On Thursday 14th August, 2014, Google AdWords announced a significant change to its advertising platform.
Previously (since 2012) advertisers had been able to opt into serving ads against ‘close variants’ to the keywords targeted with Google AdWords campaigns. This eliminated the need to create extensive keyword lists and campaigns targeting misspelt search queries and plurals.
This option has now been removed, with all keywords utilising this feature moving forward.
Should You Be Concerned?
In short, no. We see this change as a positive move by the Google team for the following reasons:
- The change encourages search marketers to focus on strategies that are likely to yield stronger results as opposed to building out exhaustive keyword lists for small traffic gains
- Extensive testing has proven that the difference in performance between plurals and variants is in fact minimal
- A greater volume of data will be generated on single keywords allowing search marketers to make decisions with higher statistical confidence
What Does This Mean For Your Campaigns?
For 95% of campaigns, this change will not impact activity whatsoever, with keywords already opted into this feature.
For those campaigns where efficiencies had been achieved by splitting out keyword variants and misspellings, small structural changes can be made to continue to accommodate these tactics.
This is a step forward for Google. It allows advertisers to capture more efficiently a user’s search intent across all devices. It is also evidence of Google AdWords evolving with voice activated search.
Reprise will continue to focus on the implementation of smarter strategies and bigger thinking, which will ultimately drive the performance of your search marketing.