google adwords exact match keywords

Google AdWords Exact Match Keywords – RIP?

Google AdWords Exact Match Keywords are Gone

Before we all start freaking out, what does this mean overall?

Currently, if you want to bid on a keyword that is the exact word you’re focusing on, and nothing else, you can. In September, just a few weeks away, this strategy will be gone. This also means that if you’re used to bidding on close variants as an exact match like misspellings and getting that sweet reduced cost per click for those terms, it’s gone too.

What Does This Mean for Advertisers?

Even though the exact match option will still be available, the option to bid on adwords exact match keywords is no longer a real option. It’s a bit confusing, but we’ll try to explain. There were two options previously:

  • Include plurals, misspellings, and other close variants
  • Do not include close variants

In a couple of weeks, this option will be no more. If you previously were including plurals, misspellings, and other close variants in all of your search campaigns, you can sit back and relax. If you didn’t include close variants, commence freaking out.

google adwords exact match  keyword is dead

How This Change Affects Your AdWords Search Campaigns

Samantha Noble puts it well in her article when she says advertisers should expect to see:

  • An increase in impressions and clicks and a decrease in Click Through Rate (CTR)
  • A decrease in Quality Score (QS)
  • An increase in the average amount you are paying per click (CPC)

So in short, if you’re an advertiser with an uncapped budget, expect to be spending more in your AdWords advertising. If you’re an advertiser with a capped budget, you can more than likely expect to get less results for your current budget.

What Can Advertisers Do?

Since this change in AdWords is rolling out in a few weeks, first – make some coffee. You’re going to need it. Second, create a strategy utilizing exact match negative keywords at the adgroup level to minimize the amount of close variants you’re bidding on. Keep a very close eye on your search campaign’s Search Terms report. You’re probably be adding quite a few if your campaign is segmented into specific adgroups.

You can expect your negative keyword lists to become much larger over the coming months. For advertisers who are working with uncapped budgets, you may make more on your percentage fee for management to cover the costs. For account managers who are working with specific budgets, this means more optimization work for no pay – unless you can relay to your client that they’ll be getting less for their spend, but have to pay you more money over the next couple of months to try to re-optimize the campaign.

Who Wins Now?

From what we can tell, Google wins and creates more revenue for themselves, all the while strengthening the love/hate bond between AdWords professionals and the largest brand in the world.

Google is positioning this change as an “an intuitive way to connect people with the businesses they’re searching for, to all exact and phrase match keywords”. For advertisers and campaign managers who have spent countless hours optimizing campaigns without this setting, this just doesn’t feel like a positive change. So to AdWords exact match keywords, we bid you a good night dear friend.