5th February 2021

Google Ads just announced some major changes to keyword targeting for advertisers. As broad match modified keywords are being discontinued in 2021!


With such a significant change in the traditional ways of splitting out key terms and phrases, we thought we’d walk through two of the major ramifications of the broad match modified keywords being discontinued, and set some context as to how this may affect your Google Ads campaigns and ad group splits.

1. Broad Match Modifier keywords are being discontinued. This allowed you to target any search term which contained a specific set of words, in any order.

E.g. if you want to target bike repair Newcastle, or Newcastle bike repair, or repair bike in Newcastle, you would previously be able to cover them all with +bike +repair +Newcastle.

With this change, you would need to create 3 phrase keywords to cover them all (“bike repair Newcastle”, “repair bike Newcastle, “Newcastle bike repair”).

If you have a situation where the phrase can work in any keyword order, you need to create multiple more versions.

2. Phrase match will now allow for more inclusion of additional words as long as the keyword order is there.

E.g. if you want to target best running shoes, you would previously be able to use “best running shoes” with less of a concern for non-commercial intent searches being targeted, as those 3 words would need to appear together.

With this change, that term would also target non-commercial intent searches such as ‘best way to clean running shoes’, ‘best way to lace running shoes’.

Broad match modified keywords discontinued - ROAR Digital Marketing blog

Image credited to Google Support –

This makes it more important than ever to ensure that your Google Ads are being properly managed by a certified Google Partner and specialist.

If you’d like to read Google’s full announcement then you can read here.

To find out more about ROAR Digital Marketing and our PPC / SEM services contact us on our website, or email info@roardigitalmarketing.co.uk to arrange a free consultation.