Keyword close variants: Definition

Close variants allow keywords to match to searches that are similar, but not identical, to the targeted keyword, and help you connect with people who are looking for your business – despite slight variations in the way they search – reducing the need to build out exhaustive keyword lists to reach these customers.

Exact, phrase and broad match modifier keywords are all eligible to match to close variants.

Close variants in all match types may include:

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

For exact match keywords, close variants may also include:

  • Reordered words with the same meaning (for example, [shoes mens] and [mens shoes])
  • Addition or removal of function words. Function words are prepositions (like in or to), conjunctions (like for or but), articles (like a or the) and other words that don’t impact the intent of a search. For example, [shoes for men] is a close variant of [men shoes] with the function word “for” removed.
In the English, Spanish, German, Japanese, French, Italian, Portuguese and Russian versions of Google Ads, exact match close variants may also include:
  • Implied words (for example, if your exact match keyword is [daydream vr headset], your ads may show on searches for “daydream headset” since “vr” is implied)
  • Synonyms and paraphrases (for example, if your exact match keyword is [bathing suits] ads may also show on searches for “swimming suits”)
  • Same search intent (for example, if your exact match keyword is [images royalty free] ads may also show on searches for “free copyright images”)
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