New Google Policy from Oct 15

These are obvious things: but Google’s not really been enforcing on these specific elements until now.

What rules are being enforced by Google after the October AdWords policy update?

  • Ads and keywords must directly relate to content on the landing page or the topic/business model of a site
  • Products or services mentioned in an ad must be featured on the landing page
  • Generalised call-to-action phrases, such as ‘Click Here’ or ‘Click +1’ must not be used
  • Ads cannot have missing lines of text or extreme spacing
  • Poor grammar or illogical adtext will be punished
  • Sites with interstitial ads which create unexpected pop-up pages are prohibited
  • Sites built solely to display ads won’t be allowed to use AdWords
  • Irrelevant, unclear keyword campaigns could be punished
  • Stock template websites with duplicated content will be penalised
  • Scraped content will be penalised
  • Landing pages featuring ads must ensure the ads are distinguishable from actual content
  • Site navigation must be clear – deceptive structures could be punished
  • Malicious or frustrating websites won’t get paid ads
  • Phone numbers must not be used in sitelinks
  • Ads must not simulate email inbox notifications

What are the penalties for failing to comply with Google AdWords guidelines?

The update is unlikely to have a far-reaching effect immediately: it is slightly different to the algorithmic updates applied to organic search results. Over time, though, Google fully intends to weed out the baddies and prevent them from spoiling the search experience.

The penalties for sites vary.

Google will contact all affected advertisers to explain the update. Advertisers who feel their ads have been punished unfairly can resubmit their ad for review.

  • Initially, AdWords campaigns which don’t comply will be disapproved. The ad won’t run until it is changed and approved.
  • Domains could be suspended. Websites violating the policy may be suspended from running AdWords campaigns.
  • In extreme cases, with multiple or serious violations of the policy, accounts will be banned completely – all ads stopped and Google may choose to disallow further AdWords usage in future. Related accounts may also be suspended, permanently, and new accounts could be suspended immediately.

The clear message here? Google is getting tough.

What we can do to protect our campaigns

  • Review your ads and keywords: do they directly relate to your landing page content? If a user clicks your ad, will they see something related to that ad, or just a general company landing page? Relevancy is key.
  • If you’re advertising services or products in your PPC ads, be sure that the user sees these products or services on your landing page after clicking your ad
  • Look at your adtext: are there any gaps or missing lines? Do any of your adtexts run into your URL? Are there spelling mistakes, or examples of bad grammar or poor formatting, like excessive spaces? Have you left any general ‘click here’ calls-to-action in your adtext?
  • If you display phone numbers alongside PPC ads, be sure they use the call extension and not hyperlinks or sitelinks.

My Google Ads have been suspended! How can I get Google to review my AdWords account?

If your ad has been disapproved, you can ask Google to review it. Edit it, remove offending rule-breakers, and save it. If you’ve removed offending items, the ad should be approved. Google aims to review all ads within three working days: there may be a lot of reviews needed in the coming days, so be patient with this if you leave tweaks to the last minute.

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