Google announced this week that starting in Mid-May, phrase and exact match keywords will now match close variants. This includes:
- Misspellings (“restaurant” & “restaraunt”)
- Singular/Plural Forms (“restaurant” & “restaurants”)
- Stemming (“dine” & “dining”)
- Accents (“café” & “cafe)
- Abbreviations (“mr. chow restaurant” & mister chow restaurant”)
- Acronyms (“la restaurant” & “los angeles restaurant”)
At least 7% of search queries on Google contain a misspelling, and the longer the query the more likely that is to happen. Google’s organic search already detects and compensates for misspellings and close variants by showing results for the user’s intent (see below).
Google believes this new feature will be beneficial for advertisers and will help result in more impressions and clicks for phrase and exact match. Early experiments show that advertisers experienced positive results with an increase in clicks by 3% with comparable CPCs.
As we’re relying more heavily on exact and phrase match to improve ROI, the misspellings and other variants have been a good opportunity for keyword expansion for those advertisers who diligently work through search query reports.
While this change in match types can help save time in keyword development overall, it may result in a more crowded landscape on these variants. Quality Score and first page bid estimate will be determined on the exact keyword according to Google, but CPCs could also rise if advertisers bid up the main phrase and exact match keywords.
Advertisers can opt out of this feature only at the campaign level by selecting keyword matching options under the advanced settings.