Google recently announced that in May Exact and Phrase match settings will now include misspellings and plural modifications. For example, the term 'red apple'? set on Exact match will now match to queries such as 'red aple'? and 'red apples'?. The same will apply to current Phrase match settings in that additional keywords may be at the beginning or end of the query and still match to target terms.
What does this mean to advertisers?
Google has indicated that the new match settings are an attempt to grow click volume, while offering greater control than Broad match and Broad Match Modifier. Advertisers who follow best practices of including plurals and misspellings should not see a major spike in volume. If these keyword permutations do not exist in an account, then click traffic will likely increase due to greater reach. For advertisers currently bidding separately on misspelling and plurals, the new update to Exact and Phrase matching may be an opportunity to improve campaign performance without sacrificing click volume as demonstrated below.
Misspellings typically receive a small amount of click volume, but can vary depending on the brand and vertical. CPC's, CTR's and Quality Scores are associated separately for misspellings/plurals from core terms when bid on independently.
The new match type configurations will allow relevant query traffic to be channeled through the core terms and hence will not require separate bidding on misspellings and plurals. This consolidates traffic allowing for quicker optimizations. The sooner advertisers can find CPC and creative trends, the quicker they can positively influence Quality Score. Traditionally, Exact match keywords drive better Quality Score for they are most relevant to the query. As advertisers drive more traffic from Exact match keywords, it should have a positive impact on overall campaign performance.
Dynamic Keyword Insertion ads may also benefit from this update as well. When DKI ads match to misspellings that are deliberately bid on, the ad displays the misspelled keyword. Obviously this is a negative user experience and precludes the use of DKI ad formats for misspelling ad groups. The expanded criteria for Phrase and Exact match will eliminate the need for targeting misspellings directly, therefore DKI can be used freely without jeopardizing the user experience. DKI ad formats generally drive stronger CTR, which creates an opportunity for advertisers.
In attempt to leverage possible opportunities that come with Google's updated Exact and Phrase matching, AMP recommends pausing existing plurals and misspellings to allow the incremental traffic to match to existing core keywords. The hypothesis is that by allowing more traffic to existing Exact and Phrase match keywords that traditionally have good CTR's, the consolidated data will allow for quicker optimizations and possible lift in Quality Score. As Quality Score is difficult to predict, this will have to be measured in aggregate at least one month out from the change. Consolidated traffic from misspellings and plurals will be quicker and easier to measure and should at very least keep consistent performance.