Google Ads to phase out Broad Match Modifier (BMM) keywords type by July 2021

8th February 2021 Jay Shah Internet Marketing, Pay Per Click Advertising 0 Comments

On 4th Feb 2021 Google announced their plan to phase out Broad Match Modifier keywords type.

This brought in a lot of speculation within the industry, and questions arose:

  • How will Broad Match Modified keywords be affected?
  • What will the impact be on current campaigns?
  • Will the whole strategy of our clients have to change?
  • And, what will be the repercussions for the market?

Before diving into answering any of these questions, it’s important to understand what actually is “Broad Match Modifier”, or BMM.

  • When setting up a Google paid search campaign, there are several options of how exactly you would like to appear infront of your target audience. One of the options is through “phrase match” or “exact match” strategy and the other option is through a “broad match modifier” strategy.
  • The “phrase match” strategy does exactly that – it matches the phrase you are searching for on Google and gives you a list of results where the business has used the words in their targeted phrase match keywords. For example, if you are searching for “Moving services NYC to Boston”, in the results list you will only see businesses who have used those combination of words in their targeting.
  • The BMM on the other hand searches based on the words you have typed in, however does not match your search word for word. The results appearing on your screen will match one or more of the key words and also include phrases and content in addition to it. In the past this has been useful as it has allowed for a wider range of results, tapping into expressions which may have not necessarily come at the top of our mind when searching.

So, why change it? If something’s not broken, don’t touch it… right?

Well, not exactly…

Although we have all been quite impressed by the ability of google to bring to us what we are looking for faster than any of us have experienced in the past, it has not always been exactly what we are looking for.

As the diagram below will demonstrate, the use of BMM can bring up results which do not match our search exactly & in some cases are not relevant. When using BMM, the words can change order and therefore the meaning of the search gets completely misinterpreted.


So what have google done to address that? What is the difference now?

As Ian Taylor, SEM Manager at Wayfair says, “this simplification makes it easier for us to manage our accounts, as these two match types cover a lot of the same use cases today. This gives us more time to focus on larger business objectives, like helping our customers find what they need to build the home they love.”

What they have done is upgrade their phrase match. In the new roll-out, they are actually introducing the search-engine’s ability to bring up results based on meaning rather than simply matching the phrase word for word.

As you can see in the above diagram, in the past, the phrase “NYC corporate moving services to Boston” would have been missed by the phrase match, as it does not appear word for word to the phrase being searched, however in the new, updated phrase match, this result does appear.

So, what does this mean for you as businesses?

With these improvements, you can reach the searches you want just by using phrase match – without worrying about the searches you don’t want.

This will help advertisers match their keywords to the right meaning of a search and minimise the clicks which are not relevant to the targeted audience.

In hindsight, this is likely to improve the performance of ads as the purpose is to bring more of the relevant users to the correct adverts.

To find more information please visit Google’s Announcement.

How will this affect your Google Ads campaign at Chits?

This update is part of many strategies Google have changed over the last couple of years and our paid search team effectively takes all necessary actions to maintain and optimise the performance of our client’s adverts.

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