Did you know about the fifth keyword match type in Google Ads, Phrase Match Modifier and how to use it?

When it’s about Digital Marketing, the ultimate goal of a marketer is to get new customers. In regards to achieving this, marketers design a website or a landing page, create ads on various platforms, engage users on social media, put efforts in SEO to cater to the needs of customers. Digital Marketers tend to think out-of-the-box to create innovative ways of generating brand recognition and attracting potential leads. The foremost step to acquire leads is through the use of relevant keywords. Everyone is aware of the fact that keywords are the keys to unlock the ability of ads to appear when a user makes a relevant search query on Google. One of the significant parts of setting a campaign on Adwords is deciding which keyword to use. However, Google ads provide certain “match types” for keywords like Broad, Phrase, Exact, and Broad Match Modifier each of the match types has different reach and objective. Ever thought of merging Phrase Match and Broad Match Modifier into a single keyword? Google Ads administrators discovered the fifth match type Phrase Match Modifier 

What is Phrase Match Modifier?

Phrase Match Modifier gives users of Broad Match Modifier further control without restricting reach too much. Phrase Match Modifier is more relevant to use when a specific order of words for a keyword could change significantly what they mean. As every click costs you money in Google Ads so advertisers would want to get the most relevant audience on the website. This match type is extremely effective for advertisers as it can help them to increase conversions and clicks by 3-4%. In a single keyword, marketers can combine Broad Match or Broad Match Modifier with Phrase Match, letting them link certain words together while others free to be anywhere in the search. Sounds complicated? Let’s break it down and have a glance at the current match types:

  • Broad Match: Displays ads on queries including synonyms, misspellings, other variations of match type and related searches
  • +Broad +Match +Modifier: Displays ads only when searches include specific words and their close variants
  • “Phrase Match”: Appears on searches that match a phrase or close variants of a phrase
  • [Exact Match]: The search should exactly match with the exception of word order and function words 
  • -Negative -Match: Stops the ads from appearing for the searches containing a specific term

How to use Phrase Match Modifier?

Phrase Match Modifier is a combination of Phrase Match and Broad Match keywords. This is the most recent match type that Google has launched. It allows the marketers to combine a particular keyword phrase with modifying words, not in that phrase. 

This modifier is used by using a string of phrase match words that starts with ‘+’ sign and separated by full stops with other words included with either a ‘+’ sign if you are using a Broad Match Modifier or no symbol when it comes to Broad Match. For Phrase Match Modifier, you will have to combine a phrase with additional words that are not added to the phrase. If you want some words kept in the same order and variations to be allowed as well for a particular keyword, you can use phrase match modifier. Using this match type could be a great potential if used with geographical modifiers.

Key Takeaways:

  • The order of searched word matters when it comes to Phrase Match Modifier
  • The order of searched word doesn’t matter when it comes to Broad Match Modifier

These are some examples on how to use them:

Match Type  Syntax Example Matched Search
Phrase Match and BMM +Phrase.Match




Car insurance policy available in Michigan
Phrase Match and Phrase Match +Phrase.Match




Luxury bus trip for 8 from London to Paris
Phrase Match and Broad Match +Phrase.Match Broad Match Best


Award winning pizza restaurant
Phrase Match and BMM and Broad Match +Phrase.Match

+BMM Broad Match 




Cheap lawn care service in California

Does this have any impact on Quality Score?

Outside affecting click through rate potentially, Phrase Match Modifier has no such impact on quality score. Since for every auction Quality Score is calculated, the keyword serves itself only to enter an ad to that auction. The text of the keyword doesn’t itself go into the calculation instead it opens the door. To calculate the quality score the relevance of the user’s search phrase is measured to the landing page and the ad. Using Phrase Match Modifier can indirectly increase the quality score as it increases click through rate through entering a few relevant auctions.

What’s the Impact on Stemming?

Stemming is fairly limited in this particular match type. There is limited scope for stemming when it comes to Phrase Match Modifier, like close variants or singular/plural. However, the phrase portion is conservative fairly. Phrase Match Modifier will not include abbreviations, so advertisers need to keep this mind while deciding whether or not to use this match type. The less comprehensive matching can still save advertisers from building excessively long keyword lists to account for basic variations. 


Without having much impact on quality score, Phrase Match Modifier provides a great way to target potential audiences or relevant searches on the terms. Less comprehensive matching leads to avoid making lengthy keyword lists. This allows marketers to efficiently spend more time managing their ad campaigns and putting more effort to make them successful. Phrase Match Modifier brings new opportunities to advertisers as it is an effective tool for optimising the Adwords accounts but it should be used effectively. This match type will be effective when the order of specific words has a great impact on intent but if added on modifiers such as the name of the city, it would not need a specific order for semantic relevance. Even though keywords are one of the basic topics on the surface, they are significant to understand and must get most out of campaigns on Adwords. Hopefully, Phrase Match Modifier will bring better results from the advertiser’s campaign. 

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