The growing AdWords negative keyword list

Posted by Vernon Joyce
February 25, 2020

I often find myself repeating negative keywords across Google Ad accounts and it can be frustrating when you spend some of your budget on queries that aren’t related. Keyword research can at times only take you so far and there will be the odd query that creeps in.

The best way to remedy this, in my opinion, is to have a standardised list of negative keywords to exclude from your campaigns. These keyword lists should be based on the type of campaign you are running and should be generic enough as to not interfere with your targeted keywords. This isn’t an extensive list, but I hope to keep it updated over time.

Also just to note that I have left all of these as broad match, you can modify these to your own needs.

When not offering career opportunities

These are negative keywords I use for 99% of my campaigns as I hardly ever do career or vacancy based ad campaigns. Some examples of negative keywords to target include:

  • job
  • recruitment
  • internship
  • interview
  • learnerships
  • vacancies
  • wages

Users wanting to start a business or looking for business advice

This is another set of keywords that come up in B2B marketing quite often: People wanting to start a business. You might for example be targeting tailored clothing as a keyword and searches like start a tailored clothing business might come up often. Exclude the below to avoid these:

  • start a business
  • start a company
  • how to quote

When not offering or selling training

  • course
  • bursary
  • training
  • school

When selling products to businesses

This applies purely to products in a B2B sense (i.e. if your client sells wholesale to businesses).

  • 2nd hand
  • second hand
  • used
  • hire
  • rent
  • renting
  • rental
  • olx

When offering a service

This is only applicable if you sell no actual products, in other words, you provide a service to your customers or clients.

  • products
  • sale
  • selling
  • 2nd hand
  • second hand
  • free

These keyword lists can be accessed from Google Sheets here.

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