4 Updates to Search Ads Query Match and Brand Controls from Google

By Matthew Robson
4th July 2024

In the run up to Q3, Google has been busy keeping us on our toes, with a whole slate of updates to search ads query match and brand controls in recent weeks.

There are 4 key updates in this announcement that will give you more control over your brand-related traffic:

1. Misspelled search terms

Currently misspelled queries are matched to their correctly spelled keywords in campaigns, but a lot of these misspellings don’t meet the privacy thresholds to show in search terms reports. Now, these will be aggregated, meaning up to 9% of search terms that had been spelled incorrectly and reported under ‘Other’ will now be visible in your reports.

2. Negative Keywords

Negative keywords will now block misspellings too, so you don’t have to add in each potential misspelling into your negative keywords, instead just add in the correct spelling and sit happy knowing that this will also block the misspellings.

You can even go so far as to delete all the old misspellings from your old negative keyword lists to keep your account looking clean.

3. Brand Inclusions in Broad Match Campaigns

Firstly, the name of this featured has been changed!

Going from ‘Brand Restrictions’ to ‘Brand Inclusions’ based on user feedback, now ads will only match to queries related to brand names in broad match campaigns to help keep your traffic relevant. So, you might start to see recommendations to switch brand-focused campaigns to broad-match campaigns with Brand Inclusions.

4. Brand Exclusions

Already available in Pmax, you will soon be able to prevent your ads from showing on certain queries or misspellings for specific brand names across all match types and Dynamic Search Ads.

This will be very helpful for brands with similar names but entirely different target audiences and with some specific broad match campaigns. For example, Apple likely doesn’t want to be appearing in search results for users looking for a new fresh produce delivery service.

These updates to search ads query match and brand controls will help brands get in front of relevant audiences and should improve clicks, so if you want to explore some new strategies today, make sure to get in touch.

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