Some promising looking news over at the Adwords Blog today…

If you have managed PPC campaigns on Google’s adwords platform before, you should be familiar with the concept of exact, phrase and broad match.

As a general priniciple, we tend to avoid using broad match as it can lead to some VERY broad ‘matches’ and you can find your click through rate (CTR) plummeting or a lot of highly untargeted traffic coming through (at a cost) to your site.

There are times, however, when very low search volumes introduce particular problems and you are forced into using broad match when you wouldn’t normally want to.

On the surface of things, the ‘broad match modifier’ appears to be good news and it is introduced to the UK and Canada today.

We will need more time to fully assess whether it is really good news, but the modifier should allow more reach / visibility than a phrase match but avoid going too broad as it will include close variants in the searches for which your ads will show.

A ‘close variant’ includes misspellings, singular / plural forms, abbreviations, acronyms and stemmings but does not include synonyms or related searches.

The following image does a good job of showing how this should work in practice:

(picture courtesy of Google – full size available here)

The proof is always in the pudding and it will be interesting to see if this can help overcome some specific issues that we experience with adwords (e.g. our ongoing battle with low search volume phrases) but it looks promising and it is a welcome piece of news.

We would expect to see the Canada / UK beta phase roll out across the globe in due course.