Keyword Matching Options

What are the Keyword Matching Options?

Keyword Matching Options – Keyword-level settings that help control how closely the keyword needs to match a person’s search term in order to trigger your ad. These include broad, modified broad, phrase, exact and negative match types. You also have the ability to specify whether or not you want your phrase and exact match terms to show for plurals, misspellings or close variants.

Settings for each keyword that help control how closely the keyword needs to match a person’s search term in order to trigger your ad.

Each keyword uses a matching option to help control which searches should trigger your ad to show. You can choose one or more matching options for a keyword. If you don’t specify a particular matching option, keywords are considered a broad match.

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 home in on specific groups of customers.

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” as well as “women’s scarves” might see your ad.

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).

Reach the right customers by adding keywords


High-quality, relevant keywords can help you show your ads to the customers you want when you want. We recommend 5 – 20 keywords per ad group.

Adding very similar keywords, such as “red car” and “car red” isn’t recommended, as only one keyword would match both searches. However, doing so won’t affect your costs or performance in any way.

For example, the broad match keywords “red car” and “car red” will be recognized as duplicates and the one with the higher Ad Rank will be used. Even though all your similar keywords may be eligible to serve on the same search, you’ll only have one bid in the ad auction. This ensures you’ll never bid against yourself.

These options are recommended for advanced advertisers trying to segment-specific sets of searches.

Broad match modifier

Like a broad match, except that the broad match modifier option only shows ads in searches that include the words with a plus sign “+” in front of them (+women’s hats), or close variations of the “+” terms.

Phrase match

Ads may show on searches that match a phrase, or close variations of that phrase, which may include additional words before or after. Ads won’t show, however, if a word is added to the middle of the phrase that changes the meaning of the phrase. The phrase match is designated with quotation marks (“women’s hats”).

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. The exact match is designated with brackets ([red shoe]).


Is your company in need of help? MV3 Marketing Agency has numerous Marketing experts ready to assist you. Contact MV3 Marketing to jump-start your business.

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