Keyword Variant Matching Changes – What to Look Out for

0 comments, 30/08/2014, by , in Google, SEO

Keyword Variant MatchingAdWords remains the most popular solution for those who want to target particular users in a particular search result. The balance of cost and effectiveness is so great that millions of businesses, blogs and brands from all across the world use AdWords to improve traffic flow and increase sales. We’ve seen a variety of changes in the world of AdWords over the years, but a recently-announced change may be one of the biggest yet. As of September 2014, you’ll no longer be able to automatically filter out closely matching variants of your keywords by default when setting up campaigns. What does this mean for your campaigns? We’ll discuss some important points below to help you make sense of it all.

You Can Still Filter Out Variants

These changes are huge and are designed as a way to skim more money from users of AdWords who are pinging links through their servers. Google expects this to work because it takes a lot of work to provide exceptions to the rule, so to speak. Still, users of AdWords will have the ability to add negative keywords and phrases to their campaigns in order to filter out typos and misspellings. If you need to save money and don’t want to end up paying Google more, then this is an option. Unfortunately, you may have to spend hours on each campaign, coming up with dozens or hundreds of variations of keywords and phrases to exclude if you want your budget to remain the same.

Exact, Broad and Phrase Matches Are Gone

For ages, these three categories of matches – exact, broad and phrase – have always been a part of Google AdWords’ structure. Unfortunately, these are now gone. You’ll only be able to use what was previously defined as broad matches in your campaigns, and can include negative keywords as mentioned above to filter through the noise. Because of this, we highly recommend that you start building your negative keyword lists today, before the changes go into effect. This will no doubt take extra time on your part, but no one is quite sure yet what changes in AdWords spending will look like when you are suddenly being billed for everyone’s typos.

Costs Are Going Up

It is simply unavoidable: the cost of doing business on AdWords will increase after these changes are made. While the negative keyword list can be a helpful way to reduce the overall new costs associated with your campaigns, it will hedge the increase rather than reduce it. Pinging links from millions of devices will ultimately resort in hundreds of queries, typos and other nuances. Because of this, you’ll never be able for sure to guess each and every keyword phrase. Google foresaw ample opportunity to make this change and raise more revenue, and there is very little any of us can do about it (save for developing the most advanced negative keyword lists to exclude searches we don’t want to pay for).


Costs are definitely going to increase with the new AdWords changes, requiring you to spend more time managing your campaigns in order not to break the budget. With exact and phrase matches now gone, the only hope to inoculate yourself against rising costs is to develop solid negative keyword lists that will protect you somewhat from these changes.

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