The problem with modified broad negative keywords

Modified broad keywords are the backbone of many accounts. You might be tempted to use them in your negatives as well, but beware! AdWords doesn't support negative modified broad keywords.

In your negatives, when you use a + sign in front of a negative keyword (with no space, just like modified broad), AdWords may not react the way you think it will.

There are only 3 types of negative keyword match types: 

  • Negative exact: Will block queries when the query looks exactly like the negative keyword, including keyword ordering.
  • Negative phrase: Just like negative exact, but will also block queries that include other words before or after the query.
  • Negative broad: Will block any queries that include all of the words in the negative, no matter the order or whether other words are included in the query. In effect, this is the way you might expect Modified Broad to behave.

Negative keyword targeting doesn’t include close variants – you need to include plural/singular and any common misspellings to block that traffic.

In the end, "+" has no place in your keyword negatives. It's misleading to account managers, and we've even heard of AdWords doing "bad things" with +plussed +negatives. Best to keep it clean!

How does this improvement help?

You'll see this improvement task if we find plussed keywords in you negative keyword lists.

We'll show you all of the plussed negative keywords that can be found in your account. Pushing this improvement will remove all + signs from your negative keywords, converting them to negative broad keywords.

Did this answer your question?