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Problems with negative keywords at ad group-level

[ Edited ]
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# 1
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I'm trying to figure out how to use negative keywords to exclude exact matches of some keyword from an ad group, while allowing for close variations or misspellings, but I'm getting keyword conflicts.

 

Here's an example to illustrate:

 

Ad Group A:

positive broad: +acme +widget

 

Ad Group B:

positive broad: acme +widget

negative broad: +acme

*note: I've also tried negative broad match with acme, "acme," and "+acme," but I still get the keyword conflict warnings.

 

The reason I tried to implement this way is because of what I've read from AdWords Support and other sources (see below). Specifically, I was under the impression that a negative broad match keyword at the ad group-level (for a single keyword) would only exclude queries containing that exact keyword, and not close variations or misspellings. But apparently this doesn't appear the case.

 

So what am I missing, or what can I do to accomplish my goal?  

 

Thanks!

 

[1] aw_support_pic_negative_kws.png

 

[2] Other points to remember about negative keywords:

  • Negative broad keywords won’t match on synonyms or similar words like they can for regular keywords.
  • Negative keywords, even on broad match, won’t match on close variations or plurals.
  • For single-word negative keywords, there is no difference between broad and phrase match.

[3] "Important: Broad match negative keywords do not block misspellings or plurals, your ad will still show on keywords that contain misspellings and/or plurals of your search term."

 

 

[1] https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2497836?hl=en

[2] http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2013/11/04/negative-broad-match#.

[3] https://www.en.adwords-community.com/t5/User-Articles/Negative-Keywords-As-Important-as-Positive-Key...

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Problems with negative keywords at ad group-level

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi Charles,

Welcome to the community! I would like to clear some points here:

- You are seeing conflict because you have acme as positive and as negative both.
- BMM is not yet a negative keyword match type. Therefore +acme will work as broad acme negative.
- To stop exact queries you need add negative keywords surrounded by square brackets for example [acme]. this way whenever any one search for search query acme it won't trigger but it will still trigger for acme widgets.

Above are the solutions as per my understanding on your questions! Let us know if you have more doubts and this doesn't clear your problem. I would be happy to clear your confusions!

In the articles you quoted means if you have negative keyword job it won't stop ads for jobs. you need to add more job and jobs as negative.

Thanks
Neha
Neha Gupta, AdWordsTop Contributor Follow Me: My Blog | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn
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Re: Problems with negative keywords at ad group-level

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
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Hi Neha,

 

> You are seeing conflict because you have acme as positive and as negative both. 

 

Yes, this is by design. Per the documentation we should be able to cancel out exact matches for a positive keyword while still allowing for variations and misspellings.

 

BMM is not yet a negative keyword match type. Therefore +acme will work as broad acme negative.

 

Correct. If you noticed, just below we mentioned we'd also tried negative broad match with acme, "acme," and "+acme," but still get the keyword conflict warnings.

 

To stop exact queries you need add negative keywords surrounded by square brackets for example [acme]. this way whenever any one search for search query acme it won't trigger but it will still trigger for acme widgets.

 

This will not work for us because we do not want to prevent queries with just one specific keyword. Rather, we want to prevent queries containing a specific keyword because we want to show ads for queries with close variations or misspellings of that keyword.

 

For example, in our branded ad groups we want to show ads when the term +acme appears. But in our off-branded ad groups we only want to show ads for close variations or misspellings, like amce, or acmy, or akme, etc.

 

Does this make sense, and do you have a better idea of what we are trying to accomplish?

 

Thanks!

 

edit: changed 'campaign' to 'ad groups' in 2nd to last paragraph.

Re: Problems with negative keywords at ad group-level

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hi Charles,

 

I'll be honest, I don't think it makes sense.  What's the benefit of segmenting out these particular queries? Are you planning on showing users varying ad messaging or send them to different landing pages?

 

If not, it may not be worth the effort.  Also, it's highly unlikely (potentially impossible) that you'll be able to have that level of control using similar broad match keywords in varying ad groups. You could accomplish a setup like this, using embedded negative keywords if you were using exact and/or phrase match.  But with broad, there are just too many variables, there will likely always be some crossover. And, anytime you use embedded negatives, you're likely to see some messaging regarding conflict because Google uses exact matching to test keywords. The best way to test your setups is to use the ad preview tool and try keywords that will actually match your broad terms without using the exact term, try a misspelling for instance and see which ad group the ads are being served from.

 

Sometimes, when I start thinking of new strategies for approaching campaigns, I like to start with the goal first and then work backwards. Why do you need to separate variants from other keywords?  What do you plan to accomplish by doing this? etc...  Perhaps there are alternative approaches to what you're looking for here.  But from what I can tell, this setup is not the right approach and here's why.

 

if you have:

 

ad group #1

+acme +widget

 

This will match for all variations and misspellings in search queries.

 

ad group #2

+acme +widget

-acme

 

This will also match for all variations and misspellings in search queries, just not queries that happen to include 'acme' spelled only this way.

 

See, regardless of what you do, broad match terms are going to capture the variants...that's what they do. In this setup, you're not going to be able to control where the variants and misspellings are being matched, you're leaving it up to Google to decide.

 

In my experience, if a user is attempting to use a brand name in their search query, I would still treat them as if they used correct spelling.  Show them the same ads and send them to the same landing page as users who do spell correctly. If the user experience isn't changing, I really don't understand the need to try and segment the traffic.

 

Please feel free to elaborate on the bigger picture/goals here and maybe we can help you find some alternative approach.  Also, if you'd like please include a screenshot of your conflict messaging although I think this is just a normal function of the internal tools, how they test keywords and the use of embedded negative keywords.

 

I could be totally misunderstanding what you're after here....just trying to help.

 

-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: Problems with negative keywords at ad group-level

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# 5
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Hi Tommy,

 

> What's the benefit of segmenting out these particular queries? 

 

This is for a branded campaign. The name of the brand is a close variation of a generic term. We wanted to test serving ads for variations/misspellings in separate ad groups to determine if certain misspellings/variations perform better/worse. 

 

Thinking aloud, I suppose there are a couple of other ways to go about this:

 

1. Add misspellings/variations as negative broad match keywords to the branded ad groups, and as positive keywords to the "off brand" ad groups (with the brand name as a negative keyword).

 

2. Run matched search query reports for all branded ad groups to determine which misspellings/variations perform well/poor, and then deal with them accordingly.

 

Thoughts?