Farewell Modified Broad Match – Google Ads Latest Update

Neira Hadziedhemovic
February 26, 2021 3 min read

Are you noticing the increase in Phrase Match and a slight decrease in BMM keyword traffic?  

Google Ads recently announced that they are modifying Phrase Match to include Broad Match Modifier (BMM) behaviour. They are predicting that this change will make it easier for brands to reach more customers, no matter how they're searching. 

Today, you're able to reach people with the following keyword match types: 

  • Exact Match for precision 
  • Broad Match for reach 
  • Phrase Match and Broad Match Modifier for a balance of both

Google explained: "With these improvements, you can reach the searches you want just by using Phrase Match - without worrying about the searches you don't want. Let's say you're a moving company that wants to reach people interested in moving out of New York City. With the updated Phrase Match, you can reach people looking to move from NYC to Boston, for example, without showing up for people looking to move from Boston to NYC."

Google also gave us a clue how Phrase Match and BMM should work:

Google's visual representation of the changes to Phrase Match.Source: Google Ads Help


What do these new keyword matching options mean?

You will still be able to use Broad keywords, but long tail keywords will no longer be triggered by BMM search terms by the end of July. The Phrase Match type will cover BMM traffic while respecting the word order. For example, "Black and White" will continue to match for searches such as "Black and White," but will not match for "White and Black."

Google also provided examples of search queries that illustrate how matching behaviour will change after this update:


Examples of search queries after the update to Phrase Match and BMM.Source: Google Ads Help


How can you prepare for the changes to Phrase Match? 

Since the rollout has just begun, there is no need to change your match types as it could result in a loss of traffic volume. On the other hand, traffic fluctuations are inevitable and it will be important to monitor your search term report and account performance. To avoid losing traffic volume, it's recommended to follow these recommendations from Google: 

  • Start by adding additional relevant phrase match keywords. 
  • Add broad match keywords paired with a Smart Bidding strategy. This combination will help you reach more relevant searches that meet your performance objectives. 
  • Explore the "Recommendation" section to recover traffic volume. "Add new keywords" helps you maintain keyword coverage, and "Remove redundant keywords" helps you consolidate duplicate keywords.
  • Keep excluding the matches that are irrelevant for your business with negative keywords. Also, have in mind that new update will not impact your negative keywords or your quality score. 

Written by Neira Hadziedhemovic

Paid Media