75 Negative Keywords That Every AdWords Campaign Should Include

These Essential Negative Keyword Lists Will Save You Money In Adwords

If you are using AdWords to promote a small to medium business, then every penny counts so it is important to ensure that your ad groups are as focused as possible. Using negative keywords to qualify your campaign can make the difference between attracting someone who is looking to buy your product and someone who is looking for a job! If you are a local business and want to make sure that you are paying for the right type of clicks in your AdWords campaigns, then consider using one of the negative keyword lists that I’ve provided below.

Negative Keyword Lists Adwords

Note: Some of the negative keywords provided may not be relevant to your campaigns, so be sure to use your discretion when adding any of them to AdWords.

Related Posts:
How to Find Negative Keywords Using Autocomplete and “Searches Related To”
How to Make Better Use of Your PPC Campaign’s Negative Keywords

 

Negative Keywords That (Almost) Every AdWords Campaign Should Include

This is a list of keywords that don’t belong in any campaign and should be added by default to all of your campaigns.

  • free
  • cheap
  • nude
  • naked
  • sex
  • porn
  • porno
  • torrent
  • torrents
  • youtube
  • craigslist
  • ebay
  • kijiji

Employment Search Negative Keywords

These are searches that someone looking for a job would typically include in any search query. By adding these negative keywords, you can eliminate job seekers from finding (and clicking) your AdWords ads.

  • hire
  • hiring
  • employment
  • employer
  • employers
  • job
  • jobs
  • occupation
  • occupations
  • career
  • careers
  • occupation
  • occupations
  • full time
  • part time
  • work
  • resume
  • resumes
  • salary
  • salaries
  • pay
  • intern
  • recruiter
  • recruiters
  • recruitment
  • resume
  • resumes

Education Search Negative Keywords

These keywords would typically be included in a search query by someone looking to upgrade their skills i.e. not to buy your product and/or service.

  • training
  • learn
  • class
  • classes
  • school
  • schools
  • college
  • university
  • tutorial
  • tutorials
  • course
  • courses
  • textbook
  • textbooks
  • book
  • books

Research & Information Search Negative Keywords

This list is essential for anyone with an eCommerce website. Reduce the amount of window shoppers and tire kickers who click on your ads by adding these negative keywords.

  • review
  • reviews
  • rating
  • ratings
  • opinion
  • opinions
  • article
  • articles
  • information
  • info
  • pics
  • picture
  • pictures
  • photo
  • photos
  • how to
  • how do i

After spending hours crafting an effective AdWords campaign, it can be easy to forget about adding negative keywords to that shiny new campaign. By forgetting to add them, you could be wasting hundreds of dollars per month in unqualified leads to your business.

Bookmark this article and make adding these commonly used keywords a part of your AdWords campaign creation workflow!

Written By Darian Schouten

Darian is a veteran in the world of computing with over 25 years of experience and has a deep love for all things digital. He's been heavily involved in all areas of computing and gaming since before the internet was born, and is always on the hunt for the next big thing. This stuff excites him deeply and he is keen to share what he knows with anyone who will listen to him.

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30 thoughts on “75 Negative Keywords That Every AdWords Campaign Should Include
  1. Ramkrishnan

    Thanks for the wonderful idea on Keywords.

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  2. Bloggety

    Wow. I can definitely see how these negative keywords would drastically reduce the number of unqualified leads. I’m looking forward to my “before & after” statistics after adding these to my campaigns. Thanks!

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  3. purpletears

    Thank you very much for sharing this comprehensive list with us. I heard about some of these negative words,but most of them were new for me.

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  4. runejet

    Thanks a lot for this great list! Usually people will not think of adding negative keywords as they feel that it will push people away from their ads. And I think the uses of such a list are not limited to Adwords campaigns. You can also add such words to your article titles to gain more attention.

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  5. Beniston

    Useful idea. The results for the searchers would be much refined by implementing this.

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  6. Great, comprehensive list! I found a couple that I had missed. Another suggestion to your readers is to use the Google Adwords “shared” negative list which makes populating negatives across dozens or hundreds of campaigns a breeze…but ONLY if you remember to “apply” all campaigns to the list. It’s very easy to forget to add new campaigns to the shared list.

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  7. Darian Schouten

    Great suggestion, Barb! The only thing to be mindful of is when some of the negative keywords are actually relevant to your product. -Especially for companies selling, “Cheap, YouTube Career Training Classes.” :)

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  8. Brandon

    I disagree with the “review” and “information” terms. Having these as negatives could exclude people in the compare stage of the buying funnel. Those terms can also prohibit a lot of cheap brand traffic you’re not careful.

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  9. Such a great list. We had many of these terms on our own list already, but the beauty of this is the way it has been broken down. Very nice work.

    I’d add;

    “what is”
    “why”
    “example”
    “sample”

    to your research section as well.

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  10. Ivo Antunes

    I would like to increase this list with a few more, such as:
    concept
    curriculum
    course
    definition
    dictionary
    phase
    photographs
    photos
    idea
    image
    pictures
    game
    games
    kit
    market
    and that
    which is
    what is
    meaning
    means
    graduate
    postgraduate
    graduate
    profession
    professions
    proposal
    recruitment
    technical
    university
    used
    video
    wiki
    legislation

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  11. bigbrownies

    Well, you sure learn something new everyday. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard of negative keywords. This post has been most enlightening. Does this only work with AdWords or can you apply this with any ad program?

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  12. @bigbrownies it’s certainly not unique to Adwords. Microsoft Adcenter and Yahoo Sponsored Search both allow for negative keywords. Remember they are only necessary if you use broad or phrase match keywords.

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  13. Great post , I have been running Google Adwords for almost a year now and never even considered these. I am definitely going to check the before and after. Thanks for the post should really help.
    @Ivo Antunes , thanks for the major additions will add these to my list when I check them out.

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  14. Ivo Antunes

    you’re welcome!!! you should try keyword tool (inside Google adwords). try to use your “positive” keywords and check which ideias you really don’t wan’t that trigger your ads. then use these ideas as negative keywords. it’s a really huge big help!

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  15. techzooey

    This is a very resourceful list that every pay-per-click marketer should have. I see so many people waste money foolishly by using generic terms. There are keywords and then there are buyers’ keywords, and negative keywords are a big part of narrowing that target market.

    Ad providers prey on the ignorance of advertisers, but this is the kind of stuff people need to be aware of upfront. Of course, it’s up to them to learn, and sadly, many people are too eager to just jump right in.

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  16. I agree with Brandon. I would also stay away from most “review and information” keywords mentioned in your list as it would block people who are at the end of their buying funnel and checking out products with good reviews and better product information.

    And most importantly if I am providing “free shipping” with my products, blocking the term “free” will stop our ads from displaying for terms like “chess sets with free shipping” or “laptop computer ship free” etc.

    “Free” should only be used as a negative if you do not offer “free shipping” or “free returns” etc. on your site.

    You should also use your judgement when blocking “craigslist”, “eBay”, “amazon”, “kijiji” and other competitor sites from your ads. If these terms are not costing you a lot, and your conversion figures justify keeping them, you should not lose the opportunity to show your ads to people who were looking for products on these shopping channels and competitor sites. The more ad impressions you get, the better branding you are going to develop over time.

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  17. Pingback: AdWords Negative Keywords: More = Less (Wasted Money) | AdWords Management | Commission-Only

  18. theazz

    Well Well Well… Haven’t I learnt something new? (talking to self).

    I must say thanks to the author and other posters who gave ideas on keyword terms to add to the negative list. I did not understand that concept in the running of an Ad so this was very informative.

    I can clearly see how avoiding those negative keywords would streamline my ads so that they do not attract non-paying/buying/irrelevant visitors to my site.

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  19. Well… thank you for that great article !
    I have some of them in my own “blacklist” but this will come in handy.

    I’m always amazed by what some people can search for… the word “porn/porno” is typically the one I’m always reluctant to use, thinking “this can’t exist”.

    Well, Rule #34 proves me wrong every time.

    Concerning the terms “review” and “information”, if you dont provide any kind of review or information on your product, the conversion rate might still be pretty low in comparison with other keywords.

    However, maybe creating another Ad Group especially for this type of audience + optimizing your landing page can give some interesting results…

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  20. Grate list of negative keywords . This post help me lot for my ad word campaign creation.

    thanks

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  25. james

    Hi Kayla, Great info above on negative keyword types. I have a
    (slightly related) question regarding negative keyword lists. We’ve recently
    taken over an account that is structured in a way that we’ve never seen before.
    The ad groups are split by match type with negative keyword lists, for the
    broad and phrase ad groups, consisting of the same keywords as the ad groups. i.e.
    Broad ad group = Phrase negative keywords, Phrase ad group = Exact negative
    keywords, Exact ad group = no negative keywords. Is this account structure used
    often?

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  26. robert

    As a Google PPC ninja once told me, it is important to constantly split-test new ads so that messaging is consistently being refined in a competitive marketplace. That happens on at least two levels: 1) The ads themselves, inside Adwords. It has easy split testing for ads and reports optimal performance. 2) On your landing page itself. That’s where a lot of people miss the boat on conversions. They blame the ads but don’t split test elements or versions of their landing pages. There are lots of ways to do this, but it’s kind of technical and as a business owner I couldn’t really be bothered with learning the details, but I can refer you to Simon. Call him – 302-401-4478 .

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  28. For us one of the most converting keyword is ‘cheap’, so I wouldn’t recommend to add ‘cheap’ and ‘free’ by default to your negative list.

    I’ve seen many other campaigns as well and if you sell high-end products adding ‘cheap’ to the negative list is a good idea, but if you offer a service in a competitive price, well I recommend not to add cheap by default…

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