Disapproved Google Ads: What to Do

Disapproved google ads

Running a Google Ads campaign can definitely help your business in improving its presence online. Whether it’s a simple Text Ad or a Display Ad, businesses can do well to promote themselves on Google. However, there are situations that are uncalled-for when running campaigns. Disapproved ads can hinder your plans for your promotions and ultimately take you off track if you don’t know how to handle it.

Google’s Ad policies are displayed for everyone to abide to. Like SEO, white-hat advertising will be your best bet in winning and achieving your goals with flying colors in Search Engine Marketing. Doing this requires more from you but let me tell you now, the results will be astounding. Here are some of the considerations you should think about when you get that dreaded ‘disapproved ads’ status.

Possible reasons why your ad is disapproved

You may think that you are all set to run a campaign in just a snap. For text ads, it’s not as simple as writing a copy or installing extensions, you must inspect it for probable causes for disapproval. Your ads must be clean to the bone and it must adhere to the advertising policies which Google has set for marketers like us. According to Google, here are the 4 broad areas that you should focus on:

  • Prohibited Content
  • Prohibited Practices
  • Restricted Content and Features
  • Editorial and Technical Requirements

Prohibited content

As I previously mentioned, you will benefit a lot if you get into Google’s good graces with the content that you advertise on their network. Playing by the rules can ensure that you get an amped-up online presence as well as a practical way to advertise, therefore saving you from incurring ridiculous marketing costs.

With that said, do not dare go beyond the lines of the content that you are allowed to advertise. Prohibited content includes fake goods, dangerous services, messages inciting hate, dishonest or false advertisements, graphic scenes, and more. Think of it this way, if your 9-year-old son will ask scandalous questions about a particular thing he read about in Google, it’s probably not something that you should consider advertising. To avoid getting a bad rap for your ads, just avoid prohibited content altogether. Represent your business in the best possible way as well as deliver content that will provide value to your audience. It’s as simple as that.

Prohibited practices

You may be asking yourself, “Why were my ads disapproved if I did everything right?” If your campaign is flagged by Google, chances are you didn’t do everything right. Prohibited practices are “abusing the network, data collection and use, and misrepresentation. These practices mostly deal with how your ad will treat users who interact with it. Be honest with your content and do not lead users into danger. Do not run ads if you are hesitant on its contribution to a user.

Take this as an example for misrepresentation: I once ran a campaign for someone who provided all the necessary collaterals for a display campaign (graphics, copies, landing page), I went on ahead to create an ad for them since everything is all set. Later on, I saw this on our dashboard:

misleading content

Google flagged the campaign (GDN ads) as misleading. We investigated this and as per our findings, there have been outrageous claims made on their content on the collaterals as well as their pages. Claims that guarantee results without a clear process on refunds or money-back guarantee will be flagged as misleading.

What we did to address this is to remove all mentions of outrageous claims, develop new pages for the products they advertise to make the content more concise, and appealed to Google about the sanction which lead to an approved ad. Misleading content can also be detected by Google in websites that do not have a clear structure, where users may tend to be confused about how to navigate the site. Unless you are using a direct-to-the-point URL, consider creating one that further addresses your audience.

Restricted content and features

Google does not honor dangerous, explicit, and spam content, but they do have restrictions on some sensitive content for Ads. Basically, restricted content and features are mostly about the types of content that touch base on legal and cultural implications. These policies talk about the promotion of some controversial content but only on a limited basis. If you are an advertiser for products that cover some of these: alcohol, gambling, healthcare, financial services, political content, etcetera, you can be eligible to run a campaign but you would need to accomplish additional requirements.

Google makes sure that they allow ads that are appropriate for its target audience so the display of these types of ads is limited to the demographics that you can show them to. This is based on their location, age, and interests, all of which are taken care of by the Google algorithm already but you must comply with the limitations imposed by Google. If you get a message saying your ad is disapproved because of the restricted content, it’s best to tone it down a little. Create appropriate content that your users will find valuable.

Editorial and technical requirements

User experience and engagement are also great metrics for successful ads. Editorial requirements deal with your potential to bring brand recall to customers by way of catchy or appealing ads. Technical requirements help advertisers maximize the different ad formats available. Google honors professionalism and a positive appearance which users will find relevant and useful for them. The best way to fix disapproval status pertaining to editorial and technical requirements is to provide a safe and highly positive experience for your users. Review things that you need to fix in correlation with the policies and deem yourself worthy of advertising for your audience on a great platform like the Google Network.

Key takeaway

If you find yourself at the other end of a disapproved ad, don’t fret. Let this be a learning experience and fix the problems that you have encountered as mentioned above. As a digital marketer, it is your job to stay on top of things and prevent these issues from happening. Have you encountered a disapproved ad from your search engine marketing experience? Let’s talk about it on the comments below!

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Sean Si

About Sean

is a Filipino motivational speaker and a Leadership Speaker in the Philippines. He is the head honcho and editor-in-chief of SEO Hacker. He does SEO Services for companies in the Philippines and Abroad. Connect with him at Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Check out his new project, Aquascape Philippines.