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Google released a blog on Friday 17th March about how close variants will now connect more people with what they are looking for.
Previously a close variant would match to plurals, typos, abbreviations, adverbs etc, which kind of makes sense. Now, a close variant will widen the search, and in some cases add words, remove words or change the order of your exact match keyword.
There are pros and cons to this change for example, [cake mix] could now match to [cake mixers], which are different things. But [running shoes] could change to [shoes for running] which makes perfect logical sense.
Google have made this update to help advertisers reduce the extensive keyword lists and the need to have all different variants of one phrase/keyword. This is great for the new keyword lists I’m building, however, for the current clients’ keywords I’m going to be spending a few days checking these over and making sure we have no ‘close variant’ match become irrelevant.
To see more, read it straight from the source: https://adwords.googleblog.com/2017/03/close-variants-now-connects-more-people.html