Google Update: Don’t Be at a Loss for AdWords

By Bo Royal on April 26, 2017
Last month, Google announced it will be expanding the close variants reach for exact match keywords over the coming months. In other words, close variants will be increasing coverage on reworded and reordered keywords to match with variations of search queries. This change will exclusively affect exact match keywords, while broad and phrase match keywords will remain unaffected.


What are close variants?

Close variants is a term used to describe search queries that are closely related to targeted keywords, including misspellings, singular and plural variations.

What is changing?

1: Function words

Exact match will ignore function words to match with similar queries. Function words include conjunctions (for/but); prepositions (in/to); articles (a/the) and other words that don’t impact the intent behind search queries. This will only happen when the actual keyword meaning remains unchanged.

Similarly, function words in a query may match to a keyword that does not contain that function word.



2: Keyword reordering

Exact match will recognize queries that are reordered variations of your keyword. Word reordering won’t add any words to your keywords. Your keywords also won’t be reordered to match with a query when it changes the original meaning of those keywords.



Benefits for your search program

This update will allow you to:

  • Reach more consumers and get the coverage you want without making extensive keyword lists of reworded and reordered keywords.
  • Connect with people that are looking for your business despite slight variations in the way they search. Google’s early tests show a traffic increase of up to 3% with comparable click-through and conversion rates.

With these benefits comes the potential risk of unwanted traffic as well as search queries being mapped to incorrect keywords. Pepperjam’s Paid Search team is taking this change very seriously and will be closely monitoring our client accounts to help maintain control of their paid traffic over the next few weeks. For more information on how Pepperjam can manage these and other updates for your team, please contact Bo Royal at

Topics:   Pepperjam Thought Leadership