Google AdWords made a change this week that most of their customers won't even notice but it has infuriated many of the largest and most sophisticated search marketers. “Close Variant” matches, which had been merely the default, are now mandatory. Using Google's example, a bid on the term “kid's scooters” will register a hit against the query “kids scooters”, and perhaps “kids skuters” as well. 3Q Digital looked at what this means for marketers now that proper spelling and grammar are no longer targetable. PPC Hero walked through the analysis that marketers should do to see how they could be affected. They found that Google was not doing evil in all cases as some of their accounts benefited from the simplicity that close variants provide. There is also the theory that close variants are just another part of Google's efforts to move towards semantic search and away from keywords.
Also this week, Twitter explained that from now on “you will sometimes see Tweets from accounts you don't follow”. It turns out that you will also see what the people you follow are selecting as Favorites. ReadWrite did a good job of documenting the outrage that occurs whenever a social network tweaks its newsfeed, although this one seemed like an affront to the basic Twitter tenet of selecting whom you wish to follow. Ad Age published 'what marketers need to know' and indicated that the changes are limited to the mobile app, so far.