Home > Uncategorized > Introducting Adwords Exact-ish Match

Introducting Adwords Exact-ish Match

Goodbye Exact Match, Hello Exact-ish Match


In August the Inside Adwords blog made a quiet announcement of Close Match Variants rolling out for Exact and Phrase match types by the end of September. So what does that mean? According to Google, “Close variations include misspellings, singular and plural forms, acronyms, stemmings (such as floor and flooring), abbreviations, and accents.” Here it is, the quiet and slow good bye to Exact Match. Here are some examples of close match variants:

  1. clothes / cloths
  2. Kids / Childrens
  3. Baby / Babies
  4. Java / Coffee
  5. Cardiology / Cardio
  6. bar / barre

A few of these things aren’t like the other. Some of them make sense, some of them do not.
I’ll keep my rant to a minimum… I’m not a fan of Google continuing to take control away from paid search marketers in order to help grow their revenue reduce the amount of work to maintain large keyword lists. I understand that Google is creating a product for the lowest common denominator — small businesses who might not have resources to manage their campaigns. I get it. I really do. What I don’t understand is why Google is choosing to remove the ability to opt out. It makes me sad. Not as sad as Google forced enhanced campaigns upon all adverisers, but still sad. Google is slowly moving the control away from advertisers and professionals who know what they are doing. My solution, give the sophisticated adverisers (aka the Professionals) the ability to opt in or opt out of feature. Okay, end rant because I could write for hours. Let’s get to the meat of what this means for you.

Analyzing Close Match Variants Performance

Okay. So it’s coming. How will you know if you need to make any changes to your accounts? Simple. Analyze the performance by match type and then dig in to your top exact and phrase match terms to determine if you need to take action.

  • Login to Adwords
  • Pull a Search Query Report: In the Keywords Tab, click on details and select all search terms. (Minimum 30 days of Performance Data)
  • Put the data into a Pivot Table and segment by Match Type. Create calculations for the CPA and ROAS.
  • If the close match variants match type performance is substantially different then I’d recommend digging in by ad group and adding positive and negative keywords.

Example: For this client, based on the Phrase and Exact performance I need to go in and add some negative keywords into the account because the ROAS for Exact (Close Variants) is -50% or more of the Exact match type.
Analysis of Close Match Variance Performance

Work Arounds for Close Match Variants

Unlike Enhanced Campaigns there is a work around for the launch of close match variants that will enable you to maintain some control for your best performing exact keywords. Introducing the worlds most complex Negative keyword strategy. Just kidding, it’s not that complex, but if you would like to keep your top performing Exact Keywords as exact as possible what you can do is this:

For your top performing Exact Keyword…

  1. Create a Unique Ad Group for Each Exact Match Keyword
  2. Add all misspellings and variations as exact negative keywords
  3. In the rest of your ad groups add your top exact match keywords as “exact negative”

Here is a quick and easy visual guide for the work around for utilizing search query reports to get back to “Almost Exact” match.

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