Understanding Negative Keywords in Google AdsUnderstanding Negative Keywords in Google Ads



In the world of digital advertising, using the right keywords is crucial for success. However, equally important is knowing what keywords to avoid. This is where negative keywords come into play. In this article, we’ll delve into the concept of negative keywords in Google Ads, how they work, and why they are essential for a successful advertising campaign.

What Are Negative Keywords?

Negative keywords are specific terms or phrases that you exclude from your paid advertising campaign. When a user’s search query contains one of these negative keywords, your ad won’t be shown, preventing irrelevant clicks and ultimately saving your advertising budget.

Why Are Negative Keywords Important?

Negative keywords are essential for several reasons:

  1. Refining Target Audience: By excluding irrelevant searches, you narrow down your audience to those most likely to convert.
  2. Cost-Efficiency: Avoiding clicks from users who are unlikely to convert saves you money in the long run.
  3. Improving Click-Through Rate (CTR): With a more refined audience, your ad is more likely to be clicked on by users genuinely interested in your product or service.
  4. Enhancing Quality Score: Google rewards ads that are relevant to users. By using negative keywords, you improve your ad’s quality score, which can lead to better ad placements and lower costs per click.

Types of Negative Keywords

There are different types of negative keywords to consider:

1. Broad Match Negative Keywords

These keywords prevent your ad from showing up when the search query includes all the words in your negative keyword, regardless of the order.

2. Phrase Match Negative Keywords

Ads won’t appear for searches that contain the exact phrase you specify, even if other words are included in the search query.

3. Exact Match Negative Keywords

This type ensures that your ad doesn’t show up for searches that exactly match the negative keyword.

How to Identify Negative Keywords

To effectively use negative keywords, you need to conduct thorough keyword research. Consider the following strategies:

  1. Review Search Terms Report: This report shows the actual search queries that triggered your ads. Identify irrelevant terms and add them to your negative keyword list.
  2. Competitor Analysis: Analyze your competitors’ keywords and identify terms that are not relevant to your offering.
  3. Use Keyword Planner Tools: Tools like Google’s Keyword Planner can help you identify potential negative keywords.

Implementing Negative Keywords

Adding negative keywords to your Google Ads campaign is a straightforward process. Simply navigate to the “Keywords” tab in your Google Ads account, select “Negative Keywords,” and add the relevant terms.


In conclusion, negative keywords play a vital role in optimizing your Google Ads campaign. They help refine your target audience, save money, and improve the overall performance of your advertising efforts. By understanding and effectively implementing negative keywords, you can maximize the impact of your digital advertising strategy.


Q1: Can I change my negative keywords after the campaign has started?

Yes, you can adjust your negative keyword list at any time during your campaign to further refine your targeting.

Q2: Are negative keywords applicable to all types of ads?

Yes, negative keywords can be used in all types of Google Ads campaigns, including search, display, and video ads.

Q3: How often should I review and update my negative keyword list?

It’s advisable to regularly review and update your negative keyword list to ensure it remains relevant to your campaign goals.

Q4: Can I use negative keywords in conjunction with other targeting options?

Absolutely. Negative keywords can be used alongside other targeting options to fine-tune your audience.

Q5: Will using negative keywords affect my ad’s visibility?

Using negative keywords will not negatively impact the visibility of your ad. Instead, it will improve the relevance and effectiveness of your campaign.

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