This week Google released an article summarising their continued battle with fraudulent and misleading advertising. They now have a ‘global team of 1,000+ people dedicated’ to this and last year alone saw them disable ‘more than 180 million ads’ for violating policies.
There are many different reasons for ads being disabled. Below are some of the main reasons quoted:
1. Counterfeit products – they suspended more than 10,000 sites and 18,000 accounts for attempting to sell counterfeit goods
2. Pharmaceuticals – they blocked more than 12.5 million ads that violated healthcare and medicines policy
3. Weight loss scams – these blocks included ads for supplements promising impossible-to-achieve weight loss without diet or exercise
4. Phishing – for more info click here
5. Unwanted software – this is where clicking through to site can slow your devices down or unexpectedly change your homepage and keep you from changing it back
Not only are they fighting bad ads they are putting users in control allowing them to mute specific ads in their browser settings which will result in Google not showing you ‘that ad and others like it from that advertiser’.
Merchants need to be aware of 2, 3 and 5 as these can result in suspension even when the shop concerned is genuine and not trying to con the end customer. We have seen some merchant products caught by the policies under 2, even when selling licensed products. Be careful of anything on site can that could be trapped under 4.
Some of these can result in immediate suspension of Adwords and/or Google Merchant Centre accounts. Such suspensions can be difficult to lift and it is better to avoid this possibility altogether.
Google’s full blog on this subject is here.