Posted by & filed under Keywords, Negative Keywords.

A search term is used by marketers to ascertain whether they want to bid for that term to show their ad or block it from displaying their ads. As much bidded keywords play a pivotal role in running ads, negative keywords add on by controlling the ad from driving unwanted traffic and hence unwanted ad spend.

Before moving forward to the negative keywords match type, let’s consider our post which explains the difference between negative keywords and keywords.


Understanding negative keywords and their match types can solve the riddle of how and when a match type should be used. To ease out the process of shortlisting what match types to use, in this post, we present you with some examples of the same.


Negative Keyword Examples


Example 1:

A business sells laptop computers only and does not want their ads to be displayed for the following search queries


Desktop Search Queries




To block ads from getting triggered for the above queries the advertiser needs to add desktop computers, personal computer and PC as negative keywords. Adding only computers as a negative keyword would block the ad from showing for queries such as laptop computers too, which is the core business. But what match type should you assign to the negative keywords so that at no instance the ad gets triggered for these unwanted terms. Here’s what the advertiser could do:


Desktop Negative Keywords




A combination of three negative keyword sets blocks unwanted visits to your business site.


To ascertain what negative keywords need to be added, keep a through watch on your account and the search queries driving the clicks. If there are more search queries that come to your notice you must instantly add them as a negative keyword.


Example 2:

A cake bakery store wants to block their ads from getting triggered for the following search terms:


Cake search queries



To block the aforementioned search queries it would be more feasible to add the search terms as negative exact match as these are the exact terms for which you don’t want your ads to show. If a business is certain that they don’t wish to be seen for a specific term(s) then adding them as exact blocks that search term from triggering the ad at all instances. Here’s what the advertiser could do in this case:


Cake Negative Keywords



Example 3:

Taking another example of a business which sells formal shoes for men only and doesn’t want to show for the following search queries:


Shoes Search Queries



For the above search queries the following negative keyword and match types could be used:


Shoe Negative Keywords



Using phrase match for keywords “walking shoes” “evening footwear” and “shoes for women” combats the ad from being triggered when these terms are used in the same combination but with additional words before or after the term. For the remaining queries cheap, discount and sale is used as broad match to stop your ad from sowing whenever those terms are present in the user’s search query.


Update as on September 2019] – Last year, Google updated Exact match to also include close variations that share the same meaning as your keyword. This year July 2019, Google has expanded close match variants to phrase match and broad match modifiers to boost clicks and conversion by 3-4%.


Bing’s treatment for negative keywords is slightly different. To know more about how Bing’s negative keyword match types are different from AdWords, check out our post on Bing Negative Keyword Match Types.



Finding Negative Keywords for your account


Shortlisting negative keywords for larger accounts can become a time-taking task, plus the manual efforts put can sometimes result in errors. To control an erroneous action and to save the time being spent in scanning the search terms report for negative keywords, advertisers could try an automated negative keywords discovery tool that can save tons of time and effort for the PPC Manager. Not to mention, this will also save the wasted ad spend on AdWords.


Give our negative keywords tool a try to save time and money. Now, this tool is Free for accounts with ad spend less than $10,000 per month. Save 10-20% of your search ad spend for free.


Related Articles:


  1.  Keyword Planning for Beginners - E. Martin Marketing
  2.  Negative Keywords In AdWords Lead To Positive Returns

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