When Should I Use Negative Exact vs Negative Phrase on Amazon Ads?

Mike Zagare
Founder PPC Entourage
September 23, 2020
2 min read

Using negative targeting is a powerful way to control how your budget is spent and where your ads are shown.


When using negative keywords, it is important to understand the differences between Negative Exact and Negative Phrase match types, and when to use each.

“When do I use negative phrase?

When do I use negative exact?”

Using negative exact keywords will block the connection between your target and the search term exactly as added. If you add “grill brush” as a negative exact, you will no longer be served for “grill brush” but may still be served for “brush for grill.”


Using negative phrase match has a larger impact, but also comes with additional risk. Any search term containing the word you’ve added as a negative phrase will be blocked, so it is important to be careful when utilizing this way of optimizing.


For great results, use negative phrase on single words that are consistently found in irrelevant search terms. For example, if you sell grill brushes, but Amazon serves your ad when customers search for hair brushes, you can add the word “hair” as a negative phrase.


Using fewer negatives can help to increase impressions, so using negative phrase match is a great way to block many irrelevant search terms with a single optimization.


Negative Exact is more useful when there is not a single, identifiable word that is causing wasteful ad spend. If you have to add a full search term as a negative keyword, negative exact is usually the safest and  most effective method.

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