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Reactive versus proactive negatives

Section 1.1: Reactive versus proactive negatives

We’ll be using the terms “reactive negatives” and “proactive negatives” in this guide.

Reactive negatives

Reactive negatives are those that we’ve added in response to search terms that have already triggered an impression or click for our ads.

For example, let’s say we sell only red roses, and we see the search term “blue roses” has an impression. We then react by adding “blue” as a negative.

There are two main methods we use to find and add reactive negatives:

  • manual search term reviews
  • automated negative ad scripts

Proactive negatives

Proactive negatives are those that we preemptively add in anticipation of search terms that may trigger an impression or click for our ads.

For example, if we only sell red roses, we may add “white”, “yellow”, “black”, “green”, etc., as negatives. We are proactively blocking future possible clicks that we deem as unqualified.

There are three main methods we use to find and add proactive negatives:

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