150+ Negative Keywords for Software Selling AdWords Campaigns

Selling software over the Internet with Google AdWords has a lot of traps that we should learn to avoid as good as possible, so that our ads reach more targeted prospects every day. One of the trickiest aspects we should be in control of is the use of negative keywords, because they are the toughest candidate for wasting our money and for getting on the nerves of Google users, as it was eloquently explained by Linda Bustos on Get Elastic blog.

Negative keywords in your AdWords keyword list are those for which your ads will not show in search queries containing them.  You can get the general information about negative keywords directly from the AdWords blog.

When you’re trying to sell software through PPC campaigns, your goal is to obtain qualified leads to your software selling business, not to get as much and as untargeted traffic as possible. And that’s when negative keywords come in. Or out, actually:).

How do you know which negative keywords are right for your campaign?

Although it’s somewhat easy to describe what your software is and does and thus come up with keywords for your AdWords campaign, the semantic mix-up generated by users around the globe always has some surprises reserved for each of your campaigns.

No matter how hard you try to associate all possible negative keywords to your campaign, there will always be room for more. That’s because beyond what your software does not do and what names it does not have, search terms used on millions of computers accessing Google every day have as limit the sky itself.

That is why enriching the negative keyword list must be an on-going activity for every effective PPC campaign out there.

Depending on the type of software you are selling, some search terms used in Google simply are not good for business because they are not targeting the people who are interested in your solutions.  I really liked the post written by Alwin Hoogerdijk about negative keywords specific to the software industry and felt I can add to it.

That’s why in this blog post I have listed more than 150 negative keywords that I believe could be used in a software selling campaign (from our experience managing PPC campaigns for our clients and for ourselves, as well as from an inspiring article on b2b negative keywords from komarketingassociates.com).

Nevertheless, don’t take it for granted – consider them as a starting point, as they are not meant to be general guidelines for each and every piece of software out there.

Here goes the negative keyword list for selling software:

Crack hunters
activation key
bittorrent
broken
burn
burner
cd
cd key
code
crack
cracked
cracks
crackz
disk
dvd
easyshare
faulty
hac
hack
hacked
hacks
image
key gen
key generator
key gens
keygen
keygens
keygenz
keymaker
license
license key
licensekey
password
patch
patches
pirate
pirate key
pirated
rapid share
rapidshare
reg key
registration
registration codes
registration key
regkey
serial
serial key
serial number
serials
serialz
shortcut
shortcuts
torrent
torrents
torrentz
unlock
unlocking
validation
wares
warez
Researchers
about
bad review
case studies
case study
community
comparison
comparisons
contest
creating
define
definition
error
example
forum
help
how-to
info
information
instruction guide
instructions
journal
journals
manual
model
negative review
picture
pictures
tutorials
user manual
video
project
review
reviews
support
tip
tips
tutorial

Web/mobile
api
appz
desktop
iphone
mobile
pda
web
web based
webbased

Operating system
apple
linux
mac
macintosh
microsoft
os x
osx
unix
windows

Jobs hunters
career
careers
hiring
job
jobs

Developers
ajax
c++
dbase
delphi
developer
developers
DIY
do-it-yourself
excel
file
filemaker
files
flash
fox
java
libraries
library
mdb
mysql
open source
php
sample
schema
sheet
source
spreadsheet
sql
template
templates
vb
visual basic
xls
xml
xsl

Freebies hunters
bargain
amazon
cheap
close out
close outs
closeout
closeouts
discount
discounted
eastbay
free
freebie
freebsd
freeware
giveaway
gnu
gratis
gratuit
kostenlos
no charge
no cost
retail
retailer
retailers
price
prices
pricing



Please add your suggestions to this list!

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Roxana Patrichi

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Roxana Patrichi

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22 Responses to “150+ Negative Keywords for Software Selling AdWords Campaigns”

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  4. Mircea Popescu Says:

    Some of these seem a great way to leave money on the table.

  5. Paid Search Advice & List of Negative Keywords « Affiliate Marketing Blog Says:

    [...] this morning, Roxana Patrichi of Avangate published a list of 150+ negative keywords for software selling AdWords campaigns. This reminded me of one of the questions that I was asked in a recent interview to Affilorama. I [...]

  6. Dan Hite Says:

    The best cost savings measure I’ve found with regards to Adwords is to just not bother. I have tried twice with two different products and two different “Adwords Pros” managing campaigns (one who makes his living doing it and another who is amateur but has been highly successful with Adwords promoting his own products) and both times I lost money.

    I’d love to see an article on Adwords that looks in depth into the question of when Adwords is worth using and when it is not (based on product, target user base, price of product, etc.)!

  7. Adriana Iordan Says:

    Thank you Dan for your comment,

    I don’t know exactly the situation of your AdWords account managers, so I won’t comment on it, but from what I have noticed, there are a few ways of testing whether a product can be advertised through AdWords or not.

    I would recommend testing AdWords for a month with a minimum investment, let’s say 100$: set tracking codes on the BUY action (make sure you add the code on the Thank you page) and set your goal to have a cost per conversion smaller that the actual price of the product and make sure to follow the account daily.

    After the first month, if you choose to continue and notice that things don’t go as planned, you can just pause the campaign until you rethink your strategy (this is one of the most beautiful parts of AdWords, unlike most of the other advertising channels – that you can pause it in the moment you feel like it:).

    Of course, AdWords performance also depends on the product quality, on the need for it on the targeted market, on how well is the campaign targeted and so on.

    We will try to create a report on industries that don’t mix well with AdWords from our experience. In the meantime, if you want to, I would be happy to take a look at your AdWords account (no strings attached) and offer you my opinion on your specific case. Contact me at adriana dot iordan @ avangate dot com if you’re interested.

  8. Andy Brice Says:

    I actually get quite a lot of conversions for searches including the word “free”, so I don’t have it as a negative keyword.

  9. Adriana Iordan Says:

    Andy, thanks for adding your comment. I believe that when targeting downloads for a software, especially when the trial converts to sale is useful to add keywords around the “free trial”, “free download” etc.
    But then again if the cost per conversion (tracking sale) on the keywords including “free” is higher than the price of the software, I would add it as a negative keyword. It is all about testing and measuring of course.

  10. Uri - Pay Per Performance Marketing Says:

    Hey Dan,

    Despite your experience Adwords is a wodnerful way of promoting your product/services online and frankly nothing comes close to gathering data quickly about your prospects and customers.

    There are NO shortage of companies and amatuers that say they CAN when they CAN’T..

    Negative keywords are key to your success, and having a firm that understand the ins/outs of this industry is key as well….

    You can go trial & error and still win, but it will cost you..

    Good luck and great post..

  11. Web Marketing Services Says:

    Hi

    Good Information about the negative keywords.

  12. Bill4Time Says:

    That list was awesome! Thanks so much. Another way to find negative keywords is to start typing your target keywords and see what Google automatically suggests for you.
    —————-
    Jessica at Bill4Time.com

  13. Steve Says:

    Hi there, thanks for a great article. Negative Keywords can save you a lot of money, or if you are willing to keep your PPC spend the same, can make you a lot of money!

    Defining negative keywords can be a long, slow arduous task. Either by guesswork or by trawling through loads of enquiry data, most businesses just do not have the time to search for irrelevant keywords and simply end up with a few negative words in their campaigns.

    We’ve personally fallen foul of not implementing negative keywords which is why we built a great solution to automate the whole negative keyword process. You can check it out at KeywordTerminator.com and also pick up our Free White Paper, Be Positive – Go Negative.

    Cheers, Steve

  14. Karn from My Online Business Strategy Says:

    Hi,

    Great list however there is one negative term I believe you have missed. Which is “but”. This word seems to have been negative in all sales testing for me.

    The negative keywords could become handy when you want to make ugly ads for testing purposes. Many traffic tools including Google’s Keyword tool are inacurate. A cool way to gauge real traffic from any keyword is to bid enough to just get on the first page/7th then you can very easily gauge the traffic for the top positions for that keyword.

    Thank you for this information, it will make my campaigns cheaper with less clicks.

  15. Jack@MLM Software Says:

    Negative keywords in your AdWords keyword list are those for which your ads will not show in search queries containing them. You can get the general information about negative keywords directly from the AdWords blog.

  16. Roberts Says:

    Great list, thanks so much. With this list and a few others I have put together a huge list of things negatives to consider. Great post.

  17. commercial van Says:

    I agree till this time, optimize negative keyword on website that make your site have thousand visitor a days, the common problem is most people who search about negative keyword is from 3rd country ( europe and us I think below 10%). I ever created website about hot chick photos and new video game crack 2 years ago getting over 16k visitor every day.other problem is I CAN NOT make money from them, other side I must deep pick up money from my pocket because hosting can’t handle.

    people who find negative keyword usually act like this find what they want find it they will click, not find they will close immediately.

    If we proud about “hey, my visitor over 10K today” built site with negative keyword. make money no guarantee. if want create negative keyword website lik crack, serial number, hot chick, use free blog service (no need money for hosting), and put link to your money site. usually 3-8% visitor will click that link.

    just my experience.

    cheers, Kaka

  18. Peter Says:

    Hi Roxana
    Wow what a list. I am not sure if I should thank you for it or not. Only joking. No wonder my campaigns have not done as well as I would have hoped. Have used many of these negative keywords without knowing they were not going to perform for me.
    Always learning. Seriously, I do thank you for the post.

  19. Chas AUPDK Says:

    Thanks for an awesome article. Good work!

  20. Saurabh Sharma Says:

    The list is prepared after a long research and I found them really helpful.

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  22. Pete Says:

    Didn’t know much about negative keywords but your content it makes sense. Linda Bustos blog “Get Elastic” provided a good perspective as well, particularly what shesaid about why Google wants us to use Negative Keywords. Pretty simple really but understandable. All about making money.
    Oldie but goodie…thanks

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