In July of 2010, Google AdWords announced a global rollout of a new broad match keyword modifier feature. This new feature is supposed to create keywords with “greater reach than phrase match and more control than broad match.”

Simply put, modified broad match keywords lets you make selected words within your broad match keyword phrase “sticky.” In other words, properly marked words within the broad match keyword must be present in the search match, while all other words are matched more loosely, according to the established parameters for broad match. To mark a word within a broad match keyword as “sticky,” just add a plus sign (+) in front of the word.

EXAMPLE: A keyword of “+key +west resorts” could yield “key west hotels” or “resorts in key west” or “key west oceanfront rentals,” but would never yield “florida resorts.”

The advantages of modified broad match keywords will be most keenly felt by those who have campaigns that are tightly restricted to phrase- and exact-match keywords. Modified broad match has the potential to open up new possibilities of capturing formerly missed click and conversion opportunities, without the danger of opening things up so broadly that money is being thrown away.