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In a recent update from Google, they announced that they would consolidate the BMM and exact phrase keywords, with the former being completely removed by July.

For anyone who has run PPC campaigns before, you will know the difference between the types of matches. For those who haven’t, an easy way to put it is that with exact phrase keywords you are eligible to appear for a search that contains additional words before or after your keyword. With BMM, you can appear for a search as long as all of the words in your keyword. Here is an example to help you understand.

Keyword Match type Examples of search queries
«  flights to new york  » Phrasing cheap flights to new york, flights to new york jfk, flights to new york from london
+ flights + to + new + york BMM direct flights to new york, flights to london from new york

There has always been an element of risk with both types of correspondence, as this can result in searches that may not necessarily be relevant. In the example above, the phrase matches the search terms may not be relevant because you may be looking for flights to New York LGA and not JFK. Likewise, the BMM search term “flights to London from New York” is also irrelevant. However, having these ‘wider’ match types has always been so important to support your close exact match keywords to help show up for searches you may not have. covered by an exact match.

But that is all about to change. BMM is on the verge of extinction, and for many PPC managers, we’ll have to dust off phrase-match keywords that weren’t needed for years and get them back into our accounts. According to Google, Phrase Match will replace BMM in July 2021. But the return of Phrase Match is not as we once knew as the new V2 Phrase Match will encompass some of the searches that would otherwise have triggered our words to be displayed – BMM keys.

This visual below shows a before and after sentence match and how it will include some of what BMM would have collected, but not all of those queries.

new phrase match

As you can see, the bottom query, which is not relevant for the keyword, would have been picked up by the BMM keywords, but will not be triggered by the new keyword « Exact phrase updated « .

The change will be rolled out in the next few weeks, but luckily we won’t need to change anything in our account as the Expression and BMM keywords will automatically switch to the new match type. This ensures that we can keep any past data associated with the keywords and not have to start from scratch. However, it’s important to keep an eye on search queries and performance when the change has occurred. Although the changes to the search queries are positive, we recommend that you check how the queries are moving through these keywords. As we mentioned in a previous blog post, Google has limited the search queries that are visible to us, so you are likely to have less visibility on the searches that trigger these ads to show.

Perhaps most important is to check the volumes of these keywords and assess any impact on your CPC. We would expect impressions to decrease, but positively as noted above irrelevant queries will be filtered out and will not trigger an ad serving. We anticipate that CTR could increase and CPCs could decrease as well. However, verify this when the change is deployed.

As of July, we will no longer be able to create new BMM keywords, which means a change in PPC strategy and campaign naming conventions for most PPC managers, who so far have structured campaigns using exact keywords and BMM. It is advisable to get into the habit of adding match keywords from now on as BMM will not be an option soon.

We don’t see this update causing too many problems. At first glance this sounds drastic, but as you read more and more about the update, the new phrase match keywords will include the right parts of BMM, without some of the irrelevant queries.

Yes, there may be a little volume impact and a bit of learning / adapting for PPC managers to switch to phrase matching, but in terms of the actual impact on account performance, we don’t see not a lot of upheaval. Of course, keep an eye on performance to see the impact of this change.

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