This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

Cookie Policy


With London being one of the most competitive places in the world to do business, the battle to get ads seen in all the right places, by the right people, is fierce. Refined PPC in London can make a big difference in the success of a modern-day business – and the latest changes by Google will allow advertisers more scope in what they can include in their ads, making for better, more bespoke ad campaigns.

In recent months, Google has loosened its restrictions on close variants, extending same-meaning close variants to phrase match and broad match modifier. Alongside these changes, is the altering of its keyword selection preferences to prevent keywords from competing against each other.So how did we get here, and what effects will these changes have? Let's get into it...

Google's Recent PPC Changes – And Their Effects on PPC In London

To give some background, in 2014 Google required all PPC campaigns to use close variants. At the time, these included any 'plurals, misspellings and other variations of exact match and phrase match keywords' (such as 'clothing' instead of 'clothes', 'accomodation/accommodation' or any Americanized spellings).

In 2017, 'word order and function words' were added to 'close variants for exact match'. This sees exact match keywords potentially triggering queries with a different word order – as well as function words. Function words are binding words and phrases whose purpose is to contribute to the sentence rather than the meaning of the sentence (for example, the 'do' in I do not live here). With this change,function words may be ignored, replaced or added.

Last year, Google added same-meaning wordsto the mix – including implied word and paraphrases. This sees Google match asearch query to an exact match keyword if it determines that the query has thesame intent as the keyword. To illustrate this; imagine your targeted keywordfor your PPC in London is ‘Mayfairhotel’; the change will now match queries such as ‘hotels in Mayfair’ or ‘guesthouses in Mayfair’. If Google’s system understands the intent of query isdifferent to your keyword it will not match with it – for example, the keywordwill not match to queries such as ‘barsin Mayfair’ as Google understands that the intent of the searcher is to lookfor pubs/bars in Mayfair, not hotels or guest houses, and vice versa.

In their reasoning for this stream ofchanges, Google have said that queries continue to evolve and that the machinelearning, that runs their search platform, has advanced to the point where itcan fill in gaps for advertisers, creating a better-defined audience –ultimately helping them to reach the people who would be interested in whatthey have to sell.

Google have said that 15% of its dailysearches are new – and advertisers will end up missing out on these new queriesif matching is too tightly controlled (in other words, there’s a sell-by dateon keywords). Google say that their machine learning systems can assume intentand spare advertisers from creating an exhaustive list of keywords in order toget their ads to trigger on relevant queries.

So What's Changing With PPC In 2019?

The latest change with PPC in London will see the 'phrase match and broad match modifier'matched with 'same meaning queries' with keyword selection preferences also changing. Broad match modifier keywords can match to queries in any word order(in the past, this has included close variants of misspellings,singular/plurals, stemmings,abbreviations and accents). Now, it will include same meaning queries – Google has provided the following example of how this new matching works:

  • Broad match modifier keywordsLawn Mowing Service.
  • Matched queries BEFORE the update –'Services to mow my lawn', 'lawn mowing and edging service'
  • Matched queries AFTER the update –'Grass cutting and gardening services', 'rates for services that cut your grass'.

Notice how the keyword 'mowing' matches to'grass cutting' and 'cut your grass'. This is the result of Google's machine learning recognising the meaning and relationships of the words, as well as the intention of the searcher.

Added to this, the 'phase match' aspect of the programme will already trigger on close variants. The word order will still be respected but they can also now show on same-meaning queries. The example below shows 'lawn mowing' matching to 'grass cutting', whilst also including the added words 'service' and 'services':

  • Phrase match keywordsLawn mowing service.
  • Matched queries BEFORE the update –'Lawn mowing service prices', 'seasonal lawn mowing service rates'.
  • Matched queries AFTER the update –'Grass cutting service near me', 'local lawn cutting services'.

In order to keep keywords that match to a query from competing against each other, Google Adwords will prevent that query from matching to a different phrase or broad match modifier keyword that is eligible for the same auction.

What Results Can PPC Advertisers Expect?

Google has said that it expects advertisers that use the phrase and broad match modifier will see as much as a 4% rise in clicks and conversions on those keywords, with 85% of those clicks (on average), coming from queries that are not currently covered by the advertisers existing keywords. This represents a significant upturn in the coverage –allowing businesses to use their PPC in London to target specific audiences that would be more inclined to interact with the ads on display.

Since machine learning has taken over the running of Google's search platform, the prospect of zero-keyword search campaigns has grown ever more likely. In fact, with local campaigns, smart campaigns and app campaigns, those days are already here.

Interested In Learning More About PPC? Get In Touch With The Experts

If you're interested in harnessing the power of paid Google ads to improve your standing in the local online market place, why not let the expert team here at PPC Junkies help? Our PPC professionals are able to use their industry-leading knowledge to optimise your campaigns to get the click-throughs and conversions that matter. Why not get in touch with us today to learn more?

Whether you're looking for PPC in London to grow your physical or online business, then please do not hesitate to give us a call on 0118 902 9912 or alternatively,you can send an e-mail to and we'll be in touch as soon as possible.