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What is the "smart" way of extracting negative keywords?

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# 1
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One of my most productive campaigns is actually a broad match campaign (i.e. all the keywords in there are broad match)... unfortunately, that's where all the most CRAP keywords come in.


I've been talking to a google rep and she told me that to be "safe" (i.e. not killing impressions on converting keywords), that I should be putting exact match negative keywords only... never negative broad.


Problem with this approach is.. i have to go to the search term every couple of days and go through THOUSANDS of keywords to see what i don't want...


Is there a "smarter" way of doing this?

3 Expert replyverified_user

Re: What is the "smart" way of extracting negative keywords?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi taewoo,


Short of restructuring your ad groups/keywords to use other match types like phrase and exact.  I think what you are explaining is the correct way to go about this.  Are you sorting the search terms report on your most important metrics and working from the bottom (least impressions, least clicks, least conversions etc) to identify the non-relevant keywords?  You can add them as negative right from you search terms report.


The way I see it, you're either going to have to take the time initially through keyword research etc and set up more than broad match types or do what you're forced to do now which is spend the time seeking out negatives, which is a normal practice in campaign management.


One other thought is using the Keyword Tool to determine other poorly matched keywords that can be added directly to your negative lists.



Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
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Re: What is the "smart" way of extracting negative keywords?

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

Hi Taewoo;

If you run a quick search in the community "search box" , you'll find tens of threads on "negative keywords" with many useful tips and strategies on the subject.


I like the following WIKI article on keywords that covers the strategy on keyword list (including negative keyword). I also like Jon's (Cobnut- a top contributor on the Community) post on negative keywords - in the following thread (2nd page)



Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: What is the "smart" way of extracting negative keywords?

Badged Google Partner
# 4
Badged Google Partner

You do have to be careful about adding broad/phrase negative keywords, especially at the campaign level, but there may be a few "big head" negative broad/phrase terms you may want to consider.


For example, if you don't sell any free products/services, free may be a broad match campaign negative you may want to use. If you're a performance auto parts store, maybe add used parts as a phrase match campaign negative. You should still show an ad for the search query term used car parts, but not used parts. It's search terms like used car parts that are difficult to determine the user intent of. Are they looking for used parts, or new parts for used cars?


You could also experiment with some slightly different ad copy. If you don't sell anything for free, don't include free in the ad. Make sure your ad let's potential customers know that you do not sell used parts, but you do sell new parts for used cars, etc.


After years of following the exact negative only approach, we had to get an account's keyword limits (negatives count too) extended. Which, was not a real issue - But there is no reason why I needed to add 10,000 exact negative variations of free, when one negative broad match campaign level keyword would do. Smiley Happy


Re: What is the "smart" way of extracting negative keywords?

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

One easy way to identify and add negative keywords proactively is to use the AdWords Keyword Tool.  Add your broad match keywords to the tool and see what Google returns as relevant suggestions.  Review the results, identify negatives and add them right from the tool.  Just think of it like this, if Google feels these suggested keywords are relevant then there is a very good chance they will serve your ads on these keywords (if you are in broad match type).


Here is a video on how to use the tool for identifying and adding negative keywords. I noticed that the keyword tool has gotten a makeover since I created this video but it will still work for you.


You should be careful of the broad match keywords but if you are smart about it you can make it work.  Obviously "phrase match" negatives will make things a little easier and be a safe way to go.  


You can always run diagnostics on your keywords regularly to see if any are not being served due to a negative keyword but you will have to be careful to make sure you do not negate long tail or expanded queries that originate from your broad match keywords.  Go to your KEYWORDS tab and then the MORE ACTIONS button and select KEYWORD DIAGNOSTICS.


Questions welcome.

Kim Clink, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Clink Digital Marketing
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