywords. On big MCC accounts this can be a big pain, especially if you set the negative keywords on Campaign or AdGroup level. You better start now – only 2 weeks left. Thank you Google!
  • It is surprising that after the update on broad match modifier, you get less traffic. Instead you should start adding phrase match keywords now, since there are only two weeks left! If you run out of time, consider using broad match with Smart Bidding.
  • There is a small detail that means a lot! Phrase will not act as the old modified broad. Google tells you this is an advantage. What it actually means is that you can not port your MBroad keywords to phrase. Of course you can easily port them to broad (+Smart Bidding).

Cheat Sheet

  1. 2 weeks is not enough time to port your negative keywords from MBroad to phrase on large accounts. You will pay a lot of money for noise in the search terms.
  2. If you are not able to cover your existing traffic with new phrase match keywords you will lose traffic with your old modified broad match strategy.
  3. You can’t port your MBroad keywords to new phrase keywords easily (the word order still matters). If you can’t do it in the next 14 days you have to go broad + Smart Bidding. Q.E.D.

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