August 20

The Weekly Briefing: A Big Change for Google Adwords Search Matches

This week’s Monday morning meeting delivered big news on a change to Adwords, in addition to some fascinating trends and advice columns. Without further ado, let’s jump right in:

AdWords Bids Goodbye to Exact Matches

SEM Lead Tyler Halonen reported on a change arriving to Google Adwords in September. According to a report from Search Engine Land, advertisers on the popular Google platform will no longer have access to “Pure Exact Match.” Instead, they’ll be required to have close variants turned on.

Having close variants switched on lets Adwords advertisers push ads beyond exact match queries – allowing ads to show up in results where the searcher may have misspelled the search term or instead provided a close variant. For example, if the ad campaign specifically targets the term “golf supplies” and the user instead types in “golfing supplies,” they’ll still see your Adwords ad.

While this generally sounds like a benefit, some Adwords users may see the feature as having a downside: A close variant doesn’t always have the same meaning as the exact term. For example, Greg Finn of Search Engine Land noted that a person typing in “cardio” likely isn’t searching for a “cardiologist.” Instead we can presume they’re most probably looking for fitness-related results. In effect, close variants could dilute statistics when advertisers only want to know how many people are searching for their exact key term.

Coming Up With the Perfect Headline

Senior SEO Specialist Samantha Lunzer discussed an article she read from Isla McKetta of In it, McKetta discusses how to approach creating the perfect headline for content. Using questions and expressions in headlines can lead to clicks while boring titles…err, not so much. And while it’s important to make titles engaging, it’s even more important to deliver credibility.

Experimenting with SEO

VP of Search Kyle Scott discussed a slideshow from Rand Fishkin of that detailed some fascinating SEO-centric experiments has run. Fishkin initially presented the slideshow during Mozcon 2014. Experiments pertained to testing out guest blogging (is it still relevant?), the effect of Google removing Author Pics, internal links and more.

Latest Email Marketing Trends

Marketing Director Caitlin Tvrdik discussed a slideshow from COHN, Inc. VP of Strategy Michael Barber. Barber discusses useful email marketing tips for the foreseeable future. Such suggestions included placing an emphasis on the customer’s point of view, in addition to ensuring that your message is consumable, participatory (crafting the email to fit what people like), personalized and more.