In late September, Google rolled out a change that altered the fabric of Search Marketing strategy forever, as they promised to do in their blogpost. In Google’s words, the inclusion of close variants on exact and phrase match keywords promised to help cover mispellings and plurals that users may not be including in their account structure; however, most experienced SEM folks already include ad groups or use broad matching to cover these variants and appreciated the option to opt out of close variants. The primary reasoning being control.
For more information on exactly what this change entailed, Search Engine Land did a great job explaining the implication of including close variants as well as some analysis on what impact we might have expected after the change was implemented. As we wrote about in our post on the importance of structure and naming conventions, we strongly recommend breaking out Match Types by Campaign and implementing negatives as Benjamin suggests. Having already had this structure helped us significantly manage the inclusion of close variants across the majority of our keywords. At the same time, we are seeing a trend, as he also suggested would happen, in our Branded terms that are troublesome.