Negative keywords

Yandex.Direct shows your ads for search queries that match your complete keyword.

Let's say you sell trips to the moon. An ad with the keyword trip to the moon is displayed for the query buy a trip to the moon, but also for less relevant queries such as books about trips to the moon and the first trip to the moon.

To prevent Yandex.Direct from serving ads for non-relevant searches, add negative keywords.

Tutorial video. How to set up negative keywords

Watch video

How it works

Negative keywords are words or phrases that you do not want your ads to be shown for.

Negative keywords can be added only to keywords. For example, if you add the negative keyword books to the keyword trip to the moon, your ad won't be shown to users who search for books about trips to the moon.

To prevent ads from being served for a keyword entirely, add negative keywords to a campaign or ad group. Ads will not be served in response to search queries that contain only negative keywords. However, an ad can be served for search queries that only contain some of the words in the negative keyword.

For example, if you have the keyword trip, and you add to negative keyword Aquarius constellation to the ad group, then ads will be served for trip to Taurus constellation.

When negative keywords completely overlap with keywords, the negative keywords will be ignored. If you want to exclude a specific form of a word, add it with the ! operator to the negative keywords for a keyword.

How to add negative keywords

You can add negative keywords to keywords, ad groups or campaigns.

Negative keywords for keywords

Indicate negative keywords after a keyword by using the - operator. To add a new keyword with its own list of negative keywords, separate it from the previous keyword with a comma.

Negative keywords for ad groups

In the Negative keywords in group section on the ad group editing page, enter negative keywords separated by commas or the minus sign (-). The number of words for one keyword cannot exceed seven. The maximum number of characters (excluding spaces) is 4096.

Negative keywords for campaigns

In the Keyword optimization → Negative keywords section on the campaign parameters page, enter words or phrases separated by commas or a minus sign (-). The number of words for one keyword cannot exceed seven. The maximum number of characters (excluding spaces) is 20,000.

Negative keywords at the keyword level work together with negative keywords at the ad group or campaign level. They do not replace each other. If negative keywords are set at the keyword level as well as at the ad group and campaign levels, they are all applied to the keyword together, so there won't be impressions for any of the negative keywords.

To add negative keywords to multiple ads at once, you can use XLS/XLSX files, multiple amendments in multi-editing, Direct Commander, or the Yandex.Direct API.

Negative keywords when serving ads in ad networks

In ad networks, keywords determine the site content and user interests, in accordance with which an ad can be served. Negative keywords allow you to exclude ads from being served on unsuitable sites (such as sites where keywords and negative keywords are seen next to one another).

For example, you sell new laptops and place an ad through Yandex.Direct. If you add the negative keyword repair to the keyword laptops, then an ad will not be served on forum pages where users discuss the repair of laptops (because on such pages the word laptop will be used with the word repair ). However, this ad may be served on other forum pages about laptops, where users discuss repairing keyboards or choosing a new laptop.

In addition, negative keywords allow you to specify the subject of your ad, so that it is not served to users who are not interested in it. Use negative keywords only if you are certain that you are not cutting off your target audience.

For example, before purchasing a laptop, people frequently look up reviews by other people and check out sites with related content. If you want to show these people your ad, it is not necessary to add the negative keywords like forum, review, or feedback.

To get the most out of ad placement in ad networks, it's recommended that you create a separate ad campaign.

Using operators in negative keywords

Negative keywords support the operators " ", [], ! and +.


Negative keyword for a group

When we show ads

-grey with dapples

grey horse

horse with dapples

buy a horse in dapple grey

buy a grey horse in dapples

-grey +with !dapples

grey dappled horse

grey horses or dapples

grey horse with white dapples

grey cat and horse with dapples

how to breed grey dappled horses

-[grey with dapples]

dapple grey horse video

grey horse with dapples

buy horse grey with dapples

grey dapples horse photo

"grey dappled horse" 

dapple grey horse video

grey horse

dappled grey horse

grey dapples horse

grey with dapples
-"grey with dapples" 

dappled grey

grey with dapples