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About keyword matching options

Keyword match types help control which searches on Google can trigger your ad. So you could use broad match to show your ad to a wide audience or you could use exact match to hone in on specific groups of customers.

This article explains the different match types that are available. Learn more about adding keywords.

Where to start

Consider starting with broad match. Add negative match keywords to exclude searches on Google that aren’t related to your business (optional).

Broad match

Broad match is the default match type that all your keywords are assigned. Ads may show on searches that include misspellings, synonyms, related searches, and other relevant variations. So if your keyword is “women’s hats,” someone searching for “buy ladies hats” might see your ad. Learn more about broad match.

Negative match

Excludes your ads from showing on searches with that term. So if you’re a hat company that doesn’t sell baseball hats, you could add a negative keyword, designated with a minus sign (-baseball hats). Learn more about negative match.

More advanced options

These options are only recommended for advanced advertisers trying to segment specific sets of searches. 

So that you don't miss out on potential customers, we may show your ads for close variations of broad match modifier, phrase match, and exact match keywords. Close variations of these match types can include misspellings, singular or plural forms, acronyms, abbreviations, accents, and stemmings (such as floor and flooring).

Broad match modifier

Similar to broad match, except that the broad match modifier option only shows ads in searches including the words designated with a plus sign (+women’s hats) or close variations of them. Learn more about broad match modifier.

Phrase match 

Ads may show on searches that match a phrase, or are close variations of that phrase, with additional words before or after. Ads won't show, however, if a word is added to the middle of the phrase, or if words in the phrase are reordered in any way. Designated with quotation marks ("women's hats"). Learn more about phrase match.

Exact match

Ads may show on searches that match the exact term or are close variations of that exact term. Close variations here may also include a reordering of words if it doesn’t change the meaning, and the addition or removal of function words (prepositions, conjunctions, articles, and other words that don’t impact the intent of a search). Designated with brackets, the keyword [women's hats] could show when someone searches on Google for “hats for women.” Learn more about exact match.

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