Negative keywords

Yandex.Direct displays your ads when users enter search queries that contain your complete keyword.

Let's say you sell trips to the moon. An ad with the keyword trip to the moon will be triggered by 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.

Video tutorial. Negative keywords

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How it works

Negative keywords are words or phrases that you do not want to trigger your ads.

Negative keywords can only be added 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.

If there is an entire phrase that you don't want triggering your ads, add negative keywords on the level of a campaign or ad group. Ads will not be served in response to search queries that only contain 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 one of your keywords is trip, and you add the negative keyword Aquarius constellation to the ad group, then ads will still be triggered if a user searches for trip to Taurus constellation.

When negative keywords are completely included in a keyword (i.e., completely overlap), the negative keywords are ignored.

For example, the keyword buy a pink elephant and the negative keyword buy elephant completely overlap because the keyword includes all the words in the negative keyword. The negative keyword will be ignored and ads will be triggered by the search query buy a pink elephant.

The keyword buy a pink elephant and the negative keyword buy cheap overlap partially (only by the word buy). No ads will be triggered by the search query buy a pink elephant cheap.

If you want to exclude a specific form of a word, add it using the ! operator.

How to add negative keywords

You can add negative keywords to keywords, and add negative keyword-phrases to ad groups or campaigns.

Negative keywords added to keywords

On the Keywords tab, specify a negative keyword after a keyword with the - operator.

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 (-). Maximum of 7 words per negative keyword. The maximum number of characters (excluding spaces) is 4096.

Negative keywords for campaigns

Enter comma-separated negative keywords in the Negative keywords section on the campaign parameters page. Maximum of 7 words per negative keyword. 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 triggered by 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 that can trigger an ad. Negative keywords allow you to make sure your ads won't be served on unsuitable sites (such as sites where keywords and negative keywords appear next to one another).

For example, let's say you sell new laptops and place ads on 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 how to repair keyboards or choose a new laptop.

Additionally, negative keywords allow you to specify your ad's subject so that it is not served to users who are not interested in your product or service. Only use negative keywords if you are certain that you are not cutting out your target audience.

For example, a lot of people look up reviews before purchasing a laptop and check out sites with related content. If you want these people to see your ad, you shouldn't add negative keywords like forum, review, or feedback.

We recommend creating a separate ad campaign to get the most out of your ad placements in networks.

Use operators in negative keywords

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

Keyword

Negative keyword for ad group

Ads that will/will not display

guitar
-bass with frets

guitar with frets

fretted guitar

bass guitar with frets

fretted bass guitar

bed
-children's with canopy

children's bed

bed with canopy

canopy for bed

bed for children with canopy

children's bed with canopy

wooden children's bed with white canopy

computer mouse
-laser gaming

laser computer mouse

gaming computer mouse

laser gaming computer mouse

gaming computer mouse with laser sensor

radio-controlled toy car
-toy car
radio-controlled toy car
radio-controlled car
-toy car
radio-controlled toy car
guitar
-guitar +with!frets

fretted guitar

fretted bass guitar

guitar with frets

bass guitar with frets

how to play a guitar with frets

bed
-children's +with !canopy

children's bed without canopy

canopy for children's bed

bed with canopy

bed for children with canopy

children's bed with canopy

wooden children's bed with white canopy

computer mouse
-+with !laser sensor

computer mouse with optical sensor

laser mouse

computer mouse with laser sensor

gaming computer mouse with laser sensor

radio-controlled toy car
-toy !car

buy radio-controlled toy car

radio-controlled toy car

guitar
-[fretted guitar]

bass guitar

bass guitar with frets

buy fretted guitar

fretted guitar photo

wardrobe
-[with built-in bed]

bed with built-in wardrobe

wardrobe with built-in bed

computer mouse
-[mouse with wheel]

computer mouse with sensor instead of wheel

wheel for computer mouse

computer mouse with side wheel

guitar
-"bass guitar with frets" 

bass guitar

guitar with frets

bass guitar with frets

fretted bass guitar video

bass guitar video
-"bass guitar video" 

video bass guitar

bass guitar video

bed
-"children's bed with canopy" 

bed for nursery

children's bed

children's bed with canopy

children's bed without canopy

computer mouse
-"computer mouse with wheel" 

computer mouse with sensor instead of wheel

computer mouse

wheel for computer mouse

computer mouse with wheel