Say +Bye +Bye to BMM!

Google has announced a big change in match types that will affect all accounts and campaigns which are currently using BMM (Broad Match Modifier) keywords.

Say +Bye +Bye To BMM

What is it happening?

Within the last week, Google has announced a big change in match types that will affect all accounts and campaigns which are currently using BMM (Broad Match Modifier) keywords.

The new keyword match type portfolio will be Exact - Phrase - Broad. The updated phrase match will contain the best of both match types: the control of phrase match, and the expanded reach of broad match modifier. This ultimately means that phrase match will expand to cover additional broad match modifier traffic, while continuing to respect word order when it’s important to the meaning.

When is it happening?

Starting on the 18th February, both phrase match and broad match modifier keywords will begin to transition to this new matching behavior. At launch, both phrase and BMM keywords will continue to work (using updated phrase match behavior)

Google will start rolling out to a small portion of traffic in February through April. By July, you will no longer be able to create new BMM keywords and the rollout of BMM to Phrase match for all keywords will have been completed.

What does this mean for advertisers?

In the long run, this change should make it easier to reach customers and manage keywords in your account. Although there should not be much of a negative impact on our campaigns, this is still quite a big change. For phrase keywords, it is possible you might see an increase in traffic volumes. It is recommended that you closely monitor your search terms report and account performance.

For your BMM keywords, especially partial BMMs, it’s possible you might see a decrease in traffic volumes. It may be necessary to add more keywords.

If you are currently bidding on the same keyword on BMM and Phrase, there may be some traffic shift. Because both keywords will have the same matching behaviour once the change is fully rolled out, some queries that previously matched to BMM will become eligible to match to your phrase keyword. However, Google has warned that it is important that you don’t pre-emptively delete your BMM keywords or convert them to phrase match before the rollout has completed, as this will result in loss of volume.


Google is recommending the following;

  • Monitor performance and shift budgets where necessary: Traffic may fluctuate due to these changes, so make adjustments as needed.
  • Regularly check your Recommendations page: “Add new keywords” helps you maintain keyword coverage, and “Remove redundant keywords” helps you consolidate duplicate keywords.
  • Consider using broad match with Smart Bidding: If you’re concerned about losing coverage, broad match with Smart Bidding helps you reach more relevant searches that meet your performance objectives.
  • Monitor your search term reports closely and continue to use negative keywords

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