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Embedded Match:

Embedded Match is an little known advanced match option in the setup of a Google AdWords campaign. For the more regular match options see under Broad Match.

Embedded Match means the combination of negative match with exact match and/or phrase match.

The Google documentation for Embedded Match gives an AdWords campaign for Toy Story merchandise as an example for a possible application. If the advertiser wouldn't want his ad to be shown for the search phrase Toy Story (because the user in this case would probably only be interested in the movie) he could achieve that by a setup as in the following screenshot:

Embedded Match

By entering -[Toy Story] the advertiser makes sure that his ad will only appear for a search phrase Toy Story in combination with at least one other word.

Another example would be to complement the frequently used negative match "free" (with the effect that ads for a paid product would not show if someone would search for the free product) with the embedded matches -[no cost] and -[no  charge]. This would exclude seekers for the no cost- or no charge product from seeing the ad as well.

Opposite to the four standard match types broad, phrase, exact and negative the Embedded Match is very little known and used and quite unjustly so. As aside from the special applications in above examples, cleverly used Embedded Matches can help an advertiser to gain much more control about his AdWords campaign and to make tracking and optimizing it much more effective.

For example setting up an AdWords campaign for Florida vacations could be done as follows:
The advertiser would create 3 separate ad groups, one for the broad match, one for the phrase match and one for the exact match and he would design a tailor made ad for each ad group (ads A, B and C).

ad group

broad match

(ad A)

phrase match

(ad B)

exact match

(ad C)


Florida vacation

-"Florida vacation"
(Embedded Match)

"Florida vacation"

-[Florida vacation]
(Embedded Match)

[Florida vacation]


The purpose of using these Embedded Matches is, to let the users see ONLY the exact ad designed for them depending on their search phrase.

A user searching for "Florida vacation in Miami" would only have ad B displayed, never ad A because of the negative phrase match in the broad match ad group; and never ad C because of the negative exact match in the phrase match ad group.
Likewise the exact search for "Florida vacation" would only trigger ad C and none else.

It is often the case that some specific ad copy works very well for a specific search phrase and not so well for a slightly different phrase. Ad C, specifically tailored to users searching for [Florida vacation], might not convert so well for users adding something to this search but the variation ad B might.

Without using Embedded Match like shown above the advertiser has only little control which ad will be displayed. An exact search might as well trigger ad A or B which do not convert as well as ad C.

With correct use of the Embedded Match option this can be prevented and campaigns can be made more profitable. In addition to that testing and tracking will be much easier.


[embed is from prefix em- having to do with "following" and bed which through various forms goes back to the Indo European base bhedh = to dig, pierce (as sleeping places in the early periods of mankind were often dug in the ground);

Match derives from Old English gemæcca = companion, mate]




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