Google Ads updates Search Query Matching and Brand Controls

Google Ads updated search query matching and brand controls to improve campaign performance by giving advertisers more control over misspelling handling and brand exclusions.

Google Ads brand inclusions
Google Ads brand inclusions

Google Ads yesterday announced updates on its search query matching and brand control features. According to Google, these updates aim to improve campaign performance, give advertisers more control over their brand traffic, and enhance the visibility of search queries in campaign reports.

Misspelling Handling

  • Search Term Reporting: Google Ads now aggregates misspelled queries with their correctly spelled counterparts in search term reports. This provides advertisers with a more comprehensive view of search terms that triggered their ads, even if the spellings were slightly off. According to Google, this change increases the visibility of search terms by an average of 9%.
  • Negative Keywords: Advertisers can now use a single negative keyword to block all misspellings of that keyword. Previously, advertisers had to manually add each misspelling as a separate negative keyword.

Brand Controls

  • Brand Inclusions in Broad Match: This feature allows advertisers to leverage the reach of broad match campaigns while restricting ad appearances to queries that include their chosen brands or related products.
  • Brand Exclusions Across All Match Types and Dynamic Search Ads (DSA): This feature, previously available only in Performance Max campaigns, lets advertisers prevent their ads from showing on searches containing specific brands they don't want to be associated with. Brand exclusions work across all campaign match types, including broad match, phrase match, and exact match, as well as Dynamic Search Ads.


These updates can benefit advertisers by:

Improved Campaign Performance: More accurate search term reporting can help advertisers identify relevant search terms that might have previously been hidden due to misspellings. This allows for better keyword targeting and potentially improved campaign performance.

Enhanced Brand Control: The new brand control features give advertisers more flexibility in managing their brand reputation online. Advertisers can ensure their ads appear only on searches relevant to their brand while preventing them from showing on searches for competing brands.

Streamlined Campaign Management: The ability to block misspellings with a single negative keyword reduces the time and effort required for campaign management.

Search queries often contain misspellings, and advertisers previously had limited visibility into these queries due to privacy thresholds. The misspelling update addresses this issue by providing a more complete picture of search terms that triggered ad impressions.

In the past, managing brand controls required using different features depending on the campaign type. The introduction of brand exclusions across all match types simplifies brand management and offers advertisers a consistent approach.

Google Ads' latest update to search query matching and brand controls empowers advertisers with increased control and improved visibility into their campaigns. By leveraging these features, advertisers can optimize campaign performance, protect their brand reputation, and achieve their advertising goals more effectively.

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