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How to Add Negative Keywords to Google Performance Max Campaigns

Performance Max (Pmax) campaigns were launched by Google in late 2021 and rolled out to everyone the following year.

They are a goal-based campaign type which heavily use Google’s AI and cover Search, Display, YouTube, Discover, Maps and Gmail in a single campaign.

Unfortunately, the reporting remains very limited. No search terms, no breakdown of which channels provided how many clicks, cost, conversions etc.

As a PPC consultant that isn’t a big fan of brand name bidding, Performance Max laughed in my face by preventing me from excluding clients from appearing for their own brand searches.

So I have always been dubious about where the conversions are coming from. They could be 95% brand name conversions for all I know. The good news is, my initial experience of Performance Max campaigns was that they work really well for ecommerce clients. That’s not the same for B2B and Lead Gen in my experience though.

Then one day I discovered that our Google Reps were able to add negative keywords at account level. And as you can image, conversion rate and cost per conversion of these campaigns bombed off once I excluded my clients’ own names from these campaigns.

One would guess Google Reps have been bombarded with similar queries. That’s because, as of today, Google have rolled out the ability for us to add our own negative keywords at account level.

Google themselves explain:

“Account-level negative keywords enable you to exclude search terms from campaigns serving on search and shopping inventory so you can focus only on what matters most to your customers.

Negative keywords in your account settings enable you to create a single account-level list that applies negative keywords across relevant search and shopping inventory in all campaigns in your account.”