So, Google released the ability to modify your broad match keywords globally yesterday (14/07/2010). This new feature allows you to target broadly but without your ads triggering for variants such as related searches, synonyms (e.g. clever and smart) and stemmings (e.g. sing and singing). See below Google’s own representation of how the new keyword modifier works.

So, how best to use it. Google will warn you (assuming you already use broad match widely) not to implement this across your account as you will likely lose much of your traffic and conversions. This is true for some accounts but, used correctly, this new feature is a fantastic option for most advertisers and should not be overlooked.

There are various ways you could implement this into your account or clients’ accounts.

  1. If you use all match types then you could use it as another match type option with a different maximum CPC
  2. If you do not use broad match, then you could test some modified broad match with a level of control
  3. Use a part modification and focus the modification on your product keywords, etc.

All the different options are interesting and useful depending on how your account is run. However, the most interesting in terms of complete control is option 3. For instance, you will notice in the above image I have highlighted the first modified broad match example. This example shows how you can modify part of the phrase “formal shoes” which means that your main product keyword will appear, giving you a degree of control over the main keyword and at the same time allowing you to expand your search.

And there’s more. When you use broad match across your account, you will often find that Google chooses to show an ad for a keyword which is actually attributed to another ad group. For instance, if you are a plumbing company you might have an ad group for plumbing repair and another for plumbing services. If you use broad match then you may see your repair ad showing for your services ad. However, if you use the modifier on the repair and service keyword it would prevent Google from showing the wrong ad.

So essentially this is a win-win for all advertisers, allowing further control and new testing opportunities. Well done Google. It seems they have been listening to advertisers on this one. Perhaps they are even now looking at allowing further keyword match modifications, e.g. the ability to have a broad keyphrase with part of it exact match. Then we really would have control, but don’t hold you breath.