In case you haven’t heard, Google has decided to ignore function words and word order for exact match keywords.
If you just want to know how to fix this travesty, then scroll to the stopgap solution section where I’m sharing a script from Brainlabs (my employer) which will automatically add so-called “close variants” as negative keywords.
If you also want to hear me rant about Google’s astonishingly stoopid behavior, then read on…
A few years ago (2014), Google eliminated advertisers’ ability to exclude close variants as part of “exact match,” and they got away with it.
The industry suffered a blow.
But people gradually moved on.