Add and exclude topics

Add topics

To reach a large audience interested in content relevant to your business, you can contextually target pages about specific topics (formerly called vertical categories). Here's how:

  1. From the "Campaigns" section of your account, click the Topics tab.
  2. If you don't see the Topics tab, add it via the Show tab drop-down to the right of the displayed tabs.

  3. Click the Add topics button.
  4. Select the campaign and ad group you want to target to topics.
  5. In the "Add topics" section, select the topics and subtopics to target by clicking the add link next to each topic and subtopic. They're then added to the "Selected topics" column. Likewise, click the remove link if you decide not to target an added topic.
    Click the Add topics using codes link at the bottom of the picker to paste in category codes.
  6. Click Save.
  • When you target a top-level topic, you also target all the related subtopics. However, we recommend adding the subtopics for bidding and reporting control.
  • Adding all subtopics under a topic isn't the same as adding the top-level topic itself; some pages won't be targeted if you add only the subtopics to your ad group. We recommend adding the top-level topic as well.

Exclude topics

If you'd prefer your ads not to appear on pages about specific topics, you can exclude them:

  1. On the Topics tab, click the Exclusions link at the bottom of the page. Existing excluded topics (also called "negative topics") are displayed, along with the campaigns and ad groups that exclude them.
  2. Click the Add exclusions button in the "Ad group level" or "Campaign level" section, depending on whether you want to exclude topics from an entire campaign, or only a selected ad group within a campaign.
  3. Select the campaign or ad group from which you want to exclude topics.
  4. Click add next to the topics and subtopics you'd like to exclude. The selected topics are displayed below the "Exclude topics" panel.
  5. Scroll down and click Save.

Note: This type of topic exclusion is different from the Site and Category Exclusion Tool:

  • The Site and Category Exclusion tool allows you to exclude a subset of topics only (if you want to avoid webpages potentially considered sensitive or mature).
  • Topic exclusion within the Topics tab gives you more control over where your ads appear, as you can select from a wider variety of options regarding the types of pages on which you don't want your ads to show.
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