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Negative keywords
colinf




msg:1149594
 3:32 pm on May 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hello,

can someone explain in laymans terms what negative keywords mean?
i am being told to use them but i dont know why or what advantages they bring, i have read the google guidelines but for some reason cannot get my head around the concept!

Let us say my main keyword is "childrens books" what would be some examples of negative keywords?

Thanks in advance.

Colinf

 

sem4u




msg:1149595
 4:01 pm on May 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

Negative keywords are words that you don't want your ad showing up for.

For "childrens books" good negative keywords may be:

-author name (if you don't sell that author's books)
-personalized (if you don't sell personalized books)
-free (if you don't give them away!)

etc.

You can also do matching in brackets, e.g. [childrens books]. This means that your ad will only show for this phrase.

1Lit




msg:1149596
 9:55 pm on May 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

I would recommend you set up a list of negative words, so that if they are included in somebody's search, your site is NOT listed e.g. porn related words. You'll be wasting your money if somebody searching for rude pictures clicks on your site if it's selling children's books:

e.g.

Google Search Words:

teen
-porn

so "teen books" will show your site, but not "teen porn".

It took me hours to construct an enormous list of negative search terms for Google Adwords under which no family-friendly site would want to be listed. Saves money. Willing to send it you if you link to my site or mention it in your newsletter :) Sticky mail me.

carfac




msg:1149597
 10:50 pm on May 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi:

I think negative keywords are great!

I use a ton, too... like:

-free
-downlaod
-image

and others to keep those looking for free stuff from getting my ad!

It is just anoher way to focus even tighter on your target market!

dave

webdiversity




msg:1149598
 9:37 am on Jun 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

Negative keywords should be used where there is the possibility of a double meaning.

A lot of people are looking for reviews of products so they often type in "blue widget review". If your site does that sort of thing then great, if not then use -review as a negative. If you sell luxury goods then use words like -cheap.

I've seen too many people get way too specific and they end up with one or two generic keywords and hundreds of negatives in their ad group. I think if you've done your research right and write the correct ad then you might only need a small handful of negatives in each ad group.

Searchers are getting more and more lazy. We're finding more and more of the transactions we want to see are taking place higher up the food chain than when you had to be really specific to find what you were looking for. What we find is the more negative keywords you use (instead of exact match), the more you potentially hamper the likely success of the buyers picking you as opposed to the competition.

Tropical Island




msg:1149599
 10:40 am on Jun 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm not completely sure what "webdiversity" meant by his last statement:

"Searchers are getting more and more lazy. We're finding more and more of the transactions we want to see are taking place higher up the food chain than when you had to be really specific to find what you were looking for. What we find is the more negative keywords you use (instead of exact match), the more you potentially hamper the likely success of the buyers picking you as opposed to the competition."

How could well chosen negative key words hamper your success when in fact you are weeding out the not so lazy searchers who actually type in the word you don't want to reach?

If they just type in the short version of the search you will appear however if they type in a longer phrase that includes a word you don't want then you won't appear. This should increase ROI not hurt it.

To "colinf".

One of the best sources we have found is the Overture "search suggestion tool". By putting in your main search term you can see many different combinations theat include your term. If some don't apply to your particular business then you can include them in your negative word list. Don't depend on AdWords search term tool. While better than it used to be it still is not equal to Over's.

1Lit




msg:1149600
 1:56 pm on Jun 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

carfac, agree with you. We do the same thing. Don't want freebie hunters or teenagers visiting our site, as they're clearly not going to buy anything.

Similarly, anything with porn connotation should be negatived out (if that's a word). Surfers searching for pictures of people in sexual acts are ruled by something other than their head at that particular time and it is highly unlike you're going to be able to lure them into buying a product for non-pervs. Therefore, if they happen to click on a non-porn site, they'll click the back button and you've lost your 5 cents or whatever.

webdiversity




msg:1149601
 3:04 pm on Jun 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

TI, I mean that a few years ago, before the rise of paid advertising (and before Google came around), most searchers were educated (probably on Alta Vista) to type in things like "blue widgets for sale in london" whereas now a lot of the transaction occur when someone searches for "blue widgets" or even just "widgets". It's because the searchers are new, or lazy or both.

My point is that rather than trying to cover all the permutations of words with negatives etc.. you could exact match [widgets] and [blue widget] and cover a large chunk of the results you are looking for there, no need for negatives as they are exact matches. If you broaden it out you could try phrase matches with some obvious negatives, but a well written ad should act as a sufficient deterrent to the waste of time clicks.

Shak




msg:1149602
 3:19 pm on Jun 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

TI, I mean that a few years ago, before the rise of paid advertising (and before Google came around), most searchers were educated (probably on Alta Vista) to type in things like "blue widgets for sale in london" whereas now a lot of the transaction occur when someone searches for "blue widgets" or even just "widgets". It's because the searchers are new, or lazy or both.

So true, I am sure some of them even type the word "blue" in the hope of getting their desired result.

There is the somewhat weird belief that your PC and favourite search engine KNOWS what you want :)

maybe a sign of things to come, personalised search.

until then I am with Webdiversity on this 1, go for more exact matches and less negatives.

Shak

carfac




msg:1149603
 3:21 pm on Jun 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>> If you broaden it out you could try phrase matches with some obvious negatives, but a well written ad should act as a sufficient deterrent to the waste of time clicks

Yes, but:
1) You only have so many words for your creative
2) Despite well-written creatives and well-targeted adword phrases, you can still have some overlap

I see negatives as just another way to "hone" to your target audience... and another way to filter. A third in a three-step process. All three steps (good ceative, good keywords and good negative kws) point toward your ultimate goal, getting QUALIFIED traffic.

As said above, people get lazy in their searches, and search unneccisaraly broad. I think "-free" is one of my best (negative) keywords because it takes more unqualified clicks away...

ultimately, I get less hits, but I am getting a very high CTR, usually 10 or above!

dave

martinibuster




msg:1149604
 4:47 pm on Jun 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

I am so glad that this is being discussed. I have been calling people in wholly unrelated industries whose ads have been bleeding into mine, in the hope of educating them about negative keywords and getting their irrelevant ads out of my back yard.

Geez, even Yahoo!'s campaign manager could use some education. I even complained to AdWords about Y!'s irrelevant adwords.

I agree that searchers are lazy or not bright or both. The exact match terms receive anemic traffic, but the [broad keyword term] receives more hits from people looking for what my clients have.

This is even the case for Geo-Targetting: Someone in North Carolina looking for North Carolina Widgets will still search for [keyword Widgets], without adding their locations.

Google needs to make it easier for people to figure these things out.

webdiversity




msg:1149605
 10:31 pm on Jun 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google needs to make it easier for people to figure these things out.

The product already does.

Broad Match
Phrase Match
Exact Match
Negative Match

If advertisers can't work it out (and there has been enough written about it and tutorials), then you can be sure they will never get it.

What brings it home to clients is when we show them the traffic the campaigns they set themselves up with receive in terms of clicks, even if they have worked out things like negative keywords.

I find that using exact match, and phrase match normally does the trick, broad might be useful if it's a product name, or the name of a company that can't be confused with anything else, but negatives get added once we start to see stuff in logs. If you saw as many sales that we see transacted when people type in the word "free" you would never use it as a negative keyword again.

martinibuster




msg:1149606
 12:29 am on Jun 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

The product already does.

Yes, I know it's there. And yes, We know it's there.

But Google needs to make it easier for the majority to figure these things out.

If the person in charge of Yahoo!'s adwords campaign can't find it and/or figure it out, then it's plainly evident that there's a usability problem.

1Lit




msg:1149607
 1:23 am on Jun 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

As far as I'm concerned, of all the 20-odd PPCSEs we've tried, Adwords is the easiest to set-up and get going.

Instructions are very clear; FAQ is great and well presented.

Why should everything be dumbed down to cater for the semi-literate?

If people can't work out how Adwords works, then they should be working in McDonalds/carry on watching 'Big Brother' or Jerry Springer instead of trying to run a net business.

colinf




msg:1149608
 3:06 pm on Jun 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Why should everything be dumbed down to cater for the semi-literate?

touchy touchy!

life be so wonderful if we were all as clever as you.

colinf

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