AdWords Policy Explained

AdWords Policy Explained
AdWords Policy Explained

Since many of you have asked me questions related to AdWords Policy, I have decided to dedicate my next articles to this subject.

AdWords terms provide us a complete do and don’t do a list of actions. Google uses this policy when it comes to approve/disapprove any advertisement placed in AdWords, so in a way, this AdWords Policy is Google’s own private bible. However, not like the current one, Google’s bible changes every few weeks/months, so keep coming here for updates.

AdWords advertising requirements are summed up by Google’s Advertising Principles: User ExperienceSafety, and SecurityAccurate AdsTransparency and PrivacyLegal and Google’s Brand.

Let’s dig into the details:

1. User Experience (Advertising should provide a positive experience to users).

Google is concern that some of the Ads we might be using are not suitable for AdWords. They try to protect their users and in the same time, comply with what the FTC is asking them to do. Therefore, they ask the advertisers to only  show users ‘the right ads at the right time’, and declare that ‘that advertising can be effective, engaging, and useful – without being annoying’…

Google cares a lot for their reputation, since when people click on AdWords ads, they trust Google to deliver them only to websites relevant to what they were searching for. Therefore, Google asks the advertiser to send traffic only to destination websites that are original (no double serving, remember) and easy to navigate.

User Experience basically covers three aspects: Ad Format (The format of AdWords ads must follow certain technical and aesthetic requirements), Website Functionality (Landing pages must be functional and easy to navigate) and Website Usefulness (Landing pages must have a useful and distinct experience)

2. Safety and Security (Advertising should be safe for all users)

Google is very clear about User safety. They refuse to do business with those who don’t agree with their terms. Therefore, if you promote or use one of the following methods, your out: Scams, phishing, viruses, trojans, and Malwares. Be aware that the rule id quite simple: make no hard, and don’t damage the visitors.

User safety basically covers four aspects: Malware (‘distribution of software that takes advantage of users’ computers or network resources to disrupt usage, steal information, send spam, commit fraud, or spread malicious software‘), User Deception (‘Advertisers cannot promote products or services that mislead users for financial gain‘), Personal Information Security (Advertisers must use secure servers when collecting users’ personal or financial information) and Webmaster Guidelines (Advertisers cannot trick users using deceptive techniques like phishing)

Ads, websites or products that use such methods, will probably benefit from a short grace period, but then, they will find themselves kicked out, sometimes with a suspension. Dig into your funnel to see if you are not using such.

3. Accurate Ads (Advertising should be accurate and truthful)

Google will check your Ads and Banners to verify that  they are correct and that any factual claims and offers you advertise, should always be credible and correct.

Accurate Ads basically covers two aspects: Relevance, Clarity, and Accuracy (‘ads and keywords must directly and clearly relate to the product or service being advertised‘) and Ad Spam (advertisers cannot exploit the system for financial gain).

Any misleading, inaccurate, and deceitful ads will be disapproved and sometimes lead to a suspension.

4. Transparency and Privacy (Advertising shouldn’t violate users’ trust or privacy)

This also is a Red Flag for Google. They want you to be as clear as possible about who’s behind the Ad, the website and the product.

Transparency and Privacy basically covers four aspects: Information Collection and Use (‘advertisers must clearly disclose and obtain consent for the collection and use of user information‘), Billing Practices (‘all prices and billing practices must be disclosed in a clear, easy-to-understand way.advertisers must get user consent to all payments before processing user payment information‘), Advertiser Authenticity (‘ads and landing pages must display real, accurate information about the advertiser‘) and Software Principles (‘all applications must be upfront and truthful about their usage. For example, ads or landing pages shouldn’t trick people into installing things on their computer‘).

s before, any ads that violate AdWords terms, will be disapproved and sometimes lead to a suspension.

5. Legal (Advertising should comply with laws and regulations)

This section might be sometimes unclear, but use the following simple rules to avoid problems with Google:

– Use Common Sense: avoid from gray areas and think twice before doing anything shady.

– It is your Responsibility, so behave such!

– Respect the list of Restricted Products and Services (partial list only, since some countries, have other limitations, so keep yourself updated):

  • Alcohol
  • Casinos and gambling
  • Fireworks
  • Health care and medicines
  • Drugs and drug paraphernalia
  • Tobacco products
  • Weapons
  • Counterfeit Goods

– Study the Trademark Policy and use it properly (Google allows the use of trademarks only where clearly permissible by law…)

– Understand the Copyright Policy and use it properly (Google prohibits the use of copyrighted material without the consent of the copyright holder, or exceptions permitted by law…)

6. Google’s Brand (Advertising should be compatible with Google’s brand decisions)

Google won’t allow you to do anything that can damage their brand or reputation. They won’t approve ads that promote products and services that are incompatible with “Google’s Values” so keep your common sense on high alert, since this is a mine-field you are stepping in. Read more here

Go to AdWords Policy Center for more details.

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