Bad Google Ads and How to Avoid Them
March 30, 2018
Google AdWords is the primary PPC method of advertising on the web, hands-down. They have an enormous market share. So if you make them mad and get kicked off their network, it can make it very difficult to get effective paid advertising online.
That doesn’t stop some businesses from trying to use shady tactics. Google released figures about the bad ads they blocked in 2017. Over 3.2 billion ads were eliminated, around 100 every second. That’s an astonishing number, but it shows you the lengths Google will to go to keep its ad environment in top shape.
It’s in Google’s best interest to deliver the highest quality ads they can, so they take aggressive steps about what sort of content is and isn’t allowed to be advertised. They also watch for companies that try to create fake or misleading ads. All of this information is spelled out in Google’s AdWords policies. If you want to use AdWords, these are the core rules. If you want to stay safe, you need to follow them. Here are the major points.
First, there are goods that Google will refuse to allow ads. The core domains are counterfeit goods, dangerous materials, goods that allow others to cheat or commit dishonest behavior, and offensive content. A gotcha in the last category is using offensive language in your ad as an attention-grabber. Even if your product is on the level, your ad could kick you off!
Google revises the prohibited content category fairly regularly and announces changes far in advance. In June of this year, several types of financial derivative advertisements will be banned from use, as well as cryptocurrency ads.
Some types of content are allowed but require you to go through certifications to prove that you are a legitimate company. The list of restricted content is quite long but the full list is in the AdWords policies pages.
Many of the ads that were removed last year were using trickery and technology to game the AdWords system. For instance, ads that redirect to malware sites or use clickbait news headlines to redirect to sales pitches muddy the waters and make it dangerous to use the network.
Another practice to watch for is the mishandling of personal information gathered from your landing page. If your site uses SSL (and it should) and you don’t ask for the prohibited kinds of information on your landing page such as a credit card number, you’ll stay safe.
One practice that often bites the unaware is misrepresentation. If you’ve ever run car ads on radio or television, you know there are certain claims you can and cannot say. It’s the same with PPC ads. Whatever you claim in the ad needs to match the landing page and you must avoid any misrepresentation of your business on the page. Be sure to read this section thoroughly.
Finally, there are a set of editorial practices that ad writers have to conform to. The gist of the rules is that your ads need to look professional and comply with the format standards given by Google. Every good PPC ad writer will know these, but if you’re doing your own ads you’ll need to familiarize yourself with them before you start submitting.
There’s another good reason to follow them. Businesses that create consistently high-performing ads can get a discount and preferential placement on Google’s pages. There is a hidden quality score attached to your account that determines this. If you can make great ads that conform to Google’s standards, you can save some money.
If you keep within these four boundaries, you should have no trouble staying on Google’s good side. Most of the rules you have to deliberately break to get in trouble. The two areas that snag unsuspecting people are the misrepresentation rules and the editorial practices. Make those your first priority, then move deeper into understanding the other areas.
Need more insight on online advertising? The experts at Dealerwebb are ready to help you set up your next campaign!