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Google Exact Match Close Variants Now Include Same Meaning Variations

With the exact match keyword targeting ads used to show on searches that match exactly the “search term” or are “close variations” of that exact search query. The close variants include searches for keywords with plurals, misspellings, and other similar variants between the query and the keyword.

It also includes a reordering of words and the addition or removal of function words. Now, as part of an update, Google says that the close variants of an exact match keyword will include close variations that share the same meaning as the keyword.

This means, says Google is that the exact match keywords can now show ads on searches that include “implied words, paraphrases, and other terms with the same meaning.”

Exact match are powered by Google’s machine learning (ML)

Google explains how does this look in practice with an example of the exact match keyword [yosemite camping]. With this change live now, the ads may show up on other matching search queries, such as “yosemite campground,” “campsites in yosemite,” or “yosemite national park ca camping.”

A screenshot below shows the new exact match keyword:

Google Exact Match Keyword Example

The key, is that the intent of the search query still matches the original search keyword. “If the intent of the query is different from the original keyword, it will not match it.”

For example, [Yosemite National Park] wouldn’t match to search terms such as “yosemite hotel” or “best yosemite camping,” because, “the intent is different,” despite both having reference to staying at the park, says Google. Instead, these terms would match to the broad match version of this keyword.

About this change, as Google citing internal data says, that roughly 15 percent of searches every day are new. This will give advertisers a chance to show their ads for the search queries, they have not yet discovered. — without having to manage an exhaustive list of keywords, Google explained.

This change is also largely aimed to help advertisers getting more exact match clicks and conversions. Google says early test results of advertisers using most “exact match keywords saw on average, a 3 percent more exact match clicks and conversions,” with “most of that are coming from queries they aren’t currently reaching.”

Google says brands like Extra Space Storage are already discovering new opportunities to reach more customers with the exact match keyword. “We were very satisfied with the quality of matches during the pilot,” stated Steph Christensen, Senior Analyst for Paid Acquisition shared. “We’re always looking for ways to increase volume, and this new matching behavior should help us gain additional reach via highly relevant new matches.”

Google Ads will continue to prefer the actual exact match — the identical keywords to the search queries already used in the paraphrases and other similar keywords in campaigns. “Phrase, broad, and broad match modifier keywords” aren’t included in this update, Google said.

The rollout of this change will happen to all English keywords throughout October this year. It will then roll out to more languages over the following few months.

In other changes this week, Google is letting advertisers drive more traffic to their standard campaigns landing pages as it now allows to show Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) on landing pages from standard ad groups.

A simple set up involve — selecting “landing pages from standard ad groups” from the list of available categories will target all landing pages in the account that are being used with text ads.

Here is a screenshot showing this setup:

select dsa for standard campaigns' landing pages in google account

For example, if you have standard campaigns set up for different types of shoes this can capture all types of shoes featured on your landing pages, even when the type is not featured in your keyword list.

Google is recommending advertisers to grow their DSA traffic with other targeting types, like “specific categories” “once you see a positive performance.”

Lastly, landing page data is also now available in the search terms report under the Dynamic Ad Targets letting advertisers use the URL level stats for their Dynamic Search Ads.

Using this report, it becomes easier to find “top performing pages and target them specifically.” Also, the report will help in finding pages to add as negative targets.

This screenshot shows an example [if your ad group targeting all web pages is driving traffic to a product page on an out of stock product, you can exclude that product’s page]:

landing page data in google ads search terms report

Update 09/08: Google is now allowing marketers to use “URL is” feature giving them more control over their Dynamic Search Ads (DSA).

DSA is an ad solution that helps in driving more traffic to the landing pages. Set up DSA on the top pages by finding out the top performing pages by using the DSA ad targets report and then use “URL is” to target any of those pages by adding exact URLs to the Dynamic ad targets.

Here is a screenshot that shows the process:

Add URL is to Dynamic Search Ads


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