Google Ads makes broad match default for new search campaigns

Google Ads now defaults to broad match for new search campaigns, potentially impacting performance and spend if advertisers aren't vigilant.

Chat with SearchBot

Google Ads made broad match the default setting when creating new Search campaigns, a departure from its previous default of having broad match turned off.

Why it matters. This change could significantly impact campaign performance and budget spend if advertisers aren’t vigilant.

Key details:

  • Broad match is now enabled by default for new Search campaigns
  • Could lead to increased costs if proper negative keywords aren’t in place

Between the lines. This move aligns with Google’s push towards more automated, AI-driven campaign management, potentially simplifying campaign setup for novice advertisers.

Yes, but. Experienced advertisers may need to be more cautious when setting up new campaigns to avoid unintended broad targeting. With broad being the most inefficient of the match types, this just adds an extra layer of check advertisers will need to take into consideration when setting up their campaigns.

First seen. We first were alerted to this update by Thomas Eccel on LinkedIn

Screenshot 2024 07 09 At 16.06.05 Edited 1

July 11th Update. Google Ads Liaison Ginny Marvin clarified on X that this setting only gets triggered when you select a smart bidding strategy:

Screenshot 2024 07 12 At 13.01.22

What to watch. How this change affects campaign performance, especially for advertisers who prefer to start with more precise targeting using phrase or exact match.

Bottom line. Advertisers should double-check their match type settings when creating new Search campaigns to ensure they align with their intended strategy.


About the author

Anu Adegbola
Staff
Anu Adegbola has been Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land since 2024. She covers paid search, paid social, retail media, video and more.

In 2008, Anu's career started with
 delivering digital marketing campaigns (mostly but not exclusively Paid Search) by building strategies, maximising ROI, automating repetitive processes and bringing efficiency from every part of marketing departments through inspiring leadership both on agency, client and marketing tech side.
 
Outside editing Search Engine Land article she is the founder of PPC networking event - PPC Live, host of weekly podcast PPCChat Roundup, and brand evangelist at ClickTech. 
 
She is also an international speaker with some of the stages she has presented on being SMX (US), SMX (Munich), Friends of Search (Amsterdam), brightonSEO, The Marketing Meetup, HeroConf (PPC Hero), SearchLove, BiddableWorld, SESLondon, PPC Chat Live, AdWorld Experience (Bologna) and more.

Get the must-read newsletter for search marketers.