Don't miss out! Check out our limited-time SEO service promo

How to Use the Shared Library Negative Keyword Lists

Claudio Dominguez

10 years ago



A proper negative keyword strategy is an essential element of your AdWords campaign as it excludes irrelevant search terms to trigger your ads.

If you need to learn how to implement negative keywords in general, our CMO, Andrew Lolk, wrote a great blog post on how negative keywords work.

When you get to the point where you are running several campaigns, you will realize that managing all the negative keywords you have across your campaigns is harder than it seems. At this point, you will find Shared Library negative keyword lists valuable.

What Are Shared Library Negative Keyword Lists?

You can think of Shared Library Negative Keyword Lists as a central list of negative keywords that you want to apply to two or more campaigns. They will allow you to better manage your negative keywords when it makes sense to add them across multiple campaigns. You will have to pick generic negative keywords that can easily apply to several campaigns, and subsequently to every ad group inside those campaigns.

You will be able to divide your lists by type of negative keywords, and you can have up to 5000 negative keywords per list and up to 20 lists per account. This should give you enough room to be able to come up with a good amount of negative keywords and properly divide them into categories.

How to Create Shared Library Negative Keyword Lists

When you create a Shared Library Negative Keyword List, the hard part is to come up with a proper list of negative keywords and all the research that is needed to gather as many negative keywords as you can. For some ideas on this, Derek Hooker shared the three Main AdWords Strategies for Finding Negative Keywords that he uses.

Once you have a good list of negative keywords, you can proceed to create your shared library negative keywords lists.

The negative keywords list will be created at the account level on Shared library > Campaign negative keywords:

Step 1
Step 2


Step 3


Once you create your list, you just need to select the campaigns you want to apply it to. Be careful with the lists you implement on each campaign. Not all the negative keywords that could apply in one campaign apply to another one. You don’t want to be excluding search terms that may be relevant for some of your campaigns.

In order to apply a list to your campaigns, select the list, click on Apply to campaigns and select the campaigns that you want to apply it to.



And that should be it. Your negative keyword list is now part of every selected campaign. Any negative keyword that you add to this list will also take a part of the campaign where the specific list is implemented. You will even have the option to add negative keywords to this list from the Search Term Report.

Creating and Separating Your Negative Keyword Lists:

It is a best practice for you to properly divide your negative keyword lists. Even if you only come up with the most general and broad irrelevant terms, it is a good idea to get them divided in specific negative keyword lists. This will allow you to have better control of your negative keywords and to only implement the lists that are more relevant for specific campaigns. Some ideas on how to divide your negative keywords lists may be the following:

By Type

You could divide your negative keywords by the type of negative keywords they are; from general ones to the ones specific to products, brands or your company itself. Some examples of these could be these:

  • General keywords – Applicable to any campaign (i.e: Facebook, Google, blog, social media, chat room).
  • Brands (i.e: Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Samsung, Sony, Nokia, HTC, nexus).
  • Products (i.e: cellphones, mobile devices, tablets, PDAs, digital agendas).

By Intent

You need to have the buying funnel and your goals into consideration whenever you are determining your keywords; the same could be said for your negative keywords.

Because of this, it will be a good idea to divide your negative keyword lists by search intent. For campaigns where you expect a direct response, you should add negative keywords that have an informational intent; and for promoting a blog you may want to add negative keywords with commercial intent. Something like this:

  • Informational (i.e: how to, what does it mean, definition, do it yourself, DIY, faqs, guides).
  • Commercial (i.e: buy, order, purchase, acquire).
  • Low-end products (i.e: cheap, affordable, wholesale, discount, promotion).
  • Signups (i.e: subscribe, signup, enroll).

By Application

Some of your campaigns may have something in common. For instance, for an account advertising apparel, you may have one campaign for Women’s Shoes and one for Men’s Shoes, these may share the same negative keywords and they could be as following:

  • Popular Shoe Brands (i.e: reebok, hush puppies, Nike, Under Armour).
  • Competing Shoe Stores (i.e: foot locker, Macy’s, Nike store, ross).

For an account advertising electronics, you may have similar negative keywords in the TV campaign and the Monitors’ campaign. These may look like these:

  • Brands you don’t sell (i.e: RCA, Samsung, Sony, TCL).
  • Sizes you don’t sell (i.e: “40 inches”, “42 inches”, “50 inches”).

By Audience

You could also divide your negative keyword lists by the type of audiences you want to exclude.

If you are selling products like video games, apparel, or other products that are audience-specific; you might want to exclude specific audiences if you have specific campaigns by audiences or if you simply don’t sell to all these audiences. In this case, your negative keyword lists could look like these:

  • Kids: (i.e: infants, toddlers, childish, child, kids, underage, pg, pg13, family-safe).
  • Adults (i.e: adult content, mature, rated r, pg18).
  • Beginners: (i.e: beginners, for dummies, noob, newbie, starter).
  • Women: (i.e.: women, girl, female)

Why Are Shared Library Negative Keyword Lists Useful?

To sum things up, Shared Library negative keyword lists can make your life easier when it comes down to having large negative keyword lists across several campaigns. They will allow you to properly divide your negative keywords, keep good control over them, and assign them to their appropriate campaigns.

So if you have more than one campaign in your account, start working smart and start creating your own negative keyword lists on the Shared Library. They will surely save you some time down the road.

Free Adwords Book