In a post titled ‘Close variant matching for all exact and phrase keywords‘ Google have announced a change to the way exact and phrase match keywords trigger ads for Adwords advertisers.
This change will impact exact match keywords most as it means that exact match will also trigger ads when ‘close variants’ of the exact match keywords are used.
While the close variants matching option is selected by default, currently advertisers have a choice disable the option and limit exact match to exactly that; only triggering ads when the exact keyword has been used.
Google is selling the change as a benefit by stating, “at least 7% of Google searches contain a misspelling.”
Considering the close variants options is enabled be default, most advertisers may not notice the change.
However, you can bet that those that are optimising Adwords to its full extent, and want the ability to completely control keyword matching, will take issue with the loss of control
After all, why not give advertisers the choice and keep the option?
Google are promoting the change as a way to ‘increase reach’ and give advertisers ‘control with less complexity.’
With that in mind, you couldn’t fault people for thinking it’s a revenue raising exercise by Google, resulting in more ad impressions and clicks.
Another way to read those two benefits may be that yes, the change will increase reach, and in-turn clicks and ad spend = increased revenue.
It will also make Adwords less complex, yes, by taking targeting control away from the advertiser.
But, if the impact is as small as Google claim it is, the outrage from the Adwords community may be out of out proportion.
Time will tell.