Adalysis will warn you if search terms have shown from 2 or more adgroups (you will see the alert on your Dashboard, under Audit Alerts / Search Terms). It’s best to only have a search term show from one adgroup to maintain ad serving control. You will see alerts for your Search, as well as Shopping campaigns.

Clicking on the alert you will see the sets of duplicate terms along with performance metrics and the cannibalization rate indicating how significantly the impressions for a search term are diluted across different ad groups. The higher the cannibalization rate, the more attention you should pay to the issue. 

Note: Duplicate search terms are reported at the campaign level only (not the account level). 

1. Analyze duplicate search terms 

In order to solve the keyword cannibalization issue, you need to add search terms as negatives to ad groups that are less relevant and efficient for a given search term.

Clicking on any set of duplicate search terms you will see the additional data for each term - performance metrics to give you insights about which ad group has shown better performance for a specific search term, as well as two additional important columns:

  • Added as keyword? This column (only available for search terms from Search campaigns) shows you if this keyword already exists in this ad group. If you hover on the 'Yes' value, you will also see the match type of the added keyword. If the keyword hasn't yet been added to any of the ad groups, you can do this by selecting the most relevant ad group and clicking on the plus icon in the Added as keyword? column.

  • Matched keywords. This column (only available for search terms from Search campaigns) will give you an overview of which keywords and which ads were triggered for the search term, along with performance and Quality Score data. 

All this data will help you identify whether or not the search term should be added as a negative keyword to some of the ad groups it was triggering. Use the icon in the Add as negative keyword column to add search terms to your negative keyword list. 

After clicking on the icon, you will see the preview of the negative keyword(s) you are about to add. By default, the chosen search terms are suggested as negative keywords in the exact match at the ad group level. In the preview of the negative keywords, you will be able to change the match type and the level where a negative should be added.  

Once your negative keyword list is ready, click on Add Negative Keywords to push the changes to your Google Ads account.

The system will warn you if you accidentally try to add a search term as a negative keyword to an adgroup where this term already exists as a keyword in the same match type. If you decide to remove the added keywords from the ad group, you can do so without leaving the report, as clicking on the ad group name will open a new tab where you can remove the keywords leading to the conflict. 


2. Work with multiple sets of duplicate search terms 

If you have a certain strategy for organizing your work with search terms, you can add duplicate search terms as negative keywords across multiple sets of duplicate search terms at once. 

To do that, select the sets you want to work with and click on the button Add as a negative keyword the duplicate search term. You now will be able to select the criteria for whether a search term should be added as negative or not. For example, you may want to add search terms as negative keywords to all ad groups which produced the lowest CTR or brought fewer conversions. In this case, from now on, the search term will only be eligible to show for the winning ad group.  

Alternatively, you can choose to add as negative keywords all the search terms that are not already defined as keywords in the adgroups they are triggering (only available for search terms from Search campaigns and not from Shopping campaigns). This will allow you to make sure that a specific search term only shows for the adgroup where you originally added it as a keyword. 

Please note: suggestions for negative keywords, in this case, will only be produced if the search term exists as a keyword in any adgroups. If a search term doesn't exist in the campaign as a keyword, you may consider adding it as a keyword to any of the existing ad groups or create a new one.