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Avoid Irrelevant AdWords Clicks with Negative Keywords

Google Employee
# 1
Google Employee

Let’s say you’re advertising for your car mechanic business. You don’t offer your services for free, nor do you offer up “do it yourself” classes. With this in mind, you’ll want to make sure you’re targeting your ads to the right users and not those that are searching for a free car mechanic or learning how to do it themselves!

Negative keywords can help you reach your target audience, avoid irrelevant clicks, and help decrease costs and increase your return on investment. Negative keywords help prevent your ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase, and it tells Google to not show your ad to anyone who is searching for that phrase.

Going back to our original situation, if you add “free” and “do it yourself” as negative keywords, we’ll make sure to not show your ads for users that are searching for free car mechanic or do it yourself car mechanic.

To learn more about negative keywords and how to add them, you can reference this Help Center article. To learn more about the different keyword match options (in which negative keywords are referred to as negative match), you can reference this Help Center article.

If you have had success with negative keywords, or have other suggestions for negative keywords, we’d love to hear about it and please leave a post below!

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Avoid Irrelevant AdWords Clicks with Negative Keywords

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Tiffany: Nice post. Here it will be useful to mention about Embedded Match also. 


Embedded Match allows advertisers to prevent ad from appeaing in relation to certain phrase or exact matches.


Example: An AdWords advertiser selling accessories for Samsung Galaxy might use the embedded match option of a negative keyword and exact match on -[Samsung Galaxy]. Using this, the advertiser's ads appear for Samsung Galaxy Charger and Samsung Galaxy covers, but not for the exact match Samsung Galaxy.


Re: Avoid Irrelevant AdWords Clicks with Negative Keywords

Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭

I really like negatives and think they are one of the best way to optimise camping results. One campaign setup I Particularly like is splitting "generic" campaingns into match type campaigns.

You can try the following if you don't have "single word" keywords in your campaign (otherwise it might not work properly).

Say you have 1 generic campaign... Copy it so you have 3 of them, same adgroup setup and same keywords but each campaign will focus on only one keyword match type.

- The exact match campaign doesnt need negatives.
- The phrase match campaign should have all it's keyword as negative exact (campaign level).
- The broad match campaign should have all it's keywords set as negative phrase and exact (also campaign level)

That way you'll get greater control over you advertisement strategy and budget allocation where phrase and exact match campaigns will receive the impressions You intend them to get and broad will trigger ads mostly for "close match" and synonyms...

We've been running our "short tail" keyword campaigns that way for the last 6 months... both CTR and conversion rates are around 17% on average (one has CPA bids and the other CPC but both as performing similarly).

Hope this can be of use Smiley Happy

Re: Avoid Irrelevant AdWords Clicks with Negative Keywords

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hi sifalio, I don't want to (totally) disagree with you, but I would give a word of caution over the approach you outline.  Google already has some very sophisticated methods of determining which keyword should trigger when there are multiple match types and by "tying them down" in this way you may actually be restricting valid triggers and/or increasing costs.


For example, just considering phrase and exact, if you add the exact term as a negative to the phrase group (or campaign) there's no guarantee this will result in the exact match group being triggered.  There are other factors at play regarding which keyword triggers and it may be that the exact match keyword won't win the auction while the phrase match (even though the search term is exact) might.  At worst you might end up "throwing away" a valid impression (which could have been a click and a conversion), at best you might be paying more for your clicks than you have to.


It's certainly an interesting approach and could work well in some situations but I'd encourage users to run it as an experiment and analyse the data over a reasonable period before applying it.



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Re: Avoid Irrelevant AdWords Clicks with Negative Keywords

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭


Does "Embedded Match" still work?
I have created an adgroup Today with a phrase match keywords and then added same kw as exact negative in that same adgroup and the ads are not showing due to negative kw!