AdWords is now Google Ads. Our new name reflects the full range of advertising options we offer across Search, Display, YouTube, and more. Learn more

Ads
3K members online now
3K members online now
Dive into advanced features like Remarketing, Flexible Bid Strategies, AdWords Editor, and AdWords Scripts
Guide Me
star_border
Reply

Understanding Broad Negative Keywords

Top Contributor
# 1
Top Contributor

This makes no sense to me...

I have a campaign set up with the keyword "agent" as a negative keyword on broad. I have a keyword "insurance chicago" on broad match modifier and I got a click for "insurance agents chicago" (I am substituting Chicago, I can't remember the specific city).  

 

I asked Google about this and this is their response:

 

The technical team looked into the agent to agentS issue, and it looks like this is expected behavior that it will not match out to the plural even on negative broad.  From what they told me, the system does not work the same as it does on the regular keyword side where a singular broad match could match the plural.  
 
Going forward, I would just add any variations that you can think of to play it safe.  
 

My reply to them:
 
So just to make sure I understand you correctly, if I was bidding on the keyword "insurance agent" on broad, I would get clicks for "insurance agents".  However, adding "insurance agent" on broad as a negative keyword will not keep me from getting clicks for "insurance agents"?  That seems extremely inconsistent.  My negative keyword list is already extremely long. If what I mentioned there is true, then essentially I have to almost double my list to include every plural word as well!!?
 
 
Is anyone else surprised by this or was I the only one who didn't realize the rules for broad match are different if you're talking about keywords you're bidding on or negative keywords. It really frusterates me that I have to add the plural version for every single negative keyword in my campaign.

Joy Hawkins, Google My Business Top Contributor
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’

Owner of Sterling Sky
Read My Column on Search Engine Land
MyAdvanced Local SEO Training Manual
3 Expert replyverified_user
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

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

Re: Understanding Broad Negative Keywords

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

Hello Joy;

 

In addition to Lakatos' answer, you might want to read an article by Neha, a frequent contributor to the community, that neatly explains all match types available in negative keywords:

 

Negative Keywords: As Important as Positive Keywords

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

View solution in original post

Re: Understanding Broad Negative Keywords

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi Joy,

 

Based on simplified explanations you would expect a negative keyword to exclude all Search Terms containing it. However, simplifications are often misleading. Basically you have listed:

 

Scenario 1

 

   -agent

   +insurance +chicago

 

and the Search Term insurance agents chicago triggered the positive keyword to show your ad copy. I don't think either that the explanation you got is plausible. Look at the question this way. You have 2 positive keywords as follows:

 

Scenario 2

 

   agent

   +insurance +chicago

 

and the Search Term is insurance agents chicago. Now, which of the 2 positive keywords will get the impression? Chances are we can't figure it out because it depends on Google stats we don't have access to. Anyway the correct reply is  that, in general, it all boils down to relevance and the impression will be awarded to the keyword which is more relevant to the Search Term, all other factors being equal. 

 

The negative keyword under Scenario 1 will knock out the ST in cases when its positive counterpart could steal it under Scenario 2. An important implication is that advertisers should get accustomed to the fact that the best source of negative terms is the Search Term report you download from the AdWords Interface. 

 

Best,

Lakatos

 

 

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author JoyHawkins
September 2015

Re: Understanding Broad Negative Keywords

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

Hello Joy;

 

In addition to Lakatos' answer, you might want to read an article by Neha, a frequent contributor to the community, that neatly explains all match types available in negative keywords:

 

Negative Keywords: As Important as Positive Keywords

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’