Bye-bye BMM!

Author Nina Grewal 3 min read time

Why is Google getting rid of broad match modified keywords?

You may have seen Google’s announcement outlining the gradual phasing out of BMM in favour of phrase match in February 2021, in an effort to help advertisers reach the most relevant customers.

According to Google, they are adapting their phrase match keywords to match to the meaning of a search – essentially, this updated phrase match will capture broad match modified traffic, and also pick-up searches that are most relevant to word order and searcher intent.

So Google isn’t getting rid of BMM per say – they’re just merging the BMM match type functionality with phrase match to help marketers streamline keyword management, gain more control and also reach the customers with the most intent to use products/services, all while taking word order into account.

All current BMM keywords you have in your accounts will keep working and will function the same as the new phrase match keywords. However, be aware that you will be unable to create any more BMM keywords after July 2021. Therefore, it’s best to adapt to this change as early as possible.

Google gives the below example:

No More BMM

Source: Google

I know you may have some questions regarding this, below are some answers to new phrase match type FAQ’s:

Does this mean I have to stop creating BMM ad groups and keywords from February 2021 onwards?

Ideally, you should cease the creation of BMM keywords by mid-February if they consist of the following languages: English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese and Russian, as the new update is rolling out this month, For all other languages, expect the phrase match update to happen by July 2021.

How can I prepare for this shift? Is there anything to be done, if so?

You don’t have to do anything drastic – just watch your current BMM ad groups closely and keep an eye on your budgeting. Adjust the bids if you have to, and make sure your targeting is adapted if you see any fluctuations in performance.

Also keep a very close eye on your search query reports, paying close attention to how this match type change will affect the nature of the queries you are pulling in.

The traffic your BMM keywords bring in may decline as the shift progresses, but you can combat this by creating phrase match versions of them after the rollout of this match type update.

Can I still use broad keywords, though? I’m worried my traffic volumes will be lower after this update.

Yes, you can! Bear in mind Google suggests that you pair any broad keywords with Smart Bidding for a little bit more control, and to ensure that you’re not wasting spend on any irrelevant search queries pulling through

We will keep you guys updated on any new happenings or updates in the world of PPC – though this change seems daunting, if you monitor your current keywords and adapt to the changes gradually, the transition will be easy to manage!


Nina has spent over two years working on the PPC team, leading campaign and account plan creations and providing general account management for a number of clients, of which include Roche and The Royal Collection Trust. She also has expertise in paid social ads, having run both LinkedIn and Facebook campaigns alongside PPC.