Here is A Coronavirus Placement Exclusion List for Google Ads

how to exclude placement lists in google ads

After a client requested that we pull their ads off of as many news sites as possible because of the increasing Covid-19 Pandemic, we thought it made sense to cease marketing to these unique web pages as people seek out information about the pandemic. Therefore we compiled this placement list from ZATO clients of various news organizations websites to exclude, and thought we would share it with the broader PPC community. Feel free to add them in as exclusions if you feel so inclined.

PLEASE NOTE: these are by no means comprehensive lists and we are updating it as we go, and there may be holes in this list. If you have your own list that you think would be helpful to add and you would be willing to share it, please email it to [email protected] so we can investigate it.

Excluding website URLs at the account level in Google Ads is quite easy.

You can add placement lists here:


how to exclude placement lists in google ads





>> Access the List: News Org URLs to Exclude in Google Ads

Note the above link will take you to a shared Google Drive spreadsheet.

To compile this first list, we identified placement exclusions by filtering for words such as:

  • post
  • herald
  • times
  • news
  • gazette

We realize that there will be some level of over-exclusion here, but we figured this was a good place to start for clients who would to initially pull out of News Org ad placements during this increased tragic event.




>> Access the List: Coronavirus URLs to Exclude in Google Ads

Note the above link will take you to a shared Google Drive spreadsheet.

We also began to pull together a second exclusion list of the most common Website URLs including words like:

covid-19 coronavirus placement exclusions for Google Ads

  • pandemic
  • coronavirus
  • covid19

However, as you can see from the list, our ability to search out these placements appearing in our clients was constrained. I think that’s probably a good thing, since it could mean there haven’t been a ton of people taking advantage of those terms to make money on AdSense. However, it could also be that we haven’t found them yet and they’re out there.

If you have your own list of these terms in URLs and want to share them, please email it to [email protected] so we can investigate.



A few other factors to be aware of here:

Important Ecommerce Note:

If you utilize Smart Shopping Campaigns, make sure to add these in as account level placement exclusions, *not* just as a placement exclusion list since Exclusion Lists don’t currently play nice with Google Smart Shopping Campaigns.

More information for adding these in as account level exclusions can be found in our post here: How to Exclude Placements in Google Smart Shopping Campaigns


Make sure to also exclude Content at an Account Level: 

Don’t forget that Google does have the option to exclude your entire account from various, non-specific entities in the Content Exclusions. That can be found here:

exclude topics account level in google ads



Interesting News Site Conversion Observation

This is more anecdotal than anything else. But if anything, going over a bunch of news placements filtered out in the GDN has shown me one thing… News Org placements don’t typically convert very well as it is!  Even if you don’t think it’s the right call for your company to exclude all News placements for the Coronavirus Pandemic, you may want to investigate excluding this list for the profit itself you may gain.



Suggestion for Google Ads on adding individual URL word exclusions

Lastly, I’ll jump up on a soapbox, albeit small, and use this chance to again request that Google Ads allow for individual keyword exclusions within placement lists, for *exactly* times like this. If we could simply add in the keyword “coronavirus” so any URL that includes that word in it is automatically excluded… that would go a long way in easing troubled executive minds during an already stressful event. Food for thought!


So there you have it, I hope that is helpful to you in this difficult time. Use them if you want, share them if you find this post valuable.

Stay Healthy!