Google Expanding Close Variant Matching to Relief of Advertisers


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Managing paid search marketing campaigns can be very challenging for companies, especially when trying to account for all of the possible search strings that people enter when searching for a product. For example, the search queries "winter jacket" and "jacket for winter" are the exact same thing. So to make sure to capture all of the variations of how customers search for a product or service, marketers have to build large, overly redundant keywords lists to reach these customers. Fortunately that is no longer the case as Google has just announced the expansion of close variant matching to their popular AdWords program.

Close variants help marketers connect with people who are looking for their business, despite slight variations in the way people search. By extending the close variant matching to include additional rewording and reordering for exact match keywords, it will be much easier for advertisers to reach more of their customers. Additionally, early tests show Adword advertisers may see up to 3% more exact match clicks on average while maintaining comparable clickthrough and conversion rates.

As simple as it may sound, words that don't impact the intent behind the query will be ignored. These Function words are prepositions (in, to), conjunctions (for, but), articles (a, the) and other words. However, in cases where the function word would affect the meaning, the function word won't be ignored but instead reworded/changed. For example, the “to” in “flights to new york” would not be ignored, because a “flight from new york” is not the same as a “flight to new york.”

The other AdWords close variant matching tweak addresses word order. Two keywords can share the same meaning, even if the word order is slightly different. For example, “buy new cars” and “new cars buy” have the same meaning. Now, exact match will use that same logic to match with queries that are reordered variations of your keyword.

Putting all of this together, Google states "With this expansion of close variants, you’ll no longer have to build and maintain lists of reworded and reordered exact match keywords to get the coverage you want. If you already use reworded or reordered keyword variations, AdWords will still prefer to use those keywords identical to search queries. Phrase match keywords aren’t included in this update."

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