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Exclude keywords across campaigns with lists

When you have a set of keywords that give you unwanted impressions or clicks across multiple campaigns, you can create a central list of these negative keywords and add it to all of your campaigns. This means you can better manage your negative keywords when, for example, you'd like to add a new negative keyword. Just add it to your negative keyword list and the change will apply to all of the campaigns that share the list.

Bear in mind:

Negative keywords work differently for Display and Video campaigns than they do for search. Depending on the other keywords or targeting methods in your ad group, some pages where your ad appears may occasionally contain excluded terms.  For Display and Video ads, a maximum of 5,000 negative keywords is considered. 

Create a negative keyword list

To get started, think of words that you don't want to trigger your ads. Then, organise these terms by themes, such as the different products that you sell or services you offer. You can have up to 5,000 negative keywords per list and up to 20 negative keyword lists in your account.

Example

Let's say that you run three separate campaigns for cruises, flights and hotels that you offer for Hawaii and Alaska, but not Mexico. You'd like to prevent your ads from showing to people looking for cruises, flights and hotels for Mexico. Here's what you can do:

  • Create a negative keyword list called "Excluded Travel Destinations".
  • Add negative keywords such as "Mexican Riviera Cruises", "Cancun hotels" and "Flights to Mexico" to your list.

Remember to include on your list all variants of keywords related to Mexico, including specific regions and cities.

Bear in mind

Once you create your negative keyword list, you'll need to add it to each of your campaigns.

Create a negative keyword list:

  1. Click the Campaigns tab.
  2. Click the Shared library link in the left-hand navigation bar.
  3. Click Campaign negative keywords.
  4. Click + List.
  5. Name your negative keyword list and add your negative keywords to the Keywords box, one per line.
  6. Click Save.

    Tip

    Get ideas for negative keywords that you can use across multiple search campaigns.

Give it a try
Use a negative keyword list for multiple campaigns

Now that you've created a negative keyword list, you can add it to multiple campaigns. There are two ways that you can share your list:

  • Add your negative keyword list to multiple campaigns at once from the Shared library link.
  • Add your negative keyword list to one campaign at a time from the Keywords tab or the Display Network tab.

Add negative keyword lists from the Shared library link:

  1. Click the Campaigns tab.
  2. Click the Shared library link in the left-hand navigation bar.
  3. Click Campaign negative keywords.
  4. Select the checkbox next to the negative keyword list that you'd like to add to multiple campaigns.
  5. Click Apply to campaigns.
  6. Select the campaigns that you'd like to add the negative keyword lists to. 
  7. Click Save.

Add negative keyword lists from the Keywords tab:

  1. Click the Keywords tab.
  2. Click Negative keywords.
  3. In the “Campaign level” table, click Lists on the right. 
  4. Click + List.
  5. Select a campaign from the drop-down menu.
  6. Click the add link next to the negative keyword lists that you want to add to the campaign.
  7. Click Save.

Add negative keyword lists from the Display tab:

  1. Click the Display Network tab.
  2. Click + Targeting.
  3. Under Campaign exclusions, choose the campaign that you want to add the negative keyword lists to.
  4. Click the Add campaign exclusions drop-down menu and choose Display keywords.
  5. Click Lists.
  6. Click the add link next to the negative keyword lists that you want to add to the campaign.
  7. Click Save.
Give it a try
Edit your negative keyword list

You can add to, edit or remove keywords from a negative keyword list at any time. Here's how you do this:

  1. Click the Campaigns tab.
  2. Click Shared library link in the left navigation bar.
  3. Click Campaign negative keywords and then the name of the list that you'd like to modify.
  4. You'll see your negative keyword list. You can:
    • Click + Add to add a new keyword. 
    • Edit an existing keyword by selecting the checkbox next to it and clicking Edit
    • Remove an existing keyword by selecting the checkbox next to it and clicking Remove.

Bear in mind

Any changes you make to your list will be reflected in all campaigns that use this negative keyword list.

Give it a try
Remove your negative keyword list

You can remove a negative keyword list from one or more campaigns at any time.

  1. Click the Campaigns tab.
  2. Click the campaign that you'd like to remove the negative keyword list from.
  3. Click the Keywords tab.
  4. Click Negative keywords.
  5. In the “Campaign level” table, click Lists on the right. 
  6. Select the checkbox next to the keyword list that you'd like to remove.
  7. Click Remove.

Here's how to remove a negative keyword list from all campaigns that use it:

  1. Click the Campaigns tab.
  2. Click the Shared library link in the left-hand navigation bar.
  3. Click Campaign negative keywords and then click the list that you'd like to remove.
  4. Scroll to the campaign table and select the checkbox next to each campaign that shares this list. Then click Remove list from selected to remove this list from all of the campaigns that share it.
  5. Click Campaign negative keywords in the left-hand navigation bar. and then select the checkbox next to the list that you'd like to remove.
  6. Click Remove.
Give it a try

Next steps

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