Bing Enhanced Exact Match Close Variants: What the What?

What the what?

A couple weeks ago I was perusing one of my client accounts in Bing Ads looking for some optimizations to make. I ran an search query report and was honestly confused and supremely irritated by what I found. I figured since I was caught totally off guard by this that others might be as well, so I wanted to share.

Exact Match Modifiers

When reviewing my search queries, I saw that not only was I showing up for queries that I didn’t want to, but they were coming in on my Exact Match keywords! Below is an example of what was happening. These aren’t the keywords in the account (for sake of client confidentiality), but the example effectively highlights what was going on.

Bing Ads Exact Match

I reached out to my Bing rep to find out what was going on. Here’s what I got back (adjustments made to utilize the example keywords and terms above):

“…this is currently by design – “dc” is matching to [district of columbia] as an Enhanced Exact Match Close Variant (EEM Close Variant). EEM includes matches for Abbreviations and Acronyms. In this case “DC” is an abbreviation for “District of Columbia” which is an equivalent expression. 

My fully expanded exact match keyword was matching to a socially acceptable abbreviated version of that keyword. The problem is, that shortened abbreviation is actually tied to other meanings that have nothing to do with my client’s business.

“DC” is certainly the socially accepted abbreviation of “district of columbia”, I have no problem with that. But “DC” is also the name of a very large comic book/movie/tv show enterprise as well as a brand of shoes.

I did a bit more digging on my own to see if I had just completely missed the idea of Exact Match Variants. News flash to me, I had, but none of the examples they give are nearly as different as the abbreviations shown above. Here’s a little bit of light reading you can do on Bing Ads match types.

What Should You Do?

Panic? No, not even a little bit. But you really should go check your search query reports. Specifically for those exact match keywords. There’s not current want to opt out of Exact Match Modifiers, so for now it seems like this is something each advertiser will have to manage through search query analysis, just like with all other match types.

Here’s the easiest way to get the view you want right off the bat.

  1. Download the Excel file of your search terms.
  2. Filter for the Exact Match Type.
  3. Review the Keyword Text column vs the Search Term column.

You’ll be able to easily see what your exact match keywords are being shown for in the results pages and if you’re spending money on terms you’d rather have left out.

Are you seeing exact match modifiers showing up in your Bing accounts? Are they close enough to be considered valuable or are they reaching a bit further than you would like? Share with us in the comments!