Have your text ads been disapproved for editorial or trademark violations? If you did everything correctly, why are you getting yelled at by Google? AdWords never immediately informs you, too many text ads to review at one time. They have algorithms that will detect your text ad if you have violated their policy. The detection is always after the fact and with not much information on why. Very frustrating!
Of course, you receive a friendly email from Google with the subject line; Your Google Ads account has multiple violations! Don’t ignore this email, because AdWords will disable your account if the violation continues. The best way to avoid this heartache, and account downtime, is to thoroughly understand the Google Ads Policy. Below are some tips that should be top of mind for all PPC experts.
Google Advertising Policy
Google’s ad policy outlines a set of guidelines that advertisers must follow when creating and running ads on Google’s platform. Some common violations of Google’s ad policy include:
- Misleading or deceptive content: Ads that contain false, misleading, or deceptive claims are prohibited. This includes ads that promote fake products or services, make false claims about prices or discounts, or use misleading headlines or images.
- Inappropriate content: Ads that promote illegal or harmful products or services, such as drugs, tobacco, or weapons, is prohibited. Ads that contain adult content or hate speech are also prohibited.
- Trademark infringement: Ads that use trademarks or copyrighted material without permission from the owner are prohibited.
- Unfair targeting: Ads that target specific groups based on their race, ethnicity, religion, or other protected characteristics are prohibited. Ads that discriminate against individuals or groups are also prohibited.
- Landing page violations: Ads that lead to landing pages that are misleading, contain malware, or violate Google’s policies are prohibited.
- Ad placement violations: Ads that are placed on websites that contain inappropriate or offensive content, or that violate Google’s policies, are prohibited.
Violations of Google’s ad policy can result in ads being disapproved, accounts being suspended or terminated, and legal action being taken against advertisers who violate the policy. To avoid violating Google’s ad policy, advertisers should carefully review the policy and ensure that their ads and landing pages comply with all guidelines and restrictions.
Google Policy Change Log
AdWords has volumes upon volumes of both global and country-specific policies that govern every type of advertising offered. Add to that the fact that policy changes frequently in order to keep up with the breakneck pace of the industry. In our modern adult world, wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could install a scrolling alert system in your browser that would keep you apprised of advertising policy changes as they occur?
Guess what: Google has something almost as cool. It’s called the Policy Change Log, and if you aren’t already familiar with it I highly recommend adding a bookmark.
It’s a page that lists advertising policy changes as they occur, or even slightly ahead of their launch. By making it a habit to check this periodically, you can stay ahead of the curve and prevent ads from coming down thanks to unexpected changes in AdWords Policy.
Factor Policy Issues into your PPC Game Plan
The key is to learn how to effectively troubleshoot policy issues, resolve them as quickly as possible, and structure your account so as to prevent ads from coming down in the future.
When you’re undertaking any PPC account improvements, you shouldn’t gut all of your ads and replace them with new ones unless you’re prepared to have everything out of commission for a little while.
Understanding this, as well as the fact that many ads will need to undergo review prior to being eligible to run, you should expect that there could be downtime (either due to review or disapproval of ads) before your new ads are up and running to their full potential. So, if you don’t want to halt all of your advertising, the smart thing to do is to keep a few of your current ads up while you undertake your account ‘renovation.’
So simple, yet it’s amazing how the excitement of an ad overhaul can cause hiccups when an overzealous PPC account manager ‘spring cleans’ everything too early.
In the United States, the first thing to note about AdWords Trademark Policy is that it only governs ad text, and does not affect keywords. As they mention frequently, Google wishes to allow advertisers as much freedom as possible in the selection of their keywords, and they do not monitor trademarked terms in keywords in this country. This means that if you are a trademark owner and are upset that a competitor’s ad is showing up when your trademarked term is entered into the Google search bar—sorry, you’re out of luck.
The next question to answer is how Google monitors trademarks in the ad text. If you have not registered your trademarked term with Google and requested that they monitor it, your trademark will not be monitored. Period! Due to what I assume is a limitation of resources, Google does not proactively search out trademarked terms to keep on file for monitoring, and therefore you must submit a TM complaint in order to begin the monitoring process.
Be sure to keep up on Google Advertising Policy and it’s continued changes, especially if you’re working across countries and in specific industries.