In a headline that can only be described as word salad, the AdWords blog recently announced that: Close variant matching for all exact and phrase keywords. It was like Google put a bunch of jargon in a blender. At any rate, I eventually deciphered it to mean that “exact match” will mean “kinda exactish match.”
Right now you have the option of being loosey goosey, pretty specific and identical (otherwise known as broad match, phrase and exact) with your keyword selection. However, as of late September, Google will do what’s best for you, which is to take away your choice.
Close variant matching means that someone searching for “kid scooters,” “kid’s scooter” or “kids scooters” will see ads from the same pool, irrespective of whether the advertiser is using phrase or exact match. To us, close variant matching sounds a lot like what you get when you select phrase match, so basically your choices will be between phrase match and phrase match ultra.
According to Google, the reasoning behind the change is that it will help improve the results of low volume searches and ensure that people are getting traffic from individuals who make typos or misspellings. Sounds great, but since you already have the option of selecting something that does that, phrase match, why take away exact match?
To me it sounds like they’re not getting any ads to show on low volume searches, and no impressions mean no clicks, and no clicks mean no money for Google. However, if you strong arm people into having their ads show in these circumstances…