Why AdWords ‘Close Variants’ removal might Cost You More

Google AdWords has announced that they will be removing the option to choose a Close Variants Only setting from your Adwords campaign. Even if you’re busy, don’t have time or energy time to digest this gibberish, take a second and you might prevent wasting your AdWords budget.

This background might help you understand why this change is important for you:

A KEYWORD is not (always) the same as a SEARCH TERM

Understanding the difference between a KEYWORD and SEARCH TERM will help retain your sanity in this discussion:

  • Keywords: You want your ads to be displayed for these words.
  • Search Terms These are the searches that Google decides to show your ads  for


Why is there a difference ?

AdWords loosely matches your campaign keywords with punter’s searches, which can be helpful for your ads to be seen in related searches such as:

  • typos
  • misspellings
  • synonyms

But as smart as Google tries to be, is it doesn’t always get the matching right. In fact in some AdWords Account reviews, I’ve identified up to 30% of clicks that are not relevant. You might also be interested to know that the largest amount of work for ongoing AdWords support is identifying search term mis-matches (ie wasted clicks) then applying negative keywords to prevent Google from using that dead expense again.


What are Close Variants?

No it’s not about a friendly group of related people… Close Varants is  abasic setting minimising mismatch between your selected keywords and prospect searches. It was one step toward bounding Google’s enthusiastic attempts to attract more, often unrelated clicks.

They’re just being helpful.. oh and taking more of your more money too…


What is AdWords changing?

“In late September’ Google are removing the Close Variant option in AdWords accounts.

How will this impact me?

If your campaign AdWords campaign uses the Close Variants Option, you will notice a jump in ‘loosely matched’ clicks with the possibility that many will not be sales leads. Even though you’re busy you might still notice your sales leads drop slightly, so you’ll throw more money at AdWords to compensate.

Your most cost-effective approach will be to:

  • reduce/avoid broad matching in your campaign
  • monitor search term reports closely
  • frenetically add negative keywords to prevent future irrelevant search term matching
  • monitor conversions to target and benchmark your best converting search terms


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