Google Ads Pushes Advertisers to Give Broad Match Another Chance

Suggested Broad Match Keywords are starting to show in Google Recommendations

Google has started to show new Recommendations for switching to broad match keywords in Google Ads.

“If you’re using Smart Bidding, we’ll identify existing keywords that are likely to improve performance if you switch them to broad match,” Google said in a blog post on the topic.

In example, Google says, the broad match keyword “women’s hats” could match to “winter headwear for women” or “women’s accessories.”

Google continues with, “By pairing [a broad match] keyword with Smart Bidding, you can use auction-time signals to set the right bid for each of these queries. This means that you no longer need to anticipate and manage every potential search.”

Query matching to keywords has been automated through algorithms for some time now and we’ve seen the “close variants” category to continue to grow.

If you have your doubts about the new suggestions, you are not alone.

Google has come to show two advertisers who have found success with the new broad match strategy. “With Smart Bidding’s predictive signals as the safety net, we saw an increase in unique search terms generated by broad match, leading to a 20% increase in conversions,” said Kasper Spanjer, PPC Strategist at iProspect. Kasper also noted that they too had their initial doubts about applying the broad match based on their past experience.

Japan Experience, a travel company, said it was “really surprised” by the results of adding broad match with Smart Bidding. They reported that one third of its revenue growth came from broad match keywords.

Why we should care. For most PPC advertisers, the very thought of using broad match keywords is a nightmare. And now that Google has significantly limited the search terms it shows advertisers, it is even harder to ensure your search queries are triggering your broad match keywords that are relevant to your business. Just the idea of having a “hat” match to “accessories” makes no sense to the average marketer.

Is it worth it to try testing these recommendations from Google? We at Farfetched Studios solemnly think yes.

Like it or not, this is the direction in which paid search with Google Ads is going. It is an incredibly radical shift to anyone who has been managing paid search in the past. Google Ads is beginning to resemble social marketing where marketers are forced to loosen reigns, segment less and let the algorithms run and adapt.

Yes we can all agree that there are some terrible matches provided by Google’s algorithms, and the query black box makes this even harder to stop. Now we can hope that when the customer searches for “women’s accessories” is truly in the market for a new hat, then we will gladly take it. The scrutiny here falls in where, what if Google gets it wrong, and the advertisers end up paying for users who are looking for accessories, but the advertiser only sells hats. Therein lies the problem.

Farfetched recommends not switching your phrase and broad match modified keywords to strictly broad match. We insist on adding the broad match to an ad group and begin testing as so. If you are looking for help or management of your Google Ad campaigns feel free to contact Farfetched Studios LLC today for a free consultation.