[Coming Soon] Google Ads Update to Phrase and Modified Broad Keywords

Earlier this month, Google announced that they will be simplifying Google Ads match types. This post explains what this means to you and what you’ll need to do to your Google Ads accounts.

Carrot members have started to receive emails and notifications within their accounts with this “Important: Updates to phrase and broad match modified keywords” title.

We wanted to get the jump on the potential changes you’ll be facing leading into the month.

Starting on February 18, Google is making changes to phrase match and broad match modifier that make should make it easier to reach prospects, no matter how they’re searching.

Simplifying Match Types

Currently, if you’re using Google Ads, you’re able to reach people with the following keyword match types:

Exact match – for precision
Broad match – for reach
Phrase match and broad match modifier – for a balance of both

Google’s goal is to allow more control and better reach by bringing broad match modifier into phrase match. The result will be, “phrase match will expand to cover additional broad match modifier traffic while continuing to respect word order when it’s important to the meaning.” This will make it easier to reach prospects and manage keywords in your account.

Google claims this improvement will make it so you can reach the searches you want just by using phrase match and eliminate the worrying about the searches you don’t want.

Google used this example… “Let’s say you’re a moving company that wants to reach people interested in moving out of New York City. With the updated phrase match, you can reach people looking to move from NYC to Boston, for example, without showing up for people looking to move from Boston to NYC.”

Google Ads broad match modifier update

What Does This Mean for Real Estate Agents and Investors?

Google is phasing out the broad match modifier keyword but they are slowly doing this over several months.

Starting on February 18th, both phrase match and broad match modifier keywords will begin to transition to this new matching behavior.

This behavior will be applied to both match types, so you won’t have to take any immediate action. You’ll keep your performance data and there will be no need to migrate your keywords.

Then in July, once the new behavior has been rolled out globally, you’ll no longer be able to create new broad match modifier keywords.

However, existing broad match modifier keywords will continue to serve under the new behavior.

This is why we recommend creating new keywords in phrase match going forward.

Google will be sending more notifications as more changes are rolled out. To learn more about this change, visit the Google Ads Help Center.

Changes to Consider Making Now

To help you get the most out of these upcoming changes, we suggest the following best practices:

  • Monitor performance and shift budgets where necessary: Traffic may fluctuate due to these changes, so make adjustments as needed.
  • Regularly check your “Recommendations”: Check the “Add new keywords” to maintain keyword coverage, and “Remove redundant keywords” which helps you consolidate duplicate keywords.
  • Continue to use negative keywords: Exclude matches you don’t want with negative keywords.

Moving Forward

We’ll continue to monitor these new policies and be sure to send updates as they become available.

For now, it’s important to be aware of these changes. This at least gives you an idea of what changes will be coming over the next four to five months.

We won’t be able to see the full impact until this update is fully implemented, but we can start making adjustments to keywords match types and keyword bids.

Brendan Holmes

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