Over the past couple weeks Microsoft adCenter has been making several changes for the 2011 holiday season. Most of the changes are centered around their user interface and making the account easier to use. In their most recent update, exact match negative keywords are now live in adCenter.
The negative keyword management face-lift is only available in the most recent version 8.1.111 of the Desktop editor, UI, and API. This release is designed to help simplify account management, performance, and work much like how AdWords handles negative keywords. You have the option to enter one negative keyword per link in the [keyword] = Exact match negative keyword and "keyword" = Phrase match negative keyword.
To implement exact match keywords in your adCenter account, you'll need to drum down into the account level you wish to add negatives. Next, select the negative keywords column. This is located on the right side of the interface. Find, Advanced Settings options located at the bottom. Expand the negative keywords section. After this you can add your different negative and phrase keywords.
With this update, you’ll have to migrate all of your negatives from the keyword level to ad group level or campaign level using your Negative Keyword Migration Wizard in the Desktop editor. Another way: in adCenter's web UI, copy and paste your list of keyword-level negative keywords into an Excel or .CSV file, then import the list at the campaign level.
You can no longer attribute phrase match negatives on the keyword level. It's no longer supported by adCenter.
I tried out the exact match negative keywords on one of my accounts over the weekend and it worked out nicely, providing great results for my client (a 5 percent increase in conversions and 10 percent reduction in account costs).
Because this option hasn't been available in the past, advertisers had to come up with strategies to work around this issue. This is a step for Microsoft Advertising adCenter to help advertisers have much more control over their accounts while simplifying account management. As account managers we'll have to review our negative keyword strategies and implement them.