There were some recent changes to Google AdWords, regarding Google’s decision to apply close variant keyword matching to all exact and phrase match keywords. Recently, Adam and Chad covered this Google AdWords change because it’s going to be rolling out very soon (late September). Watch this Daily Brown Bag to learn what this new Google AdWords change is, how this Google AdWords change can impact small business, and more information about this Google AdWords feature.

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Hello and welcome to the Daily Brown Bag. Today, we're going to be covering some recent changes to Google AdWords. I'm Chad Hill, and I'm joined by Adam Stetzer.

Okay, good afternoon, Chad. Welcome to the Brown Bag. We are talking about changes coming to Google AdWords. Specifically Google will be applying close variant keyword matching to all exact and phrase match keywords coming up. That's a mouthful, Chad, so let's get into this close variant keyword matching. Well, this actually is a feature that exists in Google AdWords today. It's currently the default setting for campaigns. So you might be thinking, "Well, what's the big deal?" Well, as of this change coming later in September, you will no longer be able to opt out of close variant keyword matching in Google AdWords. This means that your ads might start showing up on plural versions and variations of things that might be similar to the keywords that you bid on that if you had opted out of this feature, you wouldn't have seen.

So the rationale here, let's talk about what Google is saying. Google says that close variants will allow you to reach more of your customer with the right ad, lower the cost per click, and improve the click-through rate. While I'm watching this unfold, Chad, apparently the PPC community has really been pretty unhappy about it. There was a collective roar of disapproval about this announcement and quite a bit of action on Twitter initiating a petition. So I guess my question for you, Chad, this afternoon is why are the advertisers so upset with this Google AdWords change?

Well, it's a great question. It's one of these things where, for the people who really are digging into the minute details of their campaigns which, you know, you really should be doing, they are able to ferret out of the data that Google provides these very subtle differences that a plural has a better conversion rate than a singular and that maybe a misspelling somehow doesn't have as good of a conversion rate as the actual spelling. So all of this information is, again, by people who are managing very large and complex campaigns, they have the manpower to sort and sift through this data and really want that granular control.

Well, what Google, of course, on the other side is trying to figure out is how do they get more of these advertisers to show their ads in front of people that are searching to find out who may want their product. So Google is always trying to find ways, of course, to increase the number of ads that people see, make it easier for advertisers to advertise. There was a big uproar, if you remember, Adam. I think it was last year where Google AdWords started to by default, allowed you, it made you consolidate your Google AdWords campaigns and not be able to have just display and just keyword campaigns in Google AdWords. So I think this is an ongoing thing with Google; when they rolled out this Google AdWords change, they gave the advertiser the control to either opt in or opt out of this extra matching Google AdWords option.

But basically we're now probably six to eight months into it and Google AdWords is saying, "Okay, we're going to take away that ability to opt out because we want those ads in front of our users because we need to increase our revenues and show the street that we're still growing and that we can get more people clicking on our ads." I think that's probably the underlying story- is that the people who really know it don't want Google AdWords to do this, but Google is going to do it because they, you know, need these ads and they need to show that they're still growing their book.

They're in such a dominant position, Chad, with so much market share, I'm not totally sure there's a lot we can do about it, but that's our coverage today of this close variant keyword matching change in Google AdWords that's happening. I think the proof ultimately will be on whether this Google AdWords change helps the consumer or the advertiser, whether it’s in their cost per action, if it does indeed come down, and I'm sure we'll keep an eye on that.

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