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Google Ads: Phrase Match and Broad Match Modifier Update

When advertising on Google Ads, adding keywords is an essential step. Google shows these ads easily through three keyword match types: 

keyword match type summaries

However, just recently, Google Ads announced changes with two of its keyword match types, Phrase Match and Broad Match Modifier. From February 2021, phrase match will incorporate broad match modifier (BMM) behaviors to simplify keywords, making it easier for digital marketers to reach relevant audiences. This change is due to Google Ads’ decision to phase out support for broad match modifier. In fact, this recent announcement is the first phase of said change, with the second part commencing in July.

Let’s break down this transition on Google Ads Phrase Match:

Phrase match will now cover additional broad match modifier traffic but will continue to respect word order. This new matching behavior gives you more control in keyword management and better customer reach.

Now, phrase match reaches the search you want without worrying about the searches you don’t want. For instance, the phrase match keyword “digital marketing Philippines” that covers searches for “affordable digital marketing Philippines.” With the new update, this phrase match keyword will now also cover searches for “Philippines digital marketing agency.”

The existing BMM keywords will continue working under this new behavior, and users can still create them (until July) using the BMM notation (+keyword). However, since BMM and phrase match will behave the same way using quotation marks (“keywords”), it is therefore recommended to only create phrase match keywords onwards.

Note: Although BMM will cease in July 2021, existing BMM will continue working under this new behavior. Users can still edit the keyword text, but its match type will be automatically updated to phrase match.

Stay up-to-date with the help of experts in digital marketing in the Philippines

Are your Google Ads campaigns ready for this change? Be up-to-date with the help of agencies experts in PPC management services and digital marketing in the Philippines.

Jalou Batilong


Most every great writer is a voracious reader, and no word describes Jalou better. Jalou enjoys a good read whenever she has the time to sit down and open a book or browse for interesting articles. It's through reading that she is able to digest information so easily, and write her own unique piece of information to share to everyone else.

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