Google Match Type Update: Implications for Advertisers


On February 4th, Google announced significant changes coming to phrase and broad match modified (BMM) keywords. These changes are intended to simplify match types and streamline campaign structures for more effective optimization and reach.   

Key Details 

Starting on February 18th, phrase match keywords will begin to match to the same queries as BMM. Advertisers can expect an increase in traffic for phrase match keywords and/or a decrease in traffic for BMM keywords.

Google also plans for phrase match to fully replace BMM by July. BMM keywords should continue to work indefinitely, but new keywords will need to utilize phrase match.

Action Items for Advertisers 

No immediate action is needed with existing BMM keywords

Exact match already including “close variants.”  Therefore, exact match keywords have already shown a similar type of overlap with BMM since 2019.

Negative keywords should still be utilized to avoid self-cannibalization.

All new campaigns and/or keywords that would have used BMM should now use phrase match.

Monitor changes to traffic volume and performance of existing BMM campaigns, starting on 2/18.

Create a plan to gradually rebuild existing BMM campaigns as phrase by the end of Q2. Changing all campaigns at once can result in a significant performance decline for multiple weeks as the new campaigns ramp up. Consider staggering the updates by campaign category and level of priority.

For more information, please read the announcement from Google here: Making it easier to reach the right customers on Search