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Negative Keywords controls when you want to show your ad. But what decides that? The negative keyword match types play a pivotal role in deciding how closely a keyword must match the user’s search intent resulting in either showing your ad or blocking it.

The keyword match types are divided into four types, namely broad, phrase, exact and broad match modifier. Out of these, negative keywords can be listed as broad, phrase or exact match type only. Which keyword match type should you choose? Will it block your ad from showing for irrelevant terms? We will pay heed to all these queries in this post and help you understand what these match types mean.


negative keyword match types


What are Close Variants and how does it effect the Negative Keyword Match Types you choose?

Before moving on, let us first understand what close variants are. Close variants include any misspelling, singular or plural form, acronym, stemmings, abbreviations of the keyword. So for example if your keyword was store, the close variants would be stores, storing, stroe etc. You need to keep in mind that close variants apply for each match type so you don’t need to add them separately as bidded keyword.

However if you do not want to show for any of the close variants then you would need to block them by adding them as individual negative keywords. We will explain negative keywords in the latter part of this post. Also remember that close variants do not include synonyms of the keyword.

Now that we have understood about close variants, let us move further to understand about keyword match types.


Understanding Negative Keyword Match Types

Negative Keywords are an essential component of your PPC campaign. It is that tool through which you can control the traffic visiting your site. If you assign a keyword as negative keyword, then it prohibits your ads form getting triggered.

However, here too, whether a keyword will block your ad or show it will depend on the match type assigned to it. The match types work similar in the manner explained above, however, no close variants apply here. So, should you want to block any variant too you have to add them separately as a negative keyword.

Here’s a video that simplifies understanding negative keyword match types:



Let us individually take you through the negative keyword match types options available:


1. Negative Broad Match

Much like the broad match type, negative broad match keywords must be present in the search query irrespective of the order. However, remember for any synonym your ad will still end up showing. Let’s understand this match type with a couple of examples.


Example 1: – kids toys


Negative broad match example


Example 2: – free online trial


Negative broad match example 2


Using negative broad match is a challenge as it alters your ad from getting triggered for a huge volume of search queries. So, if you are too sure that you don’t want to receive traffic for a certain set of keyword you can opt for this match type. However, try to revisit these keywords as it might be blocking some relevant traffic too.



2. Negative Phrase Match

Written within quotes and with ‘-‘ as prefix, negative phrase match keyword stops your ads from showing when the search query contains the terms in the same order. To block any variant or related terms, you must add them separately as negative keywords. Here are few examples to understand phrase match negative keywords.


Example 1: -“black dress”


Negative phrase match example 1


Example 2: -“herbal tea bags”


Negative Phrase match example 2


Phrase match negative keywords are a great way to stop those terms that are commonly used in the same order. Any combinations of words before or after the phrase will automatically get blocked. However, do keep a watch if some combination of words is a keyword that you wish to receive traffic for.



3. Negative Exact Match

A negative exact match keyword needs to exactly match the search query and only then will it block your ads. The following examples will clear more about this match type.


Example 1: – [nike shoes]


Negative exact match Google ads


Example 2: -[cheap flight ticket]


Google ads negative exact match type example


This match type doesn’t block much of the traffic, so you have to add many more negative keywords to exclude irrelevant terms. Here’s how you can add negative keywords to your campaign.


To test your negative keywords knowledge, attempt our quiz on Negative Keywords Match Types.

Note: Karooya’s Negative Keywords Tool is now Free for accounts with ad spend less than $10,000 per month. Save 10-20% of your search ad spend for free. Sign up and start saving your ad budget now.


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