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How to switch positive keywords into negative keywords

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi all,

I'm using the Google Adwords Editor and I want to switch several positive keywords into negative ones. How can I do that? Although there is a cut and paste functionality it seems to work only within positive or negative keywords. That means if I cut a positive keyword I can only paste it into another section where positive keywords are. But I can't just move a keyword into the negative section?

Am I missing something? 

2 Expert replyverified_user
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Nikbin R
September 2015

Re: How to switch positive keywords into negative keywords

Google Employee
# 4
Google Employee
1. Switch to Keywords tab.
2. Copy or cut keywords you want to transfer.
3. Switch to Keywords, Negative tab.
4. Run "Make Multiple Changes tool"
5. Click "Paste from clipboard" (or press Ctrl+V or Mac equivalent), then Process.

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Re: How to switch positive keywords into negative keywords

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi Nikbin,

Depending on what you're seeing, moving a keyword from your targeted keywords list to a negative keyword seems like a bit of a drastic move to me.

Are you absolutely positive you never want your ads to show for these terms? Is there any reason why you can't just pause the keywords instead?

I suppose this will depend highly on the match types you're using and the keywords that you've selected to continue running.

I don't know of any hack, shortcut to take your keyword lists and turn them into negatives.

Not sure if this is a better solution or not, but you may want to try exporting your keyword list from AdWords into a spreadsheet and then copy pasting the desired keywords back into editor, in the negative keyword area.

-Tommy
Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’

Re: How to switch positive keywords into negative keywords

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Tommy,
thanks for your answer. True its a drastic move but let's say you are selling a service with the key word "time tracking" but you don't want your add to be shown for the keyword "free time tracking" as it is not for free and you don't want throw out money for people who are clicking on your add with the hope to find a free service. You know what I mean?
Your approach with excel would work but I hoped there is a more easy way like "cut and paste". Too bad that there is not an easier way...

- Nik
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Nikbin R
September 2015

Re: How to switch positive keywords into negative keywords

Google Employee
# 4
Google Employee
1. Switch to Keywords tab.
2. Copy or cut keywords you want to transfer.
3. Switch to Keywords, Negative tab.
4. Run "Make Multiple Changes tool"
5. Click "Paste from clipboard" (or press Ctrl+V or Mac equivalent), then Process.

Re: How to switch positive keywords into negative keywords

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Nice, that works perfect! Thanks a lot!
- Nik

Re: How to switch positive keywords into negative keywords

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
If switching a keyword to negative, without adding or changing any part of the keyword, must the original keyword be deleted in order to save as a negative, vs pausing it?

I have a similar situation, where I need to make a few keywords negative due to a change in product - the product no longer provides support for a specific language. I've paused the keywords in the original Ad Group, C&P into the negative tab (match types included) and I'm receiving errors about neg words matching keywords. I've been able to complete a post of the paused keywords, from Editor to live, however with the errors that have generated when posting as negative I'm unable to complete the post from the Editor.


Re: How to switch positive keywords into negative keywords

Google Employee
# 7
Google Employee
You cannot have a negative keyword and a positive keyword with the same text and match type in the same ad group. If you have a positive keyword that you want to turn into a negative, you would have to delete the positive one - just pausing is not sufficient.

You can add the keyword as a campaign-level negative instead. This way, you can keep a matching positive keyword; it just won't serve. Of course, campaign-level negatives affect the whole campaign, not just a single ad group.

Re: How to switch positive keywords into negative keywords

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Great info and detail. Exactly the level of clarity I was seeking.
Unfortunately I do need to keep the terms in another ad group, so delete and add as an ad group specific negative it will be. THANKS, appreciate your time and feedback.