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By Matthew Forrest | May 28, 2019

This week Search Engine Land published an insightful post: 6 Things You Always Wanted To Know About AdWords Match Types (But Were Afraid To Ask). In this post Google Contributor Matt Lawson provides answers to the questions that even some of the most advanced AdWords advertisers have been itching to have answered.

Our key takeaways from the post are as follows:

  1. Should we still be using phrase match keywords? Unless the order of the words in your keywords matters (which in most cases it does not) modified broad match keywords have you covered and phrase match is not necessary.
  2. Are there keywords that don’t need to be present in a query for your modified broad match keywords to serve? An example of this would be words such as “of” or “the” that may be optional in a user’s search. If “+of” is part of your modified broad match keyword then that word has to be present in the query for it to be triggered. Lawson advised, “avoid putting ‘+’ in front of words that don’t contribute to or change the meaning of a user’s search.
  3. Why can’t I see what the “other search terms” are when running a search term report? It turns out that a large portion of those “other search terms” don’t meet one of these criteria:
  • Searched by people at least 24 hours ago
  • Have received clicks in the past 30 days
  • Were searched by a significant number of people

Lawson clarified further stating that removing today and yesterday from the date range of search term reports will significantly reduce the number of “other search terms.”

  1. How are close variants handled across different languages? Matching behavior is tailored to each of the languages AdWords offers and queries are always being monitored to make sure there aren’t any queries that aren’t a good match for the intent of your keywords. He added, make sure to report any bad close variant matches of your keyword to a query to your sales rep – they will investigate the problem and make any adjustments necessary.
  2. What’s up with negative keyword matching behavior? Negative keywords don’t expand to cover close variations. For example, if you are advertising for a doctors office that installs braces you’ll want to block queries for people who are searching for neck and back braces. To block these queries you will have to make not only “neck” and “back”, but also “necks” and “backs”.

For a more in-depth look at these AdWords Pro-Tips head over to Search Engine Land.