About broad match

When you use broad match, your ad is eligible to serve when someone searches for relevant variations of your keyword. This helps you attract more visitors to your website, spend less time building keyword lists, and focus your spending on keywords that work.

Broad match is the default match type that all your keywords are assigned if you don't specify another match type (exact match, phrase match, or negative match). The Google Ads system automatically runs your ads on relevant variations of your keywords, including synonyms, possible misspellings, stemmings (such as floor and flooring), and other related searches.

Broad match keywords can serve on searches that don’t contain the keyword from the keyword list, and searches that are related to the keyword but don’t have the same meaning. To help deliver relevant matches, this match type may also take the customer's recent search activities into account.

Note: Negative keywords behave differently than positive keywords, and don’t include close variants. Learn more About negative keywords.


Broad match keyword: Ads may show on searches for:
low-carb diet plan carb-free foods
low-carb diets
low calorie recipes
Mediterranean diet books
low-carbohydrate dietary program

How broad match can help you

You can set any or all of your search-targeted keywords to broad match to help you do the following:

  • Spend less time building keyword lists: You don't have to think of every possible keyword variation. The system does the work for you. That's a time saver, as every day a large portion of new searches are unique. This unpredictable search behavior can make it nearly impossible for you to create a keyword list using only exact match that covers all possible relevant searches.
  • Spend your money on keywords that work: If your ad receives no clicks on a particular keyword variation, our system will quickly stop showing your ads for that and similar search terms. This prevents you from accruing click charges for keyword variations that aren't working and helps you focus on the keywords that work.

When other options might be more helpful

  • You want to serve on searches that are closely related to the products you’re selling. For example, consider the one-word keyword "hose" (and one-word keywords are almost always too general). You may sell garden hoses, but your keyword will also be relevant to search terms for automotive hoses, hosiery, fire hoses, and more.
  • You'll generally achieve a higher Clickthrough rate (CTR) with exact and phrase match because your ads include the exact terms your customers are searching on.
Negative broad match keywords behave differently than positive broad match keywords, and don’t match to variants. Learn more About negative match keywords.

Use broad match modifier for more control over broad match

Broad match modifiers ensure that your ads will only show when someone’s search includes words you’ve marked with a plus sign, such as +blue +suede +shoes, or close variations of these terms. Adding modified broad match keywords can increase campaign clicks and conversions, while providing more precise control than broad match.

Close variants include misspellings, singular and plural forms, abbreviations and acronyms, stemmings (like "floor" and "flooring"), implied terms, synonyms and paraphrases, and variants of your keyword terms that have the same meaning.

Broad match modifier is useful if you want to ensure specific terms or concepts are in users’ searches, but it does not capture traffic on additional related searches like broad match without the + modifier. Learn more About broad match modifier.


  • Broad match works particularly well with Smart Bidding. The bidding system sets a bid for each individual auction of each query and bids up or down depending on how well the query is likely to perform. 
  • We suggest using a combination of two or more keyword match types to run an effective ad campaign. If you use broad and phrase match, for example, you'll reach a broader audience while also controlling who can see your ad.
  • If you want to make sure your ads don't show for a certain search term, add that term to your ad group or campaign as a negative keyword.
  • Pausing or removing a keyword won't stop one of your active broad-matched keywords from "expanding" to that term. For example, if your ad group contains the broad-matched keywords flowers and tulips, and you pause the keyword tulips, your ads could still potentially show for the search term tulips, since it's similar to the active broad-matched keyword flowers.
Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?

Need more help?

Sign in for additional support options to quickly solve your issue