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Google Ads to retire Broad Match Modifier (BMM)

Google have announced they will be retiring the popular Broad Match Modifier (BMM) match type. They will be transitioned to an updated version of Phrase Match. This is one of the biggest changes in a number of years.

This change will roll out later this month until July 2021. We should be notified when it reaches our accounts.

BMM keywords have been around for more than a decade and a cornerstone to Google Ads campaigns ran by myself and many other paid media professionals. From July 2021 we will no longer be able to add any new broad match modifier keywords to our accounts, but legacy keywords will remain and work as the new phrase match keywords.

The new phrase match keywords will now show your ads for more broader keywords than previously, meaning they will match with more search terms that previous. However, Google’s announcement says that they will not match with all the terms that were previously covered by BMM, such as those that change the meaning.

Google’s explanation is in their diagram below:

This change is another push from Google in the direction of automation, taking away some more control and transparency from the advertiser.

Here are some suggestions from me to better prepare yourself for the oncoming changes:

  • Use the new Phrase Match instead of BMM when adding new keywords
  • No need to remove your old BMM terms for the time being
  • Monitor Search Queries report more frequently, adding negative keywords where necessary
  • Mix up the order of your phrases in Phrase Match to avoid losing key traffic