How to use brand suitability features in Performance Max

Performance Max campaigns have many brand suitability features at the campaign or account-level to ensure that your ads are served to the right users for your business, while maximizing performance.

This article explains how to use the targeting and brand suitability features that are available in Performance Max.

Exclude branded traffic (competitor, partner, or your own brands)

To exclude branded traffic from serving in individual Performance Max campaigns, use brand exclusions. To use brand exclusions, first build a brand list, then apply it to campaigns in your account.


Exclude brand unsuitable terms at the account-level

To ensure your ads aren’t serving alongside unsafe search terms, you can use account-level features.

Search and Shopping inventory

To prevent ads from serving for search terms which are considered not suitable for your brand on Search or Shopping inventory in all relevant Google Ads campaign types (including Performance Max), you can use the account-level negative keywords feature. Learn more About account-level negative keywords.

Display and Video inventory

To prevent ads from serving search terms which are considered not suitable for your brand on Display or Video inventory in all relevant Google Ads campaign types (including Performance Max), you can use excluded content keywords setting in the content suitability center. Learn more about excluded content keywords.

Travel / Hotel inventory

The Hotel Ads campaigns (Free booking link, Property Promotion Ads) on Performance Max for travel goals campaign doesn't support negative keywords or brand exclusions. Outside of Hotel Ads, negative keywords and brand exclusions can be applied to the Performance Max for travel goals campaign just like regular Performance Max.

Note: The instructions below are part of the new design for the Google Ads user experience. To use the previous design, click the "Appearance" icon, and select Use previous design. If you're using the previous version of Google Ads, review the Quick reference map or use the Search bar in the top navigation panel of Google Ads to find the page you’re searching for.
  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Tools icon Tools Icon.
  2. Click Content suitability.
  3. Click the Advanced settings dropdown.
  4. Click to expand “Excluded content keywords”.
  5. Click the plus button to add new content keywords.
  6. Click Save.
Note: One of the key benefits of Performance Max campaigns is that Google AI enables Performance Max campaigns to adapt and optimize to keywords that are performing well.

Exclude sensitive content categories at the account-level (Display)

If you want to prevent ads from serving on certain types of content in your Performance Max campaign, such as tragedy and conflict or sensitive social issues, use excluded sensitive content categories in the content suitability center. Learn more About content suitability.

  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Tools icon Tools Icon.
  2. Click Content suitability.
  3. Click the Advanced settings dropdown.
  4. Click to expand “Excluded content keywords”.
  5. Mark one or more of these checkbox options:
    • Tragedy and conflict
    • Sensitive social issues
    • Profanity and rough language
    • Sexually suggestive
    • Sensational and shocking
  6. Click Save.

Exclude specific placements at the account-level (Display, Search Partners, and Video)

Placement exclusions allow you to exclude your ads from serving on placements for specific pages, sites, mobile apps, and videos for brand suitability purposes. Performance Max campaigns will respect all account-level and MCC-level placement exclusions. Learn how to Exclude placements at the account-level.

  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Tools icon Tools Icon.
  2. Click Content suitability.
  3. Click the Advanced settings dropdown.
  4. Click to expand “Excluded placements”.
  5. Click the “Browse” tab to add existing placements or click “Enter” tab to add a new placement link.
  6. Click Save.

Related links

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