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Atanu Sarkar
May 10, 2017

Table of content


A large number of people who are interested in online marketing or who owns a business (of any sort) in this modern world, uses the platform of Google in order to reach out to its relevant traffic. Most of the companies and businesses are known for spending a good amount of their time and monetary resources to rank high in the search result of this leading player of the search engine arena.
They use the search engine optimization process in order to develop an ideal and excellent environment that helps their businesses to thrive to success and prosperity. Other than SEO, another popular and thriving process that the businesses use to reach atop the search engine rankings and to develop an ideal prospect for their businesses is the process of PPC or Pay per Click.
With the modern world and the excellent business opportunities around every corner of the globe, the business owners and the entrepreneurs are leaving no stone unturned in gaining the excellent services, which can lead them at the edge of the market.

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For PPC, almost every entrepreneurs use the Google AdWords, which gives them the liberty to excellently perform their functions and to carry on their marketing procedure at a much larger pace. It is an incredible tool to earn revenue and to get the best and highest ROI.
The idea working behind AdWords is very simple:

  • Curate & design an alluring ad.
  • Put up the ad.
  • Get clicks.
  • Make money.

Although, this simple, but many people still consider, Google AdWords as a waste of time and money. Reason? They are not being able to crack the code of success through this platform.
It is undoubtedly, a complex platform. But, once you pay close attention to every detail attached with it and gain access to the quick-and-easy AdWords tricks, it can serve as a total game changer. A number of ways are there to always be on the win-win side by using AdWords. One of the crucial factors is the selection of keywords.
Google has introduced several changes and methods for making the AdWords more simple and easy for all. However, the latest change introduced by Google in the AdWords market, which has left the advertisers stunned and have earned excellent accolades from the searchers is the introduction of close variant.

1. What are closed variants

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The close variants are the latest features which are introduced by Google. It allows the search result to display results, which match with the misspellings and the close iterations of the existing keywords of an ad campaign.
It determines how people will see your ad campaigns in response to the various queries that they use to search for the particular product they are looking for.
While using Google AdWords, you come across a variety of keywords to choose from, and can also consider the different types of keyword matching. Each campaign equipped the feature that allows the users to use it to the fullest, but with the advent of the introduction of close variants feature, this can be turned off.
Turning off this feature from your ad means, your ad will appear in the search result only if the searcher types the exact keyword.
Say for example, if your keyword is “baby products” and your customer types, “baby product”, in such case, when the close variant feature is disabled, your ad will not appear in the search result. However, in the case, where the close variant feature is enabled, your ad will appear. It will appear even if the customers do a spelling mistake, or type an extra word or less word with your keyword.

2.What To Know About Changes To AdWords Close Variant Keyword Matching?

With the Close variant feature, Google will now be looking at misspellings, abbreviations, plurals, additional words and other variants in mind. For some advertisers, this is a golden chance to generate impressions and clicks for their ads. But for others, who prefer to have more control over their ads and its visibility, this change is not accepted at all.
However, of course no one wants to lose out of their audience at any cost. So, the first thing that you need to do is to check each and every one of your Ads in the AdWords Campaign have the close variants option selected.
The settings tab of every AdWords Campaign need to be checked in thoroughly and in order to perform excellently in the market, you certainly have to have the knowledge of how the keywords work in developing the traffic of your website and how it plays an efficient role in enhancing the leads of your business.

3.Why Close Variant Is A Big Deal?

Google has equipped the close variant option with a number of features that has led many advertisers to pull off their hair and to search a way out of this situation. But, the reality is the close variant is now an essential thing to consider about. It helps the businesses to expand their scope of reach and the traffic of their business.
If you are wondering, whether or not the Close Variant is an essential feature for your business, you should navigate to your search query data. It would give you a clear idea of which keywords are your exact keywords and which ones are the close variants.
It so happens that a large number of people, in order to search for a product quickly tend to type in a great speed and misplaces some word, which could divert the traffic from your business. For example, if a person types “Bayb Clothes” instead of “Baby Clothes” and you have your close variant feature off, then of course you will lose out on a strong base of your potential customers.
Close Variant is a big deal mainly because of the two following reasons:

  • Google is on its process of eroding the options that the power users of AdWords value a lot.
  • A significant number of advertisers have experienced poor result with close variants.

It is for these two reasons that the advertisers today are so tensed and worried with their AdWords Campaign. They are going through a mind-boggling session everyday in order to come up with something strong and ideal, which would help them to ensure success of their AdWords campaign.

4.Keyword Matching Options

Before stepping in the world of AdWords or online marketing, it is extremely important for you all to gain an in-depth and thorough understanding of keyword.
There are different types of keyword matches, which are available in the market and which can trigger your ad’s performance brilliantly. It is time for you to hone your keyword skills and learn more about them in great details.
The different kind of keywords match types includes the following:
1. Broad Match- It is the default match type, which promises to reach the widest audience. When you use this kind of match, your ad is eligible to appear when the user search query includes any word or phrases in any order, it does not have to be in the order as that or your keywords. It is designed to reach up to the widest possible audience and help a large number of people to see the ad. It is a great way to drive lots of clicks, but of course as we all know irrelevant traffic does not convert. So, with this match type, at one hand you will have high traffic, at the other the conversion rate will be less or negative.
2. Modified Broad Match- This match type is viewed as a middle ground between broad match and the other restrictive match types. Advertisers who uses this type match make sure that to add a ‘+’ sign in front of the keyword. With the use of this sign, you are directing or rather instructing Google, which your ads will only appear when the search query will include the particular term.
3. Phrase Match- Phrase match offer some of the most versatility of broad match but provides the advertisers a strong and higher level of control. Your ad will only appear when the user queries your key phrase and uses the keywords in the exact order as you have entered them in the campaign. But, of course it provides you with the access to appear even if your users use other words before or after the particular phrase.
4. Exact Match- This match type is the most specific and restrictive keyword match types. It is also considered as the ideal match type by the advertisers who tend to enjoy having a great control over their advertisement and its appearance. This match type appears, when the users type the exact keywords or keyword phrase that you have entered while setting the campaign.
While you are gaining information about everything related to keywords, you must also be aware that the keywords aren’t case-sensitive. They are matched without considering the uppercase or lowercase letters. They also can’t contain any non-standard characters which include!@:%*,

5.Two Basic Types Of Close Variants
  • Grammatical Variations:
    There are people who won’t type the exact form of your keywords. They are going to make some or the other grammatical errors in their search query. The grammatical variations allow people to reach out to their result and gain access to the right kind of search result or ad, which would prove to be beneficial for them.
  • Misspellings:
    This also happens a lot when people use search engines. They tend to type in a drastic speed, which accidentally causes them to make a spelling mistake. It has happened to all of us. You type something in Google, and then you realize you have misspelled it.

6.Points To Keep In Mind For Close Variant Matching

Close variant requires special attention on the part of the advertisers. It require them know the market; understand the trends of the industry and to get a strong control over the market, which would result in bringing quality clicks and traffic to their business. The standard difference that the close variants can develop in the market is spectacular in nature and it is quiet satisfying for the customers also. The changes that you need to keep in mind for close variant options include the following:
Other Match Types Are Almost Dead
With the close variants appearing on the market, it is true that the other match types- broad, modified broad and phrase- are dying out or can be considered as almost dead. This kind of keyword matches will bring audiences to the website not just for the keywords, which include singular or plural words, but also for misspellings, acronyms, stemming and abbreviations. It is essential for all to build a strong solid negative keyword list and to maintain it thoroughly is the key to the success of your business.
Your Volume & Cost Will Increase
With the use of close variant matching, you will experience an increase in your impressions and clicks. The reason for this is simply that your keywords will be matching against more keywords, relevant to your business. According to Google, close variant matching gives customers, on an average 7 percent more exact and phrase match clicks than the other match types.

But of course, as we all know, more clicks come up with more costs. Nothing is free in this world and it is true even for AdWords campaign. Large companies can afford to include this in their budget but it becomes really difficult for the smaller companies to afford the additional burden of the close variant cost, which makes the entire thing uncontrollable for them.

7.Why Use Negative Keywords To Avoid Close Variants?

With the details that we have provided early, the understanding of close variants is quiet clear to all. To some extent, we can say that the close variants reduce the burden of the businesses to gain the traffic of the new visitors. However, this is only true when the variations are apt to your business. Say for example, if your keyword is “Windows Repair” and your ad appears even when someone is looking for “Window Repair” is not a good idea.
It will not drive relevant traffic to your business and you will also not be pleased enough with its result, mostly because it changes the entire context where your business does not fits in aptly.
Now, the question that arises is what you can do about that?! How you can handle it?
Okay! So, be informed that this ain’t really that complex. All you need to do is to simply place the keywords that are not related to your business, as a negative keyword to your campaign. This simple process helps your businesses to avoid any unwanted clicks and cost.
So, what’s the extra burden that falls over your shoulder? Apart from adding all unwanted variations of your bidded keywords, you must also make it a point that you add all the variants of your negative keyword as well.
Let’s take for example, if your keyword is “Website Development Companies” and you don’t want to appear for “Development Company”, and you have added the same in your negative keyword list. What comes next is that your business doesn’t appear when somebody types the keyword, “Development Company” but it surely will appear when variations of the negative keywords are included in the search term.

Oops! Now what next?

The solution is simple; add all variations of your negative keywords as negative keywords. This will make sure that every single variation of your negative keyword will not result in appearing your business in the search result. In simple terms, it affirms that your business does not show for irrelevant terms and thus you don’t need to pay for the irrelevant clicks.

8.Close Variants Now Connects More People With What They are LookinG For

Google is used by people from all around the world. It is the largest used search engine and contains a major share in the market. Rather than a choice, it has turned into a habit of every individual. The existence and the increased popularity of Google, can also be seen in the fact that it has become a verb in the recent years. People not only search for a particular query, they Google it! So, here you get the significance.
And why not Google will have such popularity in the market; it has answers to all your queries and to all your demands. From running shoes to cheap hotels to affordable pets, whatever you look for, Google comes up with a list of answers to match with your search query. For the end users, it’s the relevant results that matters to them and for the advertisers it is the keywords that makes them relevant.
By looking at the way the users think and the users behave, it is noticeable that Google always come up with a new algorithm or updates that transform the entire scenario. Google is all about making it a good name in the market. The reputation is built by the people who use Google, and the large number of users is not more than the laymen.

9.How Google Helps In Enhancing User’s Experience?

As we were discussing earlier, Google always tend to come up with a new algorithm that can improve its search results for the end users. It comes up with a large number of changes and updates everyday and always helps people to get the taste of a reliable and relevant search result. It is for this reason that:

  • Most of the people who uses Google for search, often find their suitable answer in the first page of the search result itself and thus they are never really thinking about moving on to the next page.
  • Most of the businesses are fighting or competing with each other in order to appear in the leading position of the first page of Google’s search result. Nobody likes to lag behind.

With its new and latest close variant updates, Google ensure that it provides the best of its kind answers and results to its users by considering the following things:
Function Words
Google often terms the prepositions, conjunctions, articles and other words, as the function words. These words are known for having no such important impact on the intent of the search query.
With the use of the close variants the function words are ignored, till the time it doesn’t alters the meaning of the     search query. For example, of somebody types ‘the taj hotel’, the word “the” can be ignored as it doesn’t changes the real meaning of the sentence or the search query. However, if somebody is looking for a “flight to New York”, it definitely will not be ignored as there is a significance attached with the word “to” and if ignored it won’t present ideal and relevant results. When such a query is typed, Google cannot come up with search result that says “flight from new York”, it is mainly because both of this has a very different meaning in reality.
Change In Order, Not Meaning
Two keywords with slightly different word order might mean the same thing. Google understands this concept and thus when it uses the close variants; it comes up with the same logic. If somebody types “new car sale” instead of “sale new car”, Google considers both being the same and thus coming up with answers that stands still with both.
Close variants uses the same logic to match the queries which are a part of reordered variations of the keyword. It is noteworthy, that word reordering concept of keyword, won’t add any extra words to your existing keyword, it will just reorder the keyword in a way so that the exact meaning of the query is not changed or altered.
Customers are always looking for practical options, which are feasible for them and for the search results, which are easily found by them. Once the customers are satisfied, they are known for coming back with a new search query and it means a good traffic for Google itself. They really can never think of disappointing a searcher and this is why they are always able to come up with something alluring and extraordinary for the searchers.
With its every new step and every new consideration, Google make sure that the clients are at their best and they are always able to re-shape their traffic and reduce the cost of their practices in the way they want it to be.

10.Close Variant Means Different To Different Advertisers

The market is full of business persons with varied ideas and experiences. It is known to all that no two people can think alike and thus, there is always some kind of difference in their thought process and in their actions. Every single individual who are here in the market, have a different requirement in terms of their need and market essentials.
Understanding this, it is evident that the market is divided into two halves, when it comes to the use and the importance of Close Variants. People are divided in terms of their understanding, their use and the way they can really get benefitted through the close variant match type of Google. It is divided into two groups, for the first group, close variant is a relief to advertisers and for the other group it is a bunch of action performed by Google, which has upset them.

11.Close Variant As A Relief To Advertisers

Paid campaigns of Google is a tough market for everyone, especially for the companies or the entrepreneurs who are interested in capturing all of the variations of their keywords that would help their customers to search for a product or service that they have to offer. The marketers have to reach large and overly redundant keywords list in order to reach their customers.
For the people, who think close variant is a relief for them, they find it extremely helpful to connect with their target audience in a way that they are comfortable in. Despite slight variations of the keyword, in the way people search it; these businesses easily reach out to their customers. The best thing that attracts the advertisers is the fact that it includes additional rewording and reordering for the exact keywords and will be much easier for advertisers to reach more of their customers, than ever before.
It clearly helps them to define the word order and to reorder it in the way that they find to be more suitable. The function words are kept in mind by the close variant feature and it allows the advertisers to be sure about their existence and to consider the kind of traffic that would help them in the best possible way.
This comes as a great relief to the advertisers who always find it alluring to reach out to their relevant and ideal bunch of customers. The close variant helps your business to appear in the search result through every keyword, which is associated with the relevant or bidded keyword in one way or the other.
Putting all of this together, the close variants are seen by these group of advertisers as a great and significant way through which they can be visible to almost all of their users, located in different parts of the world.

12.Close Variants Upsetting Advertisers

While there are a number of reasons for several advertisers to support the close variant feature of Google, there are also a number of reasons for various advertisers to be against this feature. The market has a number of advertisers who are in no way even closer to welcoming this change and this feature of the keyword match type.
The advertisers seem to be not interested in the way the keyword match type functions. Their major problem starts with the foremost point when the function words are ignored by Google. The function words as mentioned above, according to Google “don’t impact the intent behind the search query.” So, they have come up with the solutions, which say that they will ignore the function words to match with similar queries.
While this change came into force, the businesses, which earlier hold a total control over their advertising campaigns, now find it extremely difficult to come up with their preferences and the way they want to run the campaign.
Another significant reason because of which the close variant feature of Google upsets the advertisers is the ignorance of the word order by Google. The word order is not really a major concern with Google now, which surely means that the way the advertisers phrases their keyword does not matter at all.
These changes have really been a major problem for a large number of advertisers and this is not easily acceptable to them.
We all know keeping everybody happy is not a possible thing to do, and thus, while a bunch of advertisers are extremely happy and excited with the new change, a lot of them are finding it difficult to cope up with the same.

13.How To Control The Complexity Of Close Variant?

Since close variants are playing a major role in developing the misspelled keywords, it is advisable to limit the list of variants and add as much number of negative keywords in your list as possible. Each and every keyword variation that you wouldn’t wish to match should be added to the negative keyword list. By doing this, you will get a good way to shape your traffic and reduce the unnecessary cost, which you need to pay for every click that your business receives. By doing this, there is a good probability, that you can adjust the entire thing for a better performance throughout the campaign time period. However, another important step, which one need to take is to keep an eye on the performance of keywords variations when you are monitoring the performance of your campaign. Doing this, you also get the liberty to adjust it for better performance throughout the campaign time period. Generally, the broader matching keyword option that you have, the more the traffic potential you can gain. And the narrower, you make the matching keyword, the less traffic you will receive, but the more relevant the result, which are actually valuable for your business.


With the help of close variants, you can easily fill up any cracks of any ad campaign making it sure that any of your targeted viewers view your ads getting the eyes on it.
Along with Adwords campaign, close variants can be used effectively with other marketing strategies getting it noticed right in the search results driving more traffic leading to more conversions.

Atanu Sarkar

Atanu Sarkar, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Webskitters Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd & Webskitters LTD has strong data analytics, business development and entrepreneurship skills. He keeps himself updated about latest technological innovations in his past time and encourages his team to incorporate new technologies and move beyond the defined boundaries of design, development and digital marketing. His inquisitive nature constrains him from flattering any limits and that’s made him a successful entrepreneur, a great leader for his team and a wonderful human being.