Google announced that starting in late September, it will be applying "close variant" keyword matching to all exact and phrase match keywords in AdWords. The feature has been available as an option for a couple years, but will now simply be the default for exact and phrase match.
The example Google gives is that a searcher might search for "kid scooters," "kids's scooter" or "kids scooters". With close variant matching, you'll be able to pick up on each of these phrases.
According to the company, campaigns that have used the option have seen "strong results".
"In fact, a vast majority of you are already matching to close keyword variations, receiving an average of 7% more exact and phrase match clicks with comparable clickthrough and conversion rates," AdWords product manager Jen Huang says in a blog post. "In addition to increased keyword coverage, these incremental clicks represent valuable opportunities that are missed by 'Low search volume' keywords, common for misspellings and abbreviations."
"Because close variant matching was already the default setting for campaigns, most of you won’t see a change in your keyword matching behavior," Huang says. "For advertisers that opted out, the option to disable close variants will be removed in September. Your exact and phrase match keywords will then begin matching to close keyword variations, allowing you to reach more of your potential customers with the right ad while aiming to lower cost per click and improve clickthrough rate."
As Google notes, the whole thing will save you the trouble of creating huge lists of misspelled, abbreviated, and other close variations of words. Just focus on building your negative keywords lists.
Image via Google