Why are my ads showing for a keyword that isn't in my campaign?

There are four different keyword matching options determining when an ad will be displayed. The 'match type' will either return your ad to a general query for your products and services, or more specifically, when the exact keyword(s) are searched for.

In the first case, you'll enjoy more ad impressions; with the second, you'll get fewer impressions but potentially more targeted clicks. By applying the appropriate matching options to your keywords, we can best meet your return on investment goals. When your ad is showing on a keyword that isn't in your campaign, it is matching using either 'broad' or 'phrase' match.

  • Broad match This is the default option. If your ad group contained the keyword tennis shoes, your ad would be eligible to appear when a user's search query contained tennis and shoes, in any order, and possibly along with other terms. Your ads could also show for singular/plural forms, synonyms, and other relevant variations. For example, your ad might show on 'tennis shoe' or 'tennis footwear'.
  • Phrase match If you enter a keyword such as 'tennis shoes', your ad would be eligible to appear when a user searches on the phrase 'tennis shoes', in this order, and possibly with other terms before or after the phrase. For example, your ad could appear for the query 'red tennis shoes' but not for 'shoes for tennis', 'tennis shoe', or 'tennis footwear'. Phrase match is more targeted than broad match, but more flexible than exact match.

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