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AdWords Near Exact and Near Phrase

Posted on Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 by Print This Post Print This Post

Categories - Featured, News, SEM

Recently, Google announced some important changes coming to the management of phrase and exact match keywords and a new campaign setting for AdWords advertisers.

What is the new setting?

Below is a screen shot of what this new campaign setting looks like under “Advanced settings” for a single campaign:

This new setting is auto defaulted to “Include plurals, misspellings, and other close variants”. If you were to keep this setting, this means if you had an exact match term of [red basketball shoe], you could be matched to terms like ‘red basketball shoes’. If you opted out of this setting, you could only be mapped to ‘red basketball shoe’ with no other variants.

It is important to note that even though you are opted into this setting, Google will not be mapping additional queries to exact and phrase match until mid-May 2012.

Who should opt in?

This new setting will be great for advertisers that want to get more reach with AdWords with limited oversight and campaign management.

Who should opt out?

Advertisers that are actively managing their AdWords campaigns should opt out of this setting to keep exact and phrase terms as tight as possible.  Data mining should be achieved through Search Query Reports through broad match terms in the account.

About Ranil Wiratunga

Ranil Wiratunga+ works in Search Marketing, at The Search Agency as Senior Director, Paid Media - Website: www.thesearchagency.com

Ranil Wiratunga manages a cross-functional team of search account management, project management, development, and performance-driven web strategy experts. He joined TSA’s SEM team in November 2006. He has account management experience in various verticals such as finance, CPG, travel, directory, entertainment, electronics, dating, etc. As an expert in SEM, he holds Google AdWords Professional and Yahoo! Advertising certification. Ranil graduated from Gonzaga University with a Bachelors in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and a minor in Philosophy.

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One Response to “AdWords Near Exact and Near Phrase”

  1. Nate says:

    Thanks for the post, Ranil. I definitely agree that super users will generally want to opt out. There are a couple of specific types of cases where we’ve seen singular and plural variations behave very differently, and there may be more. To add a little color:

    1) Directory sites vs. single-proprietor sites: We’ve seen instances where the plural of a keyword performs wonderfully for a directory/listing advertiser, while the singular variation performs so poorly that it needs to be paused and even “negative-exacted.” Our theory is that someone who types “accountantS in Los Angeles” (plural) may be marginally more predisposed to interact with a site that lists multiple accountants than a site for a single accounting practice. (Our theory is only conjecture, but the data is not.)

    2) Cases where either the singular or plural variation of a keyword has a distinct and commonly searched meaning/usage that’s unrelated to the meaning it shares with its singular/plural counterpart. For example, a search for “houses” is almost certain to be about home buying, while a search for “house” can be about home buying, dance music, or the TV show.


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