Google Ads error tells advertisers exact match keywords are saving as broad match

Search marketers entering exact match keywords may see an alert towards the bottom of their Google Ads interface stating, “Broad match keywords are on. Keywords will be saved as broad match.” This message is an error and has no impact on how keywords are saved, Ginny Marvin, ads product liaison at Google, has confirmed.

A screenshot of an incorrect message in Google Ads stating that exact match keywords are saving as broad match
Image: Drew Cannon.

Tip of the hat to Drew Cannon for bringing this to our attention.

Google is working to remove the incorrect message. “This message is an error that we are working to remove,” Marvin said on Twitter, “The message was intended for a potential opt-in experiment, but it has no impact on how keywords are saved or the traffic to which these keywords match. Our apologies for the confusion.”

Why we care. This message tells advertisers exactly what they don’t want to see when using exact match keywords, so it can be frustrating and cause them to question whether the platform is functioning properly. However, the ability to save exact match keywords remains intact, despite the confusing alert, so you can carry on as usual. And, Google is working on a fix, so the message should go away soon.

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About The Author

George Nguyen is an editor for Search Engine Land, covering organic search, podcasting and e-commerce. His background is in journalism and content marketing. Prior to entering the industry, he worked as a radio personality, writer, podcast host and public school teacher.