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Negative Keywords

You can use negative keywords to prevent your ad from being displayed if the user’s search query contains one of your negative keywords. The following types of comparisons are used to determine whether a negative keyword applies to the search query.

Match Type

Description

Exact match

A match is prevented if all the words in the negative keyword exactly match the user's query. To use an exact match comparison, enclose the negative keyword in square brackets (for example, [old dog]).

Phrase match

Phrase match is the default match type. A match is prevented if all the words in the negative keyword are present in the user's query and are in the same order. For example, if your ad group contains "dog tricks" as a keyword and "old" as a negative keyword, searching for "old dog tricks" would prevent a match because the query string contains the negative keyword, old.

You can specify negative keywords at the campaign and ad group level. If you specify negative keywords at both levels, both lists will be used to compare to the user’s query.

For negative keyword limits per entity, please see Entity Hierarchy and Limits.

For code examples that show how to associate negative keywords and negative keyword lists with a campaign, see C# | Java | PHP.

System_CLiX_note Note

For information about related programming elements, see Campaign Management Service Reference.

Exclusive Lists

System_CLiX_note Note

Currently this feature is only available in production for pilot participants, and will be generally available for all advertisers in Q3 2014. This feature is already available in sandbox for all advertisers.

You may choose to associate an exclusive set of negative keywords to an individual campaign or ad group. An exclusive set of negative keywords cannot be shared with other campaigns or ad groups. You can manage an exclusive set of negative keywords with the AddNegativeKeywordsToEntities, DeleteNegativeKeywordsFromEntities, and GetNegativeKeywordsByEntityIds operations.

Shared Lists

System_CLiX_note Note

Currently this feature is only available in production for pilot participants, and will be generally available for all advertisers in Q3 2014. This feature is already available in sandbox for all advertisers.

Negative keywords can also be added and deleted from a shared negative keyword list. The negative keyword list can be shared or associated with multiple campaigns.

System_CLiX_note Note

Negative keyword lists cannot be associated with an ad group. An ad group can only be assigned an exclusive set of negative keywords. In addition to the exclusive set of negative keywords that can be assigned to a campaign, each campaign can be associated with one negative keyword list.

To create a negative keyword list, call the AddSharedEntity operation and pass a NegativeKeywordList, which inherits from both SharedList and SharedEntity. You can create up to 20 negative keyword lists per account and share or associate them with any campaign in the same account. You can get existing negative keyword lists by calling the GetSharedEntitiesByAccountId operation. You can update the name of the negative keyword list by calling the UpdateSharedEntities operation. You can delete the negative keyword list by calling the DeleteSharedEntities operation.

To add negative keywords to a negative keyword list, call the AddListItemsToSharedList operation and pass a list of NegativeKeyword, which inherits from SharedListItem. You can add up to 5,000 negative keywords to each negative keyword list. You can get negative keywords within a specified list by calling the GetListItemsBySharedList operation. Negative keywords can be removed from a list by calling the DeleteListItemsFromSharedList operation.

To associate a negative keyword list with a campaign, specify an array of SharedEntityAssociation with the SetSharedEntityAssociations service operation. Each SharedEntityAssociation should include the type of entity (currently only Campaign is supported), campaign identifier, and negative keyword list identifier. You can get the associations by entity identifier or negative keyword list identifier by calling the respective GetSharedEntityAssociationsByEntityIds and GetSharedEntityAssociationsBySharedEntityIds operations. You can remove the association between the campaign and negative keyword list by calling the DeleteSharedEntityAssociations operation.

Find Conflicts between Your Negative Keywords and Keywords

The reporting service provides a negative-keyword conflict report that lists the negative keywords that you also specify as keywords. Specifying a negative keyword that is also a keyword negates the keyword. For more information, see the NegativeKeywordConflictReportRequest request.

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