The votes are in! We put a call out last month for suggestions to give exact match a name that fits its new meaning now that it can include close variants from misspellings to same meaning words.

The most popular suggestions rose to the top, and more than 900 votes for the final winning name came in last week. But before the grand unveiling, let’s first honor some of the unsung gems we received during the suggestion round.

Honorable mentions

We received nearly 1,000 initial suggestions from more than 500 search marketers last month. There were many that even Google could approve of as well as a healthy dose of creative and wacky ideas.

Here are the honorable mentions for ideas and themes that didn’t quite rise to the top. (We’ve included names and Twitter links when provided.)

  • There was fun with close variants with “eaxct mahcts,” from Shawn at Energy Circle, “hctam tcaxe” from John Eckerman at PPC Sniper and “exac matc” from an anonymous entry.
  • There was some solid regex nerdery, with the entry “(exact match)?.*” from Cody Albright at J Miller Marketing standing out. Rough translation: “¯\_(ツ)_/¯  match” which, it turns out, was suggested by Jonathan Faircloth, Chris Wood at Showpad and couple of others who remained anonymous.
  • Variations of “horseshoes and hand grenades” (e.g. close but no cigar, or perhaps “meh, close enough” suggested by Nicole Ellis) came in from Matt Van Wagner of Find Me Faster, Cody Albright, Jason Chanell at Infinite Agency, and Aaron Levy of Elite SEM.
  • It wouldn’t be a true naming contest without the suggestions of “Exact(y) McExactface” and “Matchy McMatchface”. Those came courtesy of Jared Drahonovsky of NordicClick Interactive, Alan LaFrance of LawnStarter, Mike Matta of Hanapin Marketing and several other anonymous voters.
  • In a nod to Google’s AI taking over, we had “our AI inferred it was close enough match” from JD Prater at Quora; “crowdsourced AI match” from Elmar Aga at MuteSix; “AI inferred match” from Cheryl Bader at Best Technology, Inc.; and “let the Google handle it match” from Prokop Selucký,
  • Julia Vyse of Vizeum Canada went all out with “what do you feel in your spirit match,” “no honey, you mean this match” and “we meant contextual exact, not exact exact. stop being so pedantic! jeez.”
  • On the theme of ulterior motives, Matt Van Wagner had “GIMME (Google is Making More on Exact) Match”; Dave Davies at Beanstalk IM had “Broad Enough To Make A Few Extra Dollars For Google Match”; “greed(y) match” came from Josiah Colt, Adam Derkacz at 4People and Trevor McFarland. Josh Colebeck at Blueclaw added “more Google revenue match.” Joe Cunningham at 22 Squared suggested “Larry Page match,” while “Sergey needs a new car match” and “happy-share-holder match” came in anonymously.
  • Lastly, we should note, there were actually several nominations to keep exact match “exact.” Suspiciously, though, all of those entries were anonymous, with one notable exception. A “Larry Page” voted for “exact match” three times.

And the winning pick

The top five finalists, in order of initial popularity were: close match, intent match, similar match, exactish match and near match. By a wide margin, the winning name the community chose is “exactish match”!exact-match-our-contest-to-rename-it-for-google-is-sealed-with-an-ish Exact match? Our contest to rename it for Google is sealed with an -ish

Exactish match garnered 44 percent of the votes.

Intent match was a distant second at 22 percent, while the original forerunner close match garnered 17 percent of the votes. Near and similar match didn’t crack 10 percent.

“Exactish match” does capture the blend of matter-of-fact frustration and tongue-in-cheek resignation that emanated from so many of the suggestions we received.

Credit where credit is due

The following great minds all suggested the winning entry of “exactish match” — or a close variant thereof (Names and Twitter links included where provided):

Bill Martin of BigWing Interactive — Cameron Antonio of Be Media — Dana DiTomaso of Kick Point — Dorota Umeno of Confluence Digital, LLC — James Svoboda of WebRanking — Jered Klima — Jillynes Lessa — Jonathan Cheek of OPT LLC —  Josh Leibner of Red Ventures — Matt Van Wagner of Find Me Faster — Michael Kinnunen — Mike Fitterer of Portent Inc. — Naseem Kaloo of Techiflyer — Paolo Butera of Stats Digital — R Davin of MD Connect, Inc. — Sarah RomanoSotirios Seridis of XYZ Lab — Steve Cameron of Advent Communications —  Tomasz Banas of INCORE — Tristan Renaud.

Google may not buy in (reminder, this was an unauthorized contest), but perhaps it will hear the loud calls for a new name and pick another top contender? In the meantime, search community, we hear you, let “exactish match” ring.

Thanks again to speaker and moderator Matt Van Wagner for suggesting this contest idea at SMX East this fall. We hope to see everyone at SMX West in San Jose next month.


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