Google, Take Me Out To The Ball Game
By Jarrod Adams
If you work with the Google Ads platform on a consistent basis, you’ve dealt with policy restrictions, limitations, and disapproved ads. These are responses to restrictions in categories such as Housing, Credit, Personal Loans, Recruitment and even Addiction Services. With these restrictions come limitations to your location, demographic, and audience targeting capabilities. This can certainly hinder your campaign performance and applies to most tactics under the Google Ads Umbrella. Google has recently stated that they plan to take it one step further with their proposed “three-strikes” policy.
The Ball Game
Now, this new enforcement policy will realistically only apply to a few accounts based on the violations. Plus, these ad types are currently prohibited already. Prohibited ad types range from promotion of hacking services, tobacco, drugs, weapons. The technical terminology includes Enabling Dishonest Behavior, Unapproved Substances, and Dangerous Products or Services. Google has defined a clear path to account suspension starting with a warning followed by, you guessed it, 1, 2, and 3 strikes.
A Bad Call
Speaking from experience, Google has provided a bad call and flagged/disapproved our ads on multiple occasions. None have been related to the violations mentioned above, however, the point is Google can certainly make mistakes. One such occurrence includes ads for Physical Therapy (Rehab) flagged for promoting “addiction services”. The appeal process took over a week to clean up home base after that one. These mistakes can waste valuable time that could be spent optimizing the actual campaign.
Obviously, any advertiser that uses Google Ads must play the game and abide by the rules. If your campaign has a potential for “false flags”, don’t get caught looking! Be prepared to act and inform those that need to know of the potential challenges. Also, it’s not just the ad text you need to be aware of. Images, ad extensions, URLs, and landing pages can all play a role.