Definite Guide to Google Display Ads – Exclusions

google display ads -exclusions

Display Ads Exclusions are the negative keywords of the display network. Targeting in google search is simple and straightforward, hence exclusion has same methodology.

But display network has various tools for targeting & hence many options to exclude in targeting.

Display Ads Exclusions: Why should you use?

google display network exclusions

Option to exclude some part of audience is a powerful thing. Also, nobody gets a perfect targeting in a single attempt. Marketer should always open to experiment until he gets final results.  

Channel’s like google display network which has a larger scale but tedious to laser target. You typically start from large targeting in the beginning and then by serious of exclusions you will have right target audience.

What you can exclude in display network

You can use all the targeting options to exclude as well. Display keywords, placements, topics, interest & re-marketing , Demographics in addition with site category options.

Let’s see how each exclusion options work and how they can be used

Display keywords

google display ads targeting - keywords

It works similar to the display keywords but just opposite.

How it works

If the pages contextually matches with the keywords you entered in exclusions, then your ad copy won’t show in the pages. This helps in excluding the pages that aren’t related to your product/service.

When to use it

If you target website with many pages such as newspapers where you find pages that aren’t related to your product or services. If your selling food, sport is not relevant.

In those cases you can exclude sports pages by using the display negative keywords.  


Placements refer to the url of individual websites. ( example :, ) . If you put a website url in the exclusions, the ads won’t be show on that particular website – if that website was receiving ad impressions in the past.

When to use it

If you use topics targeting or audience targeting, algorithm will automatically show ads on many sites. But if you don’t want to show ads on a particular site, you can exclude that site in the exclusions.


google display ads - topics
google display ads exclusions – topics

Topics exclusions helps advertisers to exclude bunch of irrelevant yet similar kind of websites. In google display network topics contains the collection of sites. For example if you choose  “Beauty & Fitness” topics, all the sites that comes under Beauty & fitness topics will be excluded.

When to use it

While targeting a larger set of audience, this exclusions comes handy. You can easily make educated guess on the topics which aren’t related to your product/service. You can put that topic in exclusions and save thousands of dollars of ad budget.

Interest & Re marketing

Interest & re-marketing is basically contains two types of targeting. One is cold audience which is audience. Another one is warn audience which is re-targeting or a list.

How to use re-targeting list in exclusions

Most common ways of using the re-targeting list in the exclusions is to exclude the converted users while running a re-targeting campaign.

But using this is list in exclusions is all about business requirements and your creativity. You can exclude any list based on the situations.

How to use audience in exclusions

Audience in google display network is all about people. If a type of people to whom which your promotion would be irrelevant, can be excluded by this.

For example, if your selling investments services, you can probably exclude audience who are very much in entertainment.

Demographics exclusions

Demographics targeting -google display

This is a broader level of exclusion. You can exclude people based on the age, gender and  parental status.

Site category exclusions

Site category options is only the exclusion option that wasn’t in targeting. All the other exclusions options display keywords, topics, interest & remarketing, placements & demographics are present in targeting too.

Site category exclusions are broader and enable you to exclude irrelevant sites in a click. In general the categories are largely irrelevant and you can choose what to exclude.

It has six major categories:
  • Gmop
  • Ad location
  • Type of placement
  • Video content
  • Sensitive content
  • Digital content label

Gmob :

This is the ads that can be show in the mobile apps. You can exclude those in the site category options. Or else you call exclude a placement which is .

Ad location

If you don’t want your ads to suffocate in the bottom of the website. You can exclude the below fold placements in this option.

Type of Placement

You can prevent your ads from showing on the parked domains and error pages by excluding the same in site category options. In also has options to exclude in-games pages and gambling related content exclusions.

Sensitive content

This is very explicit. You can prevent your ads showing in the sensitive pages by using this option.

Digital content label

If your selling something very specific to adults , you use content label to filter out other type of labels.

By yathav

I'm very passionate about technology, marketing & analytics. Using WordPress and working on blogging & search engine optimization for almost 8+ years, I'd like to share my thoughts, hacks and best practices about what i do professionally & what I experience.

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