Phrase to Broad Match Ratio has become a familiar term within Keyword Research Analysis because it is now included as a filtering option in specialist Internet Marketing software. I know seasoned keyword researchers will gleefully boast that they have been using their own particular equation for manually analysing keyword strength for years, but, just as the calculator overrides the abacus, software dismisses brain power, and they only have to get results with these specialist software once for them to be converted. Why? Simply because of the time they save. A calculation that manually took hours for each probable keyword is reduced to seconds within modern software. And that is not per keyword, that is for a whole keyword list.

Before any thought of calculating the Phrase To Broad Match Ratio (PBR) the researcher will have secured a list of long-tailed keywords, filtered out many that are unrelated and unwanted, and be faced with a list of words that seem probable. Probable that is in the sense that they may or may not attract Google to include their site on page one of its findings. And probable in the sense that Google searchers might be attracted to visit their site.

PBR in Keyword Research Analysis Software

PBR in such software is found usually found in the second, or analysis window. The previous window will have generated the user their list of probable keywords, unwanted and unrelated keywords will have been removed, and the remainder will now require analysing for their usefulness. But before they do that they do need to know something about the Phrase to Broad Match Ratio. It is, after all, a very powerful calculation. So, what is it, this PBR? What does PBR mean?

Broad Match, Phrase Match and Exact Match

To fully understand what PBR is it is necessary to fully understand what Broad Match, Phrase Match and Exact Match mean and just to make it more interesting I will explain them in reverse order.

Exact Match

Exact Match is just as it says: generate keyword analysis data using only the words as typed. We don’t want any permutations, thank you. We don’t want anything similar, we just want the exact words in the given order. Nothing else.

Phrase Match

Phrase Match allows a search engine to return long-tailed keywords which include all the words in the given keyword phrase in the given order and in analysis software asks it to provide data using the same criteria.

Using an example of Market Samurai Videos a search engine returns list might include Beginners Market Samurai Videos, Market Samurai Videos Online, and 6 Keyword Analysis Market Samurai Videos.

Usually, it is within this option that marketers will find their money-making keywords. Single keywords like Golf and two worded keywords like Golf Clubs will have so much competition that most internet marketers will not be able to use these, but by allowing your list to include longer Phrase Matches you may find three and four word phrases which can prove commercially viable for your site.

Broad Match

Most search engine searches are done under the Broad Match criteria with the searcher totally oblivious to this fact. Consequently they end up with millions of pages in the returns list which are of no use to them and if they are wanting statistics regarding sites using a particular keyword they are seriously misinformed. If you are searching for keywords this criteria will return a list of keyword phrases which not only includes all the words in the given keyword phrase in any order but it will include keyword phrases which are similar to the given keyword. Consequently, referring to our previous keyword phrase for Phrase Match, we might find keywords connected with markets, samurai warriors, and video games, and even supermarkets, geisha girls, and dvd rentals. The tenuous connection between our chosen phrase and the search returns should clarify why Broad Match searches do not provide useful Keywords.

So What is Phrase To Broad Match Ratio (PBR)?

PBR is the ratio of web site pages returned using a Phrase Match Search compared to a Broad Match Search, and will give a site featured at number one in Google 42% of the searchers who then go on to visit a site.


The keyword search term “buy wild horses” used in both a Broad Match search and a Phrase Match Search will produce a figure of 100% when the returns are showing in both search returns for only those words in the precise order. But where the phrase deviates, to say “buy dead wild horses” the keyword, in both types of searches, no longer matches the original given keyword phrase exactly and therefore cannot be 100%. Less people will be searching for that phrase, and there will be a different number of web pages containing that phrase. For that reason, the phrase “buy dead wild horses” when compared with “buy wild horses” may be of only 45% usefulness of our original 100%. Depending on other factors not covered here better marketing results will generally be achieved using keywords nearer to the 100%. I know on first reading this can be confusing but successive readings can help the “penny to drop”.

Attempting to calculate this ourselves would be a huge problem but modern software can do this in a blink of any eye. Usually this statistic will be part of a larger report which when taken as a whole is useful for a marketer to assess the commercial strength of the keyword.


This article featured the Phrase To Broad Match Ratio which is used when assessing keyword commerciality strength. It dissected the components of the term and explained Exact Match, Phrase Match, and Broad Match when applied to both search engine searches and in keyword research analysis, and suggested that the reason this term has become common is because it is used as a filtering option in modern internet marketing software which has now proven so quick and beneficial that manual calculation of the Phrase To Broad Match Ratio is almost a thing of the past.

Source by Vivian Hugo