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Google is at it again!

Kat Halsall

An important part of any SEO or PPC campaign is keyword research, it is crucial to nail the fundamentals and get the foundations in place before storming ahead with your campaign. So to help us Google has…made it as difficult as possible? Hmm.

Not content with removing a whopping 95% of keyword traffic from Google Analytics, a new “improvement” has come along, this time, not just to infuriate AdWords advertisers, but to make keyword research that much more difficult – thanks again, Google.

So, what have they actually done?

Say “goodbye” to Exact-Match keywords and “hello” to Close Variations. Selecting Exact-Match will no longer be an option.

The impact?

Where you may have been able to target precise keywords in the past, come late September, you will also be targeting close variants (misspellings, plurals and variations) e.g. “blue suede shoes” could become “cheap blue suede shoes”, “French white wine” could become “white wine in French”. Whilst this may not seem to be the most annoying change we have suffered at the hand of Google over the past few years, for PPCs the loss of control will be most frustrating.

Advertisers could also expect to see an increase in competition – as more ads are eligible to be shown for each keyword, a lower click through rate and lower conversion rate, not to mention wasted budget on irrelevant queries.

What can you do?

Well, adding to your negative keyword list on a regular basis is going to be more important than ever, keep adding to your list of negatives and make sure you are only appearing for relevant keywords.

Use a variety of tools to aid your keyword research, AdWords keyword planner alone, is not going to cut it anymore.

Check Bing and Yahoo, they’re still reporting referral data.

As always, closely monitor your account’s performance and make adjustments when you identify opportunities or pitfalls.

If you have any concerns regarding your campaign or would like to discuss the possible impact, please get in touch on 0161 941 5330.