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.

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 you run three separate campaigns for cruises, flights and hotels 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. Select the Campaigns tab.
  2. Click the Shared library link in the left 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 campaigns.

Try it out
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.

Add negative keyword lists from the Shared library link:

  1. Click the Campaigns tab.
  2. Click the Shared library link in the left navigation bar.
  3. Click Campaign negative keywords.
  4. Select the checkbox next to the negative keyword list you'd like to add to multiple campaigns.
  5. Click Add to more campaigns.
  6. Select which campaigns you'd like to add the negative keyword list to. Click the Add link. Select a campaign
  7. Click Save.

Add negative keyword lists from the Keywords tab or the Display Network tab:

  1. Click the campaign that you'd like to add your negative keyword list to.
  2. Then, depending on your campaign, choose one of these options:
    • If your campaign targets the Search and Display Networks, select the Keywords tab. Then, click the Negative keywords link at the bottom of the page.
    • If your campaign targets the Display Network only, click the Display Network tab. Then, click the Exclusions link at the bottom of the page and click the Display keywords tab.
  3. You'll see a "Campaign level" table. If you're on the Keywords tab, you'll see an Add drop-down menu. If you're on the Display Network tab, you'll see a View drop-down menu. On either tab, these are the two options you can choose from:
    • Keywords: shows which individual negative keywords are associated with the campaign.
    • Keyword lists: shows which negative keywords lists are associated with the campaign.
  4. Click the drop-down menu, and then select the "Keyword lists" option.
  5. Choose the lists you'd like to add and click the add link.
  6. Click Save.
Try it out
Edit your negative keyword list

Once you're using a negative keyword list, you can add, edit or remove keywords from the list at any time. Here's how:

  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. Click +Add to add a new keyword, Edit to change a keyword (you can also click a keyword to edit it) or Delete to remove a keyword.

    Bear in mind

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

Try it out
Delete your negative keyword list

Let's say that you've got a negative keyword list that's been running for some time, and now you'd like to delete it. You can permanently remove a negative keyword from one or more of the campaigns that use it at any time.

Here's how to delete a negative keyword list from one campaign that uses it:

  1. Click the campaign that you'd like to remove the negative keyword list from.
  2. Then, depending on your campaign, choose one of these options:
    • If your campaign targets the Search and Display Networks, select the Keywords tab. Then, click the Negative keywords link at the bottom of the page.
    • If your campaign targets the Display Network only, click the Display Network tab. Then, click the Exclusions link at the bottom of the page and click the Display keywords tab.
  3. In the Campaign level table, click the Keyword lists link or select View:Keyword lists.
  4. Select the checkbox next to the keyword list that you'd like to delete.
  5. Click Delete.

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

  1. Click the Campaigns tab.
  2. Click the Shared library link.
  3. Click Campaign negative keywords and then click the list that you'd like to delete.
  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 and then select the checkbox next to the list that you'd like to delete.
  6. Click Delete.
Try it out

Next steps