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Negative keyword strategy

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hey guys


If you built a campaign with say Ad Group 1, Ad Group 2, Ad Group 3 and Ad Group 4, I think it would be worthwhile to add the keywords from Ad Group 2, Ad Group 3 and Ad Group 4 in as negative keywords in Ad Group 1 - and the same for all the other variations.


This would ensure that the right keyword triggered your ad - would you guys agree?




1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Negative keyword strategy

Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star

Good morning.


In general, all else being equal, I would call that a good strategy.


There are obviously some things you have to consider. Keyword match type, for instance. If you add the negatives as Exact match variations, then searches that precisely match your keywords will only be eligible to serve in the appropriate Ad Group. If you add the negatives as phrase or broad match, you may block a lot more traffic than you're aware of. And, of course, your positive keyword match types will also make a difference.


Ad rank is another issue. If the ads in Ad Group A don't perform well, then the ad rank of those ads might not be high enough to compete for the traffic. In that case, an ad from another Ad Group (depending, again, on keyword match types) might have been eligible to serve that traffic, but the negative will block it and the campaign will end up not serving the traffic at all. Ditto for bids, quality score, etc. 


While this type of tight ad serving can produce a very "tight" campaign, it does require meticulous attention to performance and optimization.


Hope that helps!

Google AdWords Top Contributor

Negative keyword strategy

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Theresa,


Thank you for your reply! Smiley Happy


Yeah it does help - I guess it's like everything with AdWords, it would need to be closely monitored to ensure it was working.


Negative keyword strategy

Badged Google Partner
# 4
Badged Google Partner

I have seen this strategy referred to as "embedded negative match". Yes, it does work. Yes, it does require some skill and great attention to detail to pull off successfully.


I have found that a campaign strategy using embedded match helps me to establish a system, which is easier to manage than an adgroup based approach. If those exact terms are premium terms, and you want to make sure you are always showing the "right" ad, then isolate those premium terms into their own premium campaign. This will also allow you to properly allocate budget to the best performing campaign first and foremost.


Then, if you are still experiencing some of the potential issues Theresa pointed out, as a worst case scenario, you can simply pause the non-premium campaign until you can work through your structure and resolve the issue.