When the concept of keywords was first introduced, Google’s exact match for keyword targeting meant a user’s query had to exactly match that of the keyword. It is perhaps clear what problems this may have caused within the AdWords world. With these issues Google decided to introduce an update whereby allowing variations of the keyword to be considered. In 2014 Google introduced the concept of variations such as misspellings, plurals and abbreviations being considered. A later update was introduced in 2017 that would consider different word orders and word functions.
However the latest update Google is about to introduce could be a game changer. As originally stated exact meant exact when talking about keywords. Google will now introduce an update to include what is considered close variations of the keyword. These variations will include terms with the same meaning as the keyword, as well as implied words and paraphrases. Exact words are no longer the only trigger for your keyword search results. Google states the idea is that the meaning and intent of the search query match the keyword.
This image by Google gives us an idea of how these changes could affect search queries. Not only do search results now include the exact terms but will also consider implied words, paraphrasing and terms with the same intent. The updates are not expected to be implemented for English keywords until October. It will then begin to include other languages in the following months. However it is definitely worth considering and altering your SEO and PPC strategy immediately to encompass these changes.