Google Ads Strike Policy Update
When you own a business, marketing is a huge aspect of running the business. Marketing can be done in many ways, but a popular tactic is using online advertisements. There are many places you can place an online ad, but Google is the most prominent one. Most people use Google as their primary search engine, so businesses are more likely to be discovered this way. In addition, Google makes it fairly easy for you to create an ad campaign to run on their platform. However, this ease of use also leads to some people using the ads system in nefarious ways. In September 2021, Google will be implementing a strike policy to help eliminate ads being used for inappropriate means.
What Is the Google Ads Strike Policy?
Starting September 21, 2021, and with a gradual ramp-up over a three-month period, Google will introduce a new strike-based system meant to stop advertisers who repeatedly violate Google’s ad policies. The new strike system specifically targets the following dishonest behaviors: unapproved substances, guns, gun parts and related products, explosives, other weapons, and Tobacco. These are just the behaviors that are being focused on at first. Over time, the strike-based system will include additional policies, and all advertisers will be notified every time a new policy is brought into the system.
It is important to understand that this new strike-based system does not override the guidance already governing account suspension procedures for egregious Google Ads violations.
What’s Changing With The Recent Announcement Of The Google Ads Strike Policy?
Google wants to make sure all its users have a safe and positive experience while using their site. This means that Google requires anyone advertising on their site to comply with Google Ads policies. Starting in late September 2021, a new part of the Google Ads enforcement system will begin issuing strikes to users who don’t follow the rules. If an advertiser receives a strike, they will also get a notification to their email and in-account notifications to encourage compliance with the rules along with deterring repeat violations of Google’s policies.
Advertisers will get one warning if they have a policy violation, but any violations after that will result in a strike. An advertiser can receive up to three strikes, and each strike they receive will have penalties that get progressively worse. For example, if an advertiser receives one strike, their account will be put on hold for three days. A second strike will lead to a hold on their account of seven days, and a third strike will cause their account to be suspended.
If an advertiser is placed on a temporary hold for either a first or second strike, the account will not be resumed until the account holder remedies the violations in question. They then have to submit an acknowledgment form to resume producing ads. Once the paperwork is filed, the account will be resumed either three days (first strike) or seven days (second strike) from the day the account was put on hold.
If an advertiser believes their account was given a strike in error, there is the ability to appeal to Google. If the advertiser does appeal and win, their ads will resume immediately. If a strike is given and no action is taken by the account owner, either to acknowledge and fix the issue or to appeal, the account will remain on hold. If no acknowledgment is given, a strike will stay on the Google Ads account for ninety days unless the account owner successfully appeals.
If an advertiser receives a third strike and has their account suspended, they will no longer be able to run ads or create new content unless they are able to successfully appeal the strike.
Grounds for Suspension
On top of the strike-based policy starting in September, Google already has guidelines in place for what can cause your ad account to be suspended. Google takes its users’ safety and positive experiences seriously, so they will not hesitate to suspend accounts they find violate their policies or Terms & Conditions. If an advertiser commits an egregious policy violation, the account will be immediately suspended without warning. Other violations of Google policy will be given a warning and a chance to fix the issue. Advertisers would receive this warning at least seven days before the account will be suspended.
In order to receive an egregious violation of Google’s ad policies, an advertiser must commit a violation that is so serious it is unlawful or posing significant harm to the advertising ecosystem. Typically, an egregious violation means that the advertiser’s business does not adhere to Google’s ad policies or the violation is so bad Google can’t risk users being exposed to it or similar future ads. Egregious violations result in an immediate account suspension as soon as they are detected. These violations are generally limited to use only when it is the only way to prevent illegal activity or significant harm to Google’s users.
The following behaviors are considered egregious and will be met with immediate account suspension and loss of ability to advertise with Google.
- Circumventing systems
- Trade Sanctions violation
- Coordinated deceptive practices
- Unacceptable business practices
- Promotion of unauthorized pharmacies
Other Reasons for Account Suspension
There are a handful of other reasons your Google Account may be suspended. If you are found to be lying about your age when you create your account, it will cause your account to be suspended. Make sure to put your age, not the age of your business. If you do not comply with Google Ad Grants policy, it will also lead to a suspension. If Google detects any unauthorized access to your account, it will be temporarily suspended to ensure no unauthorized charges occur. Finally, a variety of billing and payments issues, including promotional code abuse, requesting a chargeback, suspicious payment activity, or an unpaid balance, can also cause a suspension of an account.
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