Google implemented close variant matching to phrase and exact match keywords.
- From late September, Adwords advertisers will no longer have the ability to de-select close variants.
- Therefore, all campaigns will now include these close variants which include misspellings and plurals, regardless of match types.
- Users will be exposed to ads regardless of misspellings (7% of searches contain a misspelling) and abbreviations (frequent in smartphones).
- Advertisers will see on average 7% more clicks with (hopefully!) minimal semantic drift.
- You guessed it, Google makes more revenue.
So what does this mean?
- Reduced control over keyword selection.
- Specifically, “pure” Exact and Phrase Match match types are not available.
- Previously Adwords gave the option to include close variants (which was the default anyway) on Exact and Phrase match. This option is being taken away.
An example of how this change will effect campaigns can be shown using the keyword "baby clothes". Previously, under 'Exact Match' with close variants off, the ad would only show for the term "baby clothes". When the new changes come into effect, the ad will now show for 'babby clothes', baby clo thes' and problematically 'baby cloths' (different meaning).
What can be done?
- Negative keywords are going to become even more crucial, as that will be the only way to prevent the “clothes/cloths” situation described above.
- Close attention should be paid to the Search Query Report to track actual searches.
- Nimbull does not normally switch on ‘do not include close variants’, therefore it will have very little effect on the live campaigns.