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  • Cristina Hernando Pajuelo

New Phrase Match: Bye Bye Broad Match Modified. Google Ads KW Match Type Update.

Mis à jour : févr. 18

On February 4th Google Ads announced an important change on Keyword Match Types impacted the well known Broad Match Modified and Phrase Match.


SUMMARY: In this post you you will learn:


What did we have before the Google Ads update ?

What is the Google Ads Match Type Update about ?

How does these changes on the Broad Match Modified and Updated Phrase Match impact my current campaigns ?

How should I use the Updated phrase match





What did we have before the Google Ads update ?

So far we had the following Types of Keyword Matches:


  • Broad match

  • +Broad +match +modified (order did not matter)

  • "Phrase match" (order matters)

  • [Exact match]


What is the Google Ads Match Type Update about ?

Today (from Feb 18th, 2021)


  • Broad match

  • +Broad match modified (will disappear in July 2021)

  • Updated Phrase match => The order no longer matters, it works as the old BMM

  • Exact match


From February 18th 2021, The "Updated Phrase Match" will work as the old Broad Match Modified


How does these changes on the Broad Match Modified and Updated Phrase Match impact my current campaigns ?


If you have terms on current "Phrase Match"this means that Google will show the ads even the order is not respected, as soon as they contain the words inside. This is how Broad Match Modified worked so far.


Google Ads assures that thanks to their machine learning they will show the ads only to users which real intention search.


Important: Even machine learning has done big progress, if you want to prevent from irrelevant search intentions, you can add negative keywords if you know specifically that a search query is not convenient to you. In this article we explain how you can add negative keywords.


Impact on your current keywords: You will see an increase on number of impressions of your existing Phrase match terms as it will be shown even the order is not respected or there is an extra keyword in the middle. Consequently, as the Phrase Match will be used in more search intentions, you will see a decrease on the number of impressions on BMM. In deed, Google will delete BMM before July 2021.



Google Ads provided example during Announcement


How should I use the Updated phrase match


For existing keywords already in Broad Match Modified

  • You can keep your existing Broad Match Modified keyword in the old way. They will still work as they used to until July 2021, unless you try to modify them.

  • If you try to modify an existing keyword, they will be changed to the updated phrase match type.

Google does not request to take immediate action but recommends to start using them.


On my side, I have done a detailed review of all accounts, and if I needed to add or modify the keywords in broad match modified before the update I did it.


If you add new keywords

  • You only need to add + before the first word

  • Will work as the new"Updated Phrase match". The order of keywords does not matter, but the intention does.


From now on, Google says they are able to determine whether the order matters for the search intention thanks to the Machine Learning.


For existing keywords already in Phrase Match type

  • Order no longer matters.

  • You will need to add negative keywords if you know specifically that a search query is not convenient to you.

  • Attention: this means that you will get more impressions and clicks on existing phrase match (as it will behave as broad match modified)

  • You will get less clics on your broad match modified.


This article about the Broad Match Modified and Updated Phrase Match changes has been written consulting with Google Ads Experts in different countries, and will be updated with customer cases when the changes are rolled out.




©2020 par Cristina Hernando Pajuelo