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.

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 keywords

    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 keywords.

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 on 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), and for exact match keywords, this includes queries with the same meaning.

  • 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 variants include searches for keywords with the same meaning as the exact keywords, regardless of spelling or grammar differences between the query and the keyword. 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), implied words, synonyms and paraphrases and words that have the same search intent. Designated with brackets, the keyword [women's hats] could show when someone searches on Google for “hats for women”. Learn more about exact match

Keyword match type summaries

Match type Special symbol Example keyword Ads may show on searches that contain: Example searches
Broad match none women's hats Misspellings, synonyms, related searches and other relevant variations.
  • buy ladies hats
  • women’s clothing
Broad match modifier +keyword +women’s +hats All the terms designated with a + sign (or close variations of those terms) in any order. Additional words may appear before, after or between the terms.
  • women’s scarves and hats
  • winter hats for women
Phrase match “keyword” “women’s hats” Matches of the phrase (or close variations of the phrase) with additional words before or after.
  • blue women’s hats
  • buy women’s hats
  • women’s hats on sale
Exact match [keyword] [women’s hats] Exact matches of the term or close variations of that exact term with the same meaning.
  • women’s hats
  • ladies hats
  • hats for women
  • hats women
Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?

Need more help?

Sign in for additional support options to quickly solve your issue