Over the last few months, Google has released a new feature that affects the way keyword match types (and therefore the strategy of using match types to organize a campaign) works.
In the setting option under each campaign, users can now find a drop down for “Keyword matching options.” When selected, the following option appears:
If you remember, the following had previously held true for the phrase and exact match types on Google:
1. Plurals were considered separate keywords and needed to be listed as such. Before, if “shoe” was in a campaign, but not “shoes,” then a search for “shoes” would not yield the ad.
2. The only way for an ad to show for a misspelled keyword was to run on broad match or broad match modifier. Ads on the phrase match keyword “shoe” would not show up for “sheo”.
3. If an advertiser wanted to show for close variations of a keyword (i.e. heels instead of shoes or pony instead of horse), the advertiser had to advertise the word on broad match or broad match modifier.
Now, however, if the selected box is checked (as is now the default), the above no longer applies to phrase or exact match.
What It Means (In My Humble Opinion)
Having the box checked is better for Google because it enables them to show ads for more search queries. Since advertisers only pay on a pay per click basis, Google makes money the more competitive a pay per click auction is.
From an advertiser’s perspective, the change is better and worse. While it makes it less likely that an advertiser won’t show up on a crucial keyword, it also serves to help eliminate query control. It used to be that if an advertiser wanted to advertise on a very specific keyword, an advertiser could put all their budget into that specific keyword (by putting the keyword in its own campaign and placing the keyword on exact match). With the box checked, this would no longer be the case, as exact match essentially would be the same as broad match modifier used to be.
For those traditionalists, I recommend not checking the box. If an advertiser wants to be absolutely sure they show up on everything, checking the box might be ok, but be sure to keep an eye on search query reports to make sure that the queries remain as targeted and relevant as desired.