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The ad has a single word keyword (ie. widgets)
and then a whole bunch of negative keywords.
One of them is supposed to specifically exclude
showing the ad if someone searching for just "widgets" without being specific
isn't this the way to do it? why does Google accept this:
argh! no wonder that ad has the lowest CTR
Google needs more negative keyword examples in their FAQ!
I've never seen something like "-[widgets]". Are you sure this is valid for adwords?
well its obvious to me now that its not, but I just fired off a mildly upset email to Google.
They are the ONLY ones who know how it all works and they are not documenting enough,
or catching incorrect entries! What else would -[widgets] possibly mean to the keyword system?
You cannot use  in a search phrase on Google.
Most importantly, their system DOES scan for some kinds of incorrect entries when you put in keywords, and it should have alerted me that this was invalid! Either that or more examples in their FAQ. There is just 1 example of each type of keyword in there for 3 examples total. Sheesh.
A lesser company I would let slide, but they are always sharp thinking people developing industry leading solutions.
Anyone who has done any kind of work with expressions would instantly see negitive keywords and exclusive keywords and think they can be combined.
Check this out, if you add [-widgets] it WILL accept that and add it as a new search term (not a negative term). What the heck would that combo do anyway?
I'll shutup if they do a partial refund like they did last time I pointed something else out they agreed with.[/rant off] :)
you have changed -[widgets] to -widgets now havent you? You said that its obvious to you that -[widgets] was not right but didnt say what you were using.
Agreed the use of negative words needs to be documented much better. Their instructions are very poor in that regard. A screenshot of a campign management screen with all stuff including neg keywords with a coupld of examples would be highly useful, and making their script pick up incorrectly formatted entries like that shouldnt be that hard surely?
you have changed -[widgets] to -widgets now havent you?
no, no... let me be clear
there is only one keyword for the ad: widgets
with about 50 or more negitive keywords
I do NOT want the ad to show if they just enter
"widgets" all by itself.
So after looking at the faq and not seeing any warnings against it,
I thought, well this seems logical: -[widgets]
If I used just -widgets it would cancel out the
entire effect of the keywords. Hmm. I wonder if their
keyword entry system would even catch that error?!
-kids webmasters programs
-teen webmasters programs
After some study you'll figure it out, but it isn't intuitive.