What is Negative match Keywords?

You can use negative match to prevent your ad from showing to people searching for certain terms. Your ad won’t show if a search term contains the keyword term you define with a minus sign (-) prefix. Negative keywords are an especially useful way to filter out irrelevant traffic and thus prevent unwanted clicks.

You can use negative keywords in conjunction with other match types. For example, you could use an exact match negative keyword to prevent your ad from showing to people who searched for that exact keyword. Keep in mind that when you use negative keywords, your ads could still show on searches that include synonyms and other variations, such as singular or plural versions of your words.


If your keyword is women’s hats and you add the negative keyword -women your ad won’t appear for any searches that contain the word women.


Negative match keyword Ads may show on searches for Ads won’t show on searches for
women girls’ hats
sun hats
hats for women
women’s hats
“women’s hats” girls’ hats
women’s baseball hats
women’s hats
Women’s hats
women’s hats for sale
want to buy women’s hats
[women’s hats] buy women’s hats
women’s hats on sale
women’s hats
Women’s hats

It’s important to keep in mind that you should only add the minus sign (-) prefix to the keyword that you don’t want to trigger your ad, like -women as shown in this example.

To create negative keywords, go to your keyword table in your account and look for the Negative keywords link below your keyword table. When you create a negative keyword (or make one from an existing keyword by adding the negative symbol), it will show up there.