Google’s Removal of Redundant Keywords Recommendation Has Changed - What Now?

A couple of weeks ago, Google quietly changed its recommendation to remove redundant keywords, and one of the effects is that anyone with the recommendation enabled will have their exact- and phrase-match keywords replaced with broad match.

Experienced marketers are accustomed to Google's frequent updates, which often aim to promote their own products (and often result in increased spend). However, Google can be discreet in their implementation, and changes may happen subtly and without much announcement. This update couched within a pre-existing auto-apply setting, which makes it harder for advertisers to notice its deployment.

Perhaps to mitigate any backlash from the update, Google has also downplayed the potential impact of this change by suggesting it will not affect performance. As with any Google update, we encourage marketers to apply critical thinking and consider how it could affect their performance based on their goals, setup, strategy, and historical performance.

New call-to-action


What this means for Google

This update is part of Google's ongoing move toward automation, which includes significant pushes like Performance Max. By promoting the use of broad match keywords over other types, Google is encouraging advertisers to rely on machine learning to optimize their campaigns. 

Similar to how Google favors responsive search ads without pins, advertisers will likely see more of Google pushing broad match keywords over other match types as machine learning evolves and new, dynamic products are released.


When to enable the update – and when to take control

Most advertisers will find it’s in their best interest to disable this auto-apply recommendation to maintain control and prevent any potential risk the update could bring. However, those willing to relinquish some control and save time on managing keywords may find value in Google automatically paring down duplicate keywords to their broad match type. 

This update can also be useful for users looking to organize their accounts or eliminate overlap in ad group targeting. Though Google's broad match relevance has improved, particularly when coupled with smart bidding, advertisers who choose to use this recommendation should closely monitor changes and performance.


Going forward

As a best practice, advertisers should keep a close eye on updates as they are rolled out and frequently audit their accounts to check for additional automatic settings enabled by default, such as automatic extensions. (To prevent unwanted updates from going unnoticed, I recommend disabling auto-apply recommendations entirely.)

This is also a good reminder for all advertisers to review their auto-apply settings and turn off any that don't align with their goals. In general, advertisers should remain aware of news on future updates and regularly audit their accounts for additional automatic settings, such as automatic extensions, that may be enabled by default.



Contact Jordan Digital Marketing to request an audit for your Paid Ad campaign!

GA4 Migration download

Recent Articles

How Two Non-Recruiters Built a Recruiting Process

Organic Search Dominates and Rich Review Results Change - Backlink Breaker #22

Google’s finally cracking down on the review rich snippet spam that’s been plaguing search results...

Click Through Reads #58: Gen Z Marketing Reports & Opportunities

Hello Click Through Readers! Once again, we’ve got some news for you this week...