Update: Ross from PaidInsights.com reached out to share a list of negative keywords that he has curated. This list is available on his blog or can be downloaded if you share your email address (which then puts you on the PaidInsights mailing list). The list of negative keywords is very helpful for any campaign!


It sounds so negative doesn’t it? But negative keywords are a positive.  They help to make sure your ad is not visible (and therefore cannot be clicked on) for user’s queries that are not relevant to your business. Negative keywords are prefaced with a minus sign and can be:

  1. Exact match
  2. Broad match
  3. Phrase match

Negative modified broad match doesn’t make much sense 🙂


While negative keywords are indeed preceded with “-“, they are typically entered into a different interface than the rest of your keyword phrases. This applies to both the AdWords interface on the web and the AdWords Editor which runs off your computer. In both cases, negative keywords can be added at the AdGroup Level or the Campaign Level.


Need some ideas for negative keywords? Here are some resources:

B2B Online Marketing Blog – 200+ Negative Keywords to Consider for B2B PPC by Andy Komack

From the TechWyse Blog: 75 Negative Keywords That Every AdWords Campaign Should Include Posted by Darian Schouten

And while not exclusively about negative keywords, Google’s Keyword Matching Options




Darlene Moore is the owner of DriveTraffic, a boutique digital marketing firm located in Ottawa,  ON Canada, serving clients internationally. Darlene’s passion is around Google Analytics data  and helping business owner’s understand the data while doing their own SEO or AdWords  marketing.

DriveTraffic (Darlene and colleagues) would love to answer your digital marketing questions –  you can ask your questions on Twitter or  Facebook.