What has happened?

Google's phrase match keywords will expand to include additional broad match modifier traffic, but only where the order of search terms matches a keyword. This has significant implications for many businesses' PPC campaigns on Google Ads

What does this mean?

You won't be able to create broad match modifier keywords from July 2021. As an example, currently the BMM keyword +flights +from +london +to +barcelona would pick up the searches 
  • “flights from barcelona to london"
  • "cheap flights from london to barcelona"
 But if we're only promoting flights from London, picking up searches from Barcelona becomes less relevant. This is where the new phrase match steps in to exclude searches that don't match keyword order. From mid-February, both phrase and BMM will transition to this new criteria, and BMM keywords can't be created from July 2021.

Why do we care?

As the industry has shifted to a best practice of using BMM with Exact match in recent years, it makes sense to begin migrating accounts to Phrase and Exact over the next few months. These changes are likely to alter traffic levels between existing campaigns, so it's important to keep a close eye on performance for any necessary budget switches or optimisation changes. If you need any support in managing this process of migrating your Google Ads accounts, you can reach out to our Paid Media department.