Google Moving on From Broad Match Modifier

Google Moving on From Broad Match Modifier

There is huge news in the world of internet marketing!  As you probably know, Google has been tinkering with its Phrase match and Broad Match Modified function, with the goal of matching meanings instead of words.  On February 4, 2021 they announced further changes that will make their Phrase match closer to the existing Broad Match Modified searches.

What are the three types of matches?

Google will have three types of matches.  Exact match, broad match, and phrase match.  Exact matches have to match exactly, broad matches allow you to add modifiers to your string, and phrase matches are designed to look at meanings instead of exact words.

Why are they making changes?

For Google, the goal is to return the results for information that people are seeking.  The better Google gets at figuring out the intent behind the searches, the better able it is to hone the results.

What does this mean for marketers?

Currently, marketers can add modifiers (+) to broad match keywords.  As Phrase match is phased in, this will be phased out.  Right now, Broad Match Modified keywords are going to continue to work, but starting in July 2021, you will no longer be able to create keywords with modifiers (+) in the string.

How will Phrase Match change where you spend advertising dollars?

The most exciting thing about Phrase Match is that it will let you match with searches even if words are in a different order.  This will impact keyword bidding, increasing matches if you are relying on Phrase Match monitoring.  However, because order will factor into Broad Match Modified Keywords, you will see fewer results if bidding on Broad Match Modified keywords.

How will Phrase Match change SEO?

This is the million-dollar question.  Theoretically, the better Google gets at guessing intent, the better organic searches will be for all advertisers.  However, it could also lead to hits that are not directly related to your goods and services.  We will be keeping you updated as we watch how this impacts our clients.

Does this mean we need to make changes?

Maybe.  You are definitely going to want to watch how results are impacting your advertising budget, so you can make the best plans to move forward.  You need to review your keywords and how you are matching.  If you are bidding on Phrase Match keywords, you may want to increase negative keywords to avoid paying for clicks that are unlikely to lead to conversions. If you are splitting advertising dollars between Phrase Match and Broad Match Modifiers, you may want to redistribute budgets based on projected new results.


Phrase match is more flexible than exact match, but is more targeted than the default broad match option. With phrase match, you can reach more customers, while still showing your ads to customers who are most likely searching for your product or service. Source: Google


Shoreline Media Marketing is very excited about the new direction Google is taking and what it means for internet advertising.  Contact us to help ensure that your company’s advertising is getting every advantage of the amazing tools Google uses for its searches!

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This post was written by Shoreline Content Team