Have you heard the big news from Google? 

Last week, the search engine giant announced they are phasing out the ability to add modifiers (+) to broad match keywords to make way for the expansion of Phrase Match. This comes as no surprise as Google is constantly tinkering with match types. 

Starting in July 2021, you will no longer be able to create new broad keywords with modifiers in the string. What? Why? How? Read on for answers. 

What is Google changing and why? 

Just last week, Google announced that their phrase match option will be expanded to more closely resemble what you know as Broad Match Modified. 

Google is good at being evasive, but we believe this is happening for a number of reasons. Most importantly, Google is getting better at learning the searchers intent, so they are more confident they can correctly match the search result without the modifier. Without the modifier, phrase match keywords will be close enough to cover those search queries. 

The three main keyword match types will still be available to you: 

  • Exact match keywords for precision with search terms 
  • Broad match keywords which will allow you to improve your reach
  • Phrase match, which combines the best of both worlds – precision and reach

When is this happening? 

Technically, July 2021. That said, Google is going to slowly implement the change. This means your current broad match modified keywords may continue to run until phased out permanently in July. 

Moving Forward

We know changes like this can be scary – but don’t worry! Here are a few things you can do to prepare: 

  1. Call us! Our team is happy to review your keyword structure and provide  feedback around the best practices you should put into place as a result of this change. 
  2. Ensure you have phrase match keywords set up – they will likely start matching to more queries. Watch the performance here and adjust as necessary. And check your negative keywords! Sometimes phrase match keywords cover more searches, you want to be sure you aren’t showing for searches you don’t want to show for. 
  3. Expect a decrease in broad match modifier keywords. Watch performance and make sure the best performing keywords are being covered with a different match type. 
  4. Triple check your budgets – even just for peace of mind – this is always a good practice when there is a big change. 
  5. Typically, once Google makes a change like this, the others follow suit. Be prepared to make similar adjustments on other platforms. 

All in all, this change means only positive things. Google is smart, and is making your life easier as a result! 

One thing is certain, Google will continue to make tweaks and changes just like this over the coming months and years. If you ever have any questions, feel free to give us a shout.