You can use negative keywords or keyword phrases to help prevent your ad from being displayed when a search query or other input contains your keywords but is irrelevant to your landing page content.
For step-by-step instructions on adding negative keywords, see this article.
For example, if your ad sells shoes and you have specified tennis shoes as a keyword, you can prevent your ad from being displayed in response to a search on tennis courts by using courts as a negative keyword.
You can add negative keywords to:
To answer this, think of the negative keyword process as two steps:
If you bid on a keyword and you have a match (broad, phrase or exact) with the customer's search query or other input, it means your ads are eligible to be displayed and you move to step 2. If there is not a match, stop here. Your ads are not eligible to be displayed.
Microsoft Advertising now takes a look at the search query or other input and compares it to your negative keywords. If there's a match (phrase or exact - depending on what you set up for your negative keywords), that particular keyword is filtered out and your ad will not be eligible for display.
Only the precise negative keyword will be filtered out. Variants (such as plurals), synonyms, and common misspellings of the negative keyword are not filtered out. To have variants, synonyms, and common misspellings filtered out as well, you will need to enter each one as a separate negative keyword.
The following diagram is an example of what happens in step 2. On the left are several queries that have moved through step 1, so are eligible to move to step 2. Now we filter those queries through your negative keyword list. In this case we use just one negative keyword entry: womens shoes. The table shows the result of setting that keyword to either a phrase match or an exact match. Using a phrase match for your negative keyword has a more significant impact on your potential ad displays, with only two of the original four queries being eligible to trigger a display.
Bidded keyword (broad match): wide shoes
Negative keyword: womens shoes
|Search query||Negative EXACT||Negative PHRASE|
|mens wide shoes|
|womens wide shoes|
|wide womens shoes|
= Ad eligible to display
= Ad will not display
For more information, watch our video about negative keywords.