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Modified Broad Match

Written by Huxley | 06-Oct-2010 11:00:00

Google’s match type options have always been fairly simple:

  • Broad match is the default setting for all keywords. All searches made using your keyword (in any order or combination) might display your ad. Searches for similar or related queries might also trigger your ad.
  • Phrase match narrows your reach by requiring the words to appear in that exact order.
  • Exact match further narrows your reach by showing your ad when the exact phrase is used in the search — without any other words before, between, or after.

However in May this year Google added a fourth option into the mix, one that initially caused a little confusion as to it’s use; “Modified Broad Match”. Being proactive and keen to embrace any changes that Google offer to stay ahead within the marketplace, we set straight to work on setting up tests for this option to run within our accounts and to then observe it’s impact and performance.

It has now been a few months and after various tests running for a number of accounts across various industries, we can safely give it the thumbs-up! Working somewhere in the previously un-thought of gap between Broad Match and Phrase Match it has taken the positives from each of these and combined them, whilst also removing the negatives as a result. Opening up the Phrase Match searches to a wider audience as would be associated with Broad, but then maintaining the accuracy and targeted nature of Phrase it sounds like a winning combination from the off, and that is exactly what our results have shown.

When comparing performance to Broad Match from running parallel tests we have seen a lowering of the average CPC, an improvement in the CTR, an increase in the number of responses; all combining and contributing towards a far improved CPR. As expected the impressions levels are lower than that shown normally with Broad Match but the results indicate that the quality of traffic is far improved and more relevant.

If brand exposure is one of the key objectives with your campaign then this more targeted approach may not be the ideal replacement, but it certainly will be if relevancy and efficiency are the key. Whilst the testing continues and we roll this out across further clients, the signs are certainly positive that there is a real contender for a fourth match type, and one that potentially could make the original Broad Match redundant and a thing of the past.