Maximize performance on Search with updates to query matching

June 26, 2024

Breakthroughs in AI are helping us tackle questions in ways Google Search has never done before. That’s why we’re continuously improving AI-powered broad match, to help you reach your customers no matter how they’re searching. As one example, in the last six months, AI-powered improvements to quality, relevance, and language understanding have improved broad match performance by 10% for advertisers using Smart Bidding.1 To make it even easier for you to benefit from these improvements, we’re launching four updates to query matching and brand controls.

Making it easier to manage brand traffic

We know your brand campaigns are critical to your business. That’s why we previously announced brand restrictions in broad match (now called brand inclusions), and brand exclusions in Performance Max. But, we’ve heard you tell us that you want more brand controls to better determine when your ads show up. To that end, we recently launched a recommendation for brand inclusions in broad match, and will be rolling out brand exclusions across all match types and Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) over the coming months.

New recommendation for brand inclusions in broad match

Brand inclusions in broad match help your brand campaigns get the benefits of broad match, while limiting traffic to the brands you select. It’s now easier for you to identify and take action on those opportunities through a new brand inclusions recommendation on your Recommendations page.

See which brand campaigns could benefit from upgrading to brand inclusions in broad match.

Screenshot of a "Add brand inclusions and turn on broad match" recommendation in Google Ads
Use our recommended brand list, edit it, or choose your own brand list.

Note that brand inclusions are only available for broad match campaigns. Therefore when you apply this recommendation, it will also turn on the broad match campaign setting, updating the keywords within the campaign to broad match.


Citroën, a French automobile brand, wanted to improve performance on their brand campaigns. By implementing broad match with brand inclusions, they saw a 50% increase in conversions at a 35% lower cost per lead.

“Brand inclusions have become the best practice on our accounts, allowing us to drive more qualified traffic with a better conversion rate.”
— Aline Salaün, Marketing & Communication, Citroën France

Learn more about recommendations.

Brand exclusions across all match types and Dynamic Search Ads

Unlike brand inclusions in broad match, brand exclusions let you choose which brands to exclude across all match types and DSA. Here’s how you can think about using each feature:

  • If you want to benefit from the reach of broad match while only showing up on certain brand traffic, brand inclusions is the best solution as it will already limit traffic to the brands you select.
  • If you don’t want to show on certain brand traffic, use brand exclusions. 

Applying brand exclusions will also help block traffic from brand misspellings and other variants. Monitor how brand exclusions impact your reach and performance to make sure you’re not missing out on valuable conversion opportunities. Learn more about brand settings.

Giving you more visibility in the search terms report

It’s common for words to be misspelled on Search—for example, there are at least 1.5 million ways to misspell “YouTube” on Google Search2. Google Ads already matches misspelled queries to their correctly spelled keywords. However, search terms must meet privacy thresholds to appear in the search terms report, and many misspelled queries do not meet that threshold.

Now, misspelled search queries are reported with the correctly spelled search query. This means that, on average, 9% of search terms previously under “Other” due to misspellings in the search terms report are now visible.3

Making it easier to block misspelled searches

We’ve also applied the misspellings behavior mentioned above to negative keywords. Before, you needed to add all misspellings of each keyword if you wanted to exclude them. Now, you can exclude all 1.5 million variations of “YouTube” with one negative keyword.

Here’s how the updates work

Let’s say you have the keyword music streaming. Out of the searches “YouTube music”, “music streaming”, “yiutube music”, “google music app”:

Feature Behavior Searches you can reach
Negative keywords Only one negative keyword is needed to account for misspellings

If you add “YouTube” as a negative keyword:

 “YouTube music”

 “music streaming”

“yiutube music”

“google music app”

Brand inclusions (only available in broad match) Only serves on searches that include the brands you select—or products that are related to those brands—when using broad match

If you add “YouTube” to your brand inclusion list:

“YouTube music”

“music streaming”

“yiutube music”

“google music app”
Brand exclusions (available across all match types and DSA) Does not serve on searches that include the brands you select—or products that are related to those brands

If you add “YouTube” to your brand exclusion list:

“YouTube music”

“music streaming”

“yiutube music”

“google music app”

With more visibility and control over which traffic you want and don’t want to reach, you can optimize performance, improve relevance, and drive better business outcomes.

Posted by Oliver Kiderle, Senior Product Manager, Google Ads



1. Google Internal Data, Oct 2023 - Mar 2024. Performance refers to conversions/conversion value at constant ROI.
2. Google internal data, Global, Aug 2022-Sept 2023.
3. Google internal data, Global, Jan 2023-Oct 2023.

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