In a recent statement, Google announced that they will start promoting new recommendations for switching keywords to broad match for campaigns that are using Smart Bidding. Google claims that this strategy will “identify existing keywords that are likely to improve performance if you switch them to broad match.”
Google uses the following example to describe how utilizing broad match keywords could benefit a campaign: when using a broad match keyword such as “women’s hats,” other related searches such as “winter headwear for women” or “women’s accessories” have the potential to match this keyword.
For many SEM marketers, the suggestion of switching the match types of all current keywords can be a frightening thought, because we want to be sure that the search queries are as closely related to the designated keywords as possible. This is especially startling now that Google’s algorithm has dramatically limited the number of search terms, making it harder to control those that are triggering an advertiser’s broad match keywords.
However, Google believes that “by pairing [a broad match] keyword with Smart Bidding, you can use auction-time signals to set the right bid for each of these queries. This means that you no longer need to anticipate and manage every potential search.”
It seems as though Google Ads is beginning to shift the strategy behind their paid search campaigns, making them more similar to paid social campaigns —less segmented and more reliant on the algorithms to run and learn independently.
While Google mentions two advertisers who’ve found wild success implementing the broad match keyword strategy, many are still hesitant to convert fully. A happy medium and safe place to start would be to test these new broad match recommendations, rather than “switching” any current phrase, exact or broad match modified keywords to broad match. Consider adding broad match keywords to the current list of keywords as an additional effort. After some careful monitoring and comparing data, you can decide if shifting your keyword strategy to broad match is the best move for your campaign goals.