Exact match: Definition

Note: This definition applies to positive keyword targeting only. Negative exact match keywords behave differently than exact match keywords. Learn more about keyword matching options

A keyword match type that allows you to show your ads on searches that have the same meaning or same intent as your keyword. Exact match gives you the most control over who sees your ad, but reaches fewer searches than both phrase and broad match. This allows you to reach only users who make searches with the same meaning as your keywords, including:

  • Misspellings
  • Singular or plural forms
  • Stemmings (for example, floor and flooring)
  • Abbreviations
  • Accents

Whether someone is searching for “running shoes” or “shoes for running”, what they want remains the same; they’re looking for running shoes. Exact match keywords help you connect with people who are looking for your business, despite slight variations in the way they search, and reduces the need to build exhaustive keyword lists to reach these customers.

The syntax for exact match is to use square brackets, such as [red shoe].

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