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Negatives - Phrase match.strange scenario!

     
7:41 am on Nov 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Some confusion with negative phrase match. Here it goes -

Now, I know how a phrase match works and I think I know how a negative phrase match is supposed to work.
Say I'm advertising for car rental services and have the following keywords in my account :
car rental services, best car rental services, rent a car, car rental, etc

if I add a negative phrase like "free car rental services" (this is just an eg. as I encountered a similar problem in one of my accounts...I would ideally just add 'free' in broad as a negative), my ads should ideally show for all of the following searches -

car rental services
rent a car for free
free cars rental service
free car rental services (not sure about this)
car rental

And my ads won't show for searches like -

free car rental service
free car rental service chicago

Is this correct?

I'm asking this as one of my accounts suddenly saw a hug dip in performance of late - the no of impressions had dropped. On getting it reviewed from a Google Rep, I was told that since I added this one particular negative in phrase match ("free car rental services"), it means that if I have a single keyword that contains any of the words in this negative keyword phrase the keyword will not trigger the ad. Which means - my ads won't show for any keyword containing the term 'car' or 'car rental' as these terms also appear in the phrase match negative keyword!

I still have to test this and will do so. But it sounds a little strange to me!

Can someone please confirm this?

Thanks in advance!

1:24 pm on Nov 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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What you want to do is add only the one word, not a phrase. Therefore, it should be

-free

not

-free whatever

By the way, my understanding if you do the above negative, each word would be treated separately. Therefore,

-free whatever

would be the same as

-free
-whatever

That would explain your dip in impressions. You are saying to NOT show ads if they contain any of the words in your negative. You want to show for "car rental service" but turning around and saying you don't want to show for "car" which is part of your original keyword. Therefore, no ads will show.

What you want to do is use either a phrase or exact negative match such as

-"free whatever"
-[free whatever]

1:56 pm on Nov 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'm sorry if I was unclear.

What I want to confirm is how a negative phrase match keyword works and affects other keywords. Its just that according to the explanation that I was given -
if I have a keyword which contains any of the words in one of my negative phrase keywords, my ad won't show for that keyword. Consider the eg. that I mentioned above where according to this, my ad won't show for 'car' or 'car rental'.

This, to me, sounds incorrect. Just want to verify this.

Thanks!

5:25 pm on Nov 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Let's say you have the keyword "car rental". Your ad would be triggered for any search term containing that phrase. However, if you have the negative "-free", it won't be triggered. That's the purpose of the negative keyword. So if someone searches on "free car rental service" or "car rental that is free", your ad will not show because you said you don't want to show if the search term contains the word free.

You don't need to enter a phrase to "negate" the showing of your ad, only the word you consider to be a negative.

8:03 am on Nov 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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SEMblahblah, your interpretation of how a phrase negative works is correct with the exception that the part I quoted below for queries that wouldn't trigger your ads should be 'free car rental services' and 'free car rental services chicago'. I think you know that but just missed putting the plural of 'service' in your example. So, yes, the AdWords Rep you spoke with was wrong with what they told you.

And my ads won't show for searches like -

free car rental service
free car rental service chicago

11:46 am on Nov 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Yes, Channel01..that was a typo ;)
Thanks!
6:32 pm on Dec 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hey guys, i think that google rep was wrong..., i'm checking my keywords and I have for example:

-revlon hair dryer (as a negative broad Kw). I've been reading what you guys have posted, and a keyword like "dryer" should't trigger my ad right? But looking on the search queries, i found out that "cheap hair dryer" triggered my ad.

So how does this really work? Is:
- revlon hair dryer

the same as:
-revlon
-hair
-dryer
?

According to my account... is not the same...

7:32 pm on Dec 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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negative broad match works the same as positive broad match which is why you should always be careful with this tool. Just as bidding on a broad match term can have your ads showing on loosely related and generally questionable terms, using negative broad match can have your ads being blocked on terms you may want, and may not block it on all the terms you actually do want blocked.

It's always a safer approach to use the search query report and MORE IMPORTANTLY your internal logs to find those EXACT keywords that don't work for you. If you must use broad keywords, use one word keywords that have no ambiguity like "free" or "download".

8:55 pm on Dec 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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negative broad match works the same as positive broad match which is why you should always be careful with this tool. Just as bidding on a broad match term can have your ads showing on loosely related and generally questionable terms, using negative broad match can have your ads being blocked on terms you may want, and may not block it on all the terms you actually do want blocked.

That's not true... Negative broad match work does work very predictably, because it's not "expanded" as is positive broad match.

[adwords.blogspot.com...] has a very clear explanation of how negative keywords work on Google.

9:57 pm on Dec 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for clearing this for us... that means that what is happening to me is the way it should be? Check my post...
10:20 pm on Dec 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the link Rehan. Really clear things up. My previous post is therefore out of date. Still, as Baylow said, better to be careful how to use negatives.
3:30 am on Dec 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hey guys, i think that google rep was wrong..., i'm checking my keywords and I have for example:

-revlon hair dryer (as a negative broad Kw). I've been reading what you guys have posted, and a keyword like "dryer" should't trigger my ad right? But looking on the search queries, i found out that "cheap hair dryer" triggered my ad.

Searches like 'Cheap hair dryer' and 'dryer' should trigger your ads with that negative. A broad negative of 'revlon hair dryer' means that a search query needs to contain ALL three of those words (in any order) for the negative to block your ad from being displayed. For example, that negative would block searches such as revlon hair dryer, hair dryer from revlon, awesome revlon hair dryer, hair dryer revlon brand, etc from triggering your ads.

So how does this really work? Is:
- revlon hair dryer

the same as:
-revlon
-hair
-dryer
?

According to my account... is not the same...

They're not the same. The first negative (revlon hair dryer) is what I mentioned above. Something like -revlon means that any search query containing 'revlon' won't match to your keywords. Having revlon, hair and dryer as broad negatives would essentially mean that your ads don't get displayed for any search that contains one or more of those words.

7:43 pm on Dec 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The perfect answer! Thanx Channel01...
3:00 pm on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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That's not true... Negative broad match work does work very predictably, because it's not "expanded" as is positive broad match.

Found this out myself, the hard way. It's unbelievable really, if you enter a negative for -widget, you'd better make sure you also add the negative for -widgets, cause a negative broad sure as hell won't catch it. Whereas if you enter widget as a broad positive you'll get widgets, widgeties, widgety, etc all being triggered

7:51 am on Dec 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I've found over the years that multiple word negative broad exclusions will invariably result in shooting yourself in the foot.

In effect, multiple word negative broad exclusions are really phrases, so I would go for a few well thought out phrases that frequently show up in my logs.

Searchers enter their queries in a million different ways. I try not to jump on errant searches that turn up only now and then. Sometimes you have to just eat them for the greater exposure rather than lose out on better variations that might include the word(s) in question.

So yes, I'll use negative broad for -example and -examples, but try not to worry too much about the people looking for something exampley -- they'll probably spell it wrong anyway in their query. ;)

The negative phrases I try to keep shorter rather than too long-tail.

I often need some negative exact exclusions since I don't want to squander my budget for people who just type widgets when there are a million varieties and I only offer a few. Just as the OP wouldn't want to show for every "car" search based on a high CTR for a broad match of a certain type of car or car service.

My wish list would include the functionality that if I use a campaign level negative keyword as part of one of my adgroup keywords, my keyword would trump the negative.

In other words, -free may be a campaign standard of mine, but someday I'll have an adgroup where a good keyword might be "fat free widgets" and I know I won't remember my -free until I spend hours troubleshooting why I'm getting no impressions.

JMHO,

Atun

9:02 pm on Jan 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I hope i'm wrong! but, I just went to check my Search Query report and found that my ads are showing for searches that include negative keywords which i added earlier...

How could this be?

Example:

I added a negative keyword: -example

And the search: big example for you, triggered my ad...

Is there something i'm not noticing here?

Thank you (you should see my face...)

Erick

 

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