Navigating Google’s 3-strike rule

Navigating Google’s 3-strike rule

Utilising Google Ads can be an excellent way of reaching new consumers and making a name for yourself in what often feels like an overcrowded marketplace. The online sphere can be challenging for even those experienced in digital marketing, but putting your budget towards Google Ads seems like the savvy choice – unless something goes wrong and you find yourself on the bad side of a policy or rule.

So, what new changes are coming up that you should be aware of? Read on to discover more about Google Ads’ new rule and how this might impact you.

Disapproval from Google Ads

Advertising on Google Ads is not always straightforward, and most SMEs have found themselves with the odd ad being disapproved. Disapprovals are not easy to contest, as many of them are automated thanks to the algorithm rather than being the result of a decision made by a person. Appealing a disapproval could take more time and effort than you have, unless a Google rep is on your side.

Growing disapprovals

With the growing amount of disapprovals, Google Ads has decided to act by updating its policies to provide clearer guidance for advertisers, but also stricter consequences. Those with disapprovals that happen multiple times will be the hardest hit, but even if you have never had a disapproval, you should put June 2022 in your diary – this is when the stronger enforcement measures will be put into action.

What can we expect?

For those with repeated violations of Google’s policies, sit up and take note. From June 2022, Google will issue strikes on the account you use for Google Ads. This will not apply to all policies that could feasibly be violated, focusing instead on some that we can all agree might be classed as serious violations. The policies which will be covered are Google Ads containing misleading design, services regarding bail bond, credit repair, or call forwarding. Personal loans are also covered, as are mail-order bride ads and those containing paid sexual acts. Clickbait is also taken seriously under the new rule.

Stricter measures

Some policies are dealt with more strictly than others, with certain violations allowing for three strikes. With every strike, it is possible that the associated penalties will become more severe.

For a first strike, your account will be placed on a three-day hold, with the second strike carrying a seven-day hold. For those who reach the third strike, their individual account will be suspended.

How Google lets you know

If you happen to fall foul of the new strike rules, you will be notified in-account on your user interface. You will also receive an email from Google Ads, as long as you are signed up for notifications via email.

What to do next

With first or second strikes, you must fix the issue that led to the violation or disapproval, and also send a form acknowledging the strike. By doing so, you will be agreeing that you understand which policy has been violated and that you have looked over these policies afresh. You will also be acknowledging that you understand that further strikes will cause further consequences and that you have removed the ad in question.

Keep in mind that if you are found to have been creating different accounts to try and get around these strikes, you may also be suspended.

What if you don’t believe a violation has taken place?

In some cases, due to the way in which disapproved ads and violations are counted, it is highly possible that you may not have committed a violation of any policy. In this case, you may appeal the decision via a form, and if this is proven to be accurate, the strike will be wiped from your account, and any hold will also be removed.

Keep checking!

While many SMEs do not advertise the kind of material that might lead to a Google Ads violation, disapprovals can happen by accident, and the Google Ads rules and standards are changeable. It is all too easy to become complacent and feel that you have nothing to worry about – but no matter what category your Google Ads fall under, you should continue to check on notifications in your account so that any violations that are flagged can be dealt with quickly to avoid future issues. Keeping your account “clean” is the best way to reach consumers and stay on the good side of the Google algorithm.

To feel even safer and more confident in the world of Google Ads and online marketing, get in touch with DPOM. We have a decade of expertise in this field, and we can offer bespoke solutions for SMEs that help you to succeed and keep your accounts in good standing. Let us know how we can help you by calling today.


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