All You Need To Know About Google’s Dynamic Exclusion Lists

July 14, 2021
Posted in Paid Search
July 14, 2021 Jen Lopez

All You Need To Know About Google’s Dynamic Exclusion Lists

When setting up a new Google Ads account with Display or YouTube campaigns, one of the important items on our team’s checklist is adding in campaign “exclusions” – to help dictate the places that we don’t want our ads to show. Whether some marketers choose to overlook this step or not, for us it’s just as important as telling Google where we DO want our ads to show. 

It has always been a fairly easy and no-brainer process to negate our ads from showing on entire topics, and as we run our campaigns, we continuously view our placement reports and exclude on a site-by-site basis. Using these “advertiser controls” is important to maintaining strong account performance and ensuring the brand is protected from being associated with anything…unsavory…whatever that might be to you.

As the digital landscape continues to grow and evolve though, this process has gotten more intense. New websites and “less than okay” topics pop up often and our team works hard to ensure the brands we represent aren’t showing their ads on any pages we aren’t comfortable with, even if a highly qualified user is engaging on those pages. 

Enter: Dynamic Exclusion Lists.

It seems that the Google Ads team has picked up on the amount of work that it’s been for us to exclude so many new topics and placements, and so in April 2021 they created a new feature that will help streamline this process. Dynamic Exclusion Lists will give users the ability to create an exclusion list themselves or by a third-party they trust (like brand safety organizations) and schedule the list to be automatically updated as new web pages or domains are added. This will ensure that exclusion lists remain effective and current across an entire account, without the need for constant, manual additions.

How To Leverage Dynamic Exclusion lists:

  • Our team intends to look into third-party lists and will be reviewing options from the top brand safety organizations on behalf of the clients we represent who could benefit from this new feature.
  • Anticipate that a cost will be associated with any third-party lists, and do your due diligence in regards to cost comparison and a cost-benefit analysis. Remember, this feature is still new, and you may be given the opportunity to test some lists out in your account before purchasing.
  • Look for white hat solutions. While the information may be “secret,” we intend to at least get a sample list of excluded websites and would ideally like to understand the full list, as well as what ongoing exclusions are being added
  • Continuously monitor your accounts if you add any lists like this – watch for performance changes to ensure nothing really profitable was inadvertently excluded.

How have you used the new Dynamic Exclusion Lists since they went live? Do you anticipate building these out for your Google Ads accounts? Why or why not? We’d love to hear more, drop us a comment below.