Back in February, Google announced changes to its phrase match services. The expansion of phrase match will include BMM traffic, but it also means significant changes to what you can and can’t do with phrase match. Starting in late July, companies lost the ability to create new broad match modifiers with the +keyword notation. However, existing BMM keywords will continue functioning under the new phrase match behavior announced earlier in the year.

The BMM Changes

Google did tell us this was coming, as while the announcement focused primarily on new behaviors, it also announced a new restriction. Namely that advertisers cannot create new BMM keywords. However, they can still edit attributes of their BMM keyword, such as bid or status, but attempts to edit the keyword text require changing the keyword to phrase match.

Google recommends consolidating your duplicate keywords and changing your BMM keywords to a different match type. They say this will help you manage your account moving forward, as it should provide a clearer organizational structure. To further complement these organizational changes, you can also take advantage of the “Remove redundant keywords” recommendation that the Recommendations page may offer. This occurs when a keyword also exists as a phrase match within the same ad group. Therefore, there is no longer a need or function to “doubling up” on phrase match keywords.

There are also tools to convert BMM keywords in bulk, which Google added to both Google Ads and the Google Ads Editor. There is also a new section to the Google Ads Help Center, under the category “Should I convert my BMM keywords to phrase match?” which will describe and detail these new tools and how to use them. These are very powerful tools that are capable of updating hundreds of keywords simultaneously, and you should take advantage of them where appropriate.

When running an old BMM keyword through the bulk conversion tool, the tool deletes it, and then creates a new keyword in the specific match type. While this does mean the newly created keyword has no statistics, it is possible to review and compare the historical performance of the removed BMM keyword, allowing advertisers to track their metrics over time.

Why This Matters

For those of us who have gotten used to managing and working with BMM keywords, this marks a final turning point for us to adapt to as it seems to mark the final end of support for BMM keywords. If you had still been adding new keywords up until the end of July, it is time to make the transition and learn to adapt to the new system.

It may be easier than you suspect, however. Existing BMM keywords had already been being treated as the newly expanded phrase match umbrella. As a result, you have already seen some of the effects of the change. If you still have BMM keywords to convert, it would be better to do so now. That way, future updates will not surprise you with changes that affect a portion of your data set. These changes allow you to begin gathering metrics sooner rather than later and ensure that you can maintain an edge on your competition and grow your business.

As you phase out the deprecated BMM standard, managing your account will become more streamlined and efficient, so start today.