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You’re not alone if you’ve been frustrated several times by the Google ads review system. I was frustrated, too. My very first ads to promote “make money online program” was disapproved severally until the account got suspended. Not once, and not twice. Yes, i struggled several times to get my Google ads approved, unsuccessful. Of course, this was my experience in 2013 even before i develop strong interest in pay per click advertising as a career.
Before i earned my Google certification in 2014, almost every person i worked with came to me basically due to the fact that Google keep rejecting their ads. I could remember a client from Japan who had created over six AdWords accounts just for him to be able to advertise his dating business. Unfortunately, all the accounts were suspended. At that point, he decided to look for someone who could help him run the ads while he pay for ad charges and the service. Lucky me, i fit in perfectly well and we got the ball rolling from there. From the moment i started with him, i successfully got his adverts approved to run on Google search and everything started working fine for him. So, when i decided to do more research and write about my solution to getting Google ads approved, i know it is a major problem for many online advertisers, particularly Nigerians.
Why Google Will Disapprove Your Ads
Bad headline: I reviewed a AdWords campaigns sometimes in September 2017 and the first thing i noticed is the terrible headline. Yes, it is really terrible. But i can’t blame the writer because that’s not their profession. In fact i commend her efforts. She basically was trying to setup ads to sell her wedding dresses, and she used some words that are not approved in ad headline. I think she wrote “wedding dresses for obese women”. You guess right if you think obese is a wrong word to use in ad headline. In fact, i commend Google for disapproving such ads. Why? because it is offensive.
There are many of such bad headlines. Unfortunately, i cannot go ahead and list all of them in this post. However i’m pretty sure you will be able to identify some offensive words in your ad headline. Using such words in your ads will always get your ads disapproved. Use friendly words that describe your business and not the audience. This same rule also affect Facebook ads.
Policy violation: During my early years ad AdWords advertiser, policy violation was the major reason for my ads being disapproved. Google AdWords policy typically touches every areas; business, legal, crime, parenting, sexual, export, education, banking, etc. If you have time to read them, here’s a link to Google AdWords policy, you can go ahead and learn more about what they allow and what they don’t. However even if you can’t read the whole policy, you can easily avoid some things. The common policy issues are related to crime and abuse. If you feel guilty about what you wanted to promote, it is possible that Google’s policy is also against it.
AdWords policy violation is a serious issue and if done repeatedly, it can lead to permanent account suspension. I’ve had a couple of clients who experienced permanent account suspension after violating AdWords policy repeatedly. Of course, most of them never knew that their ads still violate policy after applying updates. If you’re not sure why your ads was disapproved, you can contact Google support for help. The support team are very helpful in getting issues resolved quickly.
Regulated products: So many products are not allowed to be advertised on Google. In fact, Facebook has been banning those products on their ads platform. Obviously, this is one of the major reasons for ads disapproval and account suspensions. Based on my findings, those regulated products are very profitable and they are being searched for on Google by millions of people. For instance, if Google allow advertisers to advertise abortion drugs, thousands of sales will be made each day. But this kind of product is regulated. So many of them.
If you’re not sure whether your product is regulated or not, i encourage you to spare some time to read through the prohibited content policy. You should find detailed information about the regulated products. Some of the prohibited contents are dangerous products or services such as recreational drugs, weapons, instructions for making explosive or harmful products, counterfeit goods et cetera.
Target location: I write this article during the Ramadan period (that’s when Muslims all around the world observe their fasting). Even if selling alcohols are permitted in the Muslim dominated countries, this is obviously not the best time to target such countries in ads. This and many other things are factors that can result in ad disapproval.
Also, products or services that has to do with sex may not be advertised in some countries particularly the Muslim dominated countries such as Yemen, Iran, and many others. Of course, you can advertise such products in countries like USA, Canada, Australia, UK and several other countries. Visit this link to learn more about adult content policy and the locations you can advertise such products.
Copyright issue: A client asked me to check why his ads was not approved after submitting it twice, and immediately i logged into the account, i saw Facebook in the ad text. Though there could be other reasons why the ad was not approved, however i already knew that the presence on Facebook in the ad text is enough to get it disapproved since the target location is USA. Small things like this usually result in Google ad disapproval.
If you’re advertising in the US, UK, Canada, AU, DE or targeting those locations from wherever you are, copyright issues must be taken seriously. As at the time of writing this post, some copyrighted names can be used in ads, however with some forms of limitations. As i write this, i am using iOS and iPhone in some of my ads text, targeting Canada. Though they are approved, but limited due to copyright issue. Of course, if i was targeting some regions in the US, the ads might be disapproved. This is another instance that validate the effect of location on Google ads disapproval.
Website issues: As a Google partner and experienced AdWords advertiser, I’ve noticed that website issues constitute major role in ads disapproval. For instance, one of my recent clients wanted to run shopping campaign on Google, however she didn’t want to add her physical location to the website. You’d expect the ads to be approved, however Google’s policy wants every retail store owner to have their physical address on their online store. Her ads was not approved until she added a location in the contact page. This is just one of the ways website issues can result in ads disapproval.
Another common website issue that affect ads approval is “page not found” also know technically as error 404. This is the major reason why you need to visit the page and confirm that it works fine before you resubmit your ads. Like i said initially, repeated violation of AdWords policy can result in permanent account suspension. I’m sure you don’t want Google to suspend your advertising account even if you’re not using it at the moment.
What Google Ad Disapproval Can Cause
If ad disapproval won’t affect your account or business in any ways, i won’t have taken my time to write this lengthy post. I know quite well that it affects a lot of businesses. I had a long conversation with a prospective client few hours before i write this post, and the only thing that kept the conversation long was his terrible experience trying to get his ads approved. He felt bad and i feel the pain. Highlighted below are some of the ways Google ad disapproval can affect you:
Permanent account suspension:
It is not a matter of keep trying because Google won’t be patient enough to let you abuse their platform. If you don’t get it right after the grace period, the decision might be very harsh; permanent account suspension. You can easily open another account since it is free. However, if you have to undergo stress in order to get a credit/debit card that you can use to make payment for your ads, you won’t think of allowing Google to suspend any of your account.
Inability to use the same card in another account: As at the time of writing this post, you can only use your credit/debit card with one AdWords account. Once your account is suspended, you will not be able to use the same card in another account. So if you need to create a new account, you’ll have to get another acceptable card. For people in Nigeria and many other countries, you might have notice that AdWords is very selective when it comes to card linking. Because of this you wouldn’t want to lose your account.
Inability to run ads: The only way to run ads on Google is to have a AdWords account. If your account is permanently suspended, then there’s no way for you to advertise your business on Google.
Low sales: Everyone knows the importance of online advertising in business. If you’re not able to advertise your business, then you’ll likely experience low sales.
These are some of the effects of AdWords account suspension. Now, let’s look at the solution to help get your Google ads approved.
Solution to Get Google Ads Approved
After years of experience with different issues, and managing over 200 AdWords account, I’ve been able to identify the major reasons for ads disapproval and the solution to it. This is based on practice, so you’re sure of getting your ads approved if you could follow the guide.
Update your website’s policy: Earlier in 2018, Facebook was hit with several legal actions due to privacy infringements. The issue becomes so popular that every giant tech companies immediately updated their policy. Now, it might be your turn to do the same thing. Internet is becoming more complex and government in different parts of the world are getting interested more than before. A little policy issue in your site can cause Google to disapprove your ads. If you don’t have a policy page on your website, try to create one and add the necessary policies that govern your business and your operation.
This is very important if you want to run ads in Google shopping. Without it, your ads will not be approved. I’ve also seen the importance in getting ads approved if your business is related to providing loans.
Create special landing page: This technique is more of black hat. Yes, it is slightly against AdWords policy, however if you do it right, you might be able to advertise your products/services without issue. And yes, I’ve used it several times and it works really well. Note, i do not advertise illegal products, only some restricted products in certain regions. So let’s talk about this method.
- You need to create the major landing page with all the information about what you want to sell. For instance, if you want to sell adult related product or weight loss product, the main landing page will have the full information about the product.
- Create a mini landing page and add only brief information about the product. On this page, avoid all keywords that could trigger ad review system to disapprove your ads. On the page, add a button that says “Click Here to Read The Full Details”. Initially, set the button url as dummy link (#).
- Go ahead and create your ads in Google AdWords and make the mini landing page as the destination URL.
- Once the ads are approved, rush back to the mini landing page and change the button URL to the major landing page URL.
- now when people arrive on the mini landing page, they will click the button to the main landing page and see the details of your products.
This method is great if you want to remarket to people who arrived on the major landing page after clicking your ads. Note, the ads might be disapproved later if Google re-crawl the website and notice your ad landing page pointing to another page that does not comply with their policy. However before then, you should have make your money.
Use selected keywords in ad: I mentioned in one of the previous paragraphs that using some offensive keywords in ad can result in disapproval. There are many of such keywords. Unfortunately, i cannot list them here. Generally, you’re not allowed to run ads that directly talk about a person’s look or race. There are restrictions you need to keep in mind. In case you’re not sure if your ad text is acceptable or not, you can contact me to help you review it.
Avoid copyright violation: Copyright issue is very serious in some countries, and every advertiser needs to respect it. If you’re advertising some products that need you to mention the name of the company or product name in ad, you might want to find some alternative keywords to use and add the company/product name as target keyword. With this your ads will be served to those people that are searching for your target keywords, and when they arrive at your landing page, they will learn more about the ads.
Update your landing page URL: In case of “page not found” issue, you need to update your landing page and make sure the link is correct. If you’re trying to create different ads for different landing pages, make sure you create separate ad group for each of the URL, otherwise the ads will be disapproved.
Follow Google’s ad best practices: Lastly, you need to follow Google’s ad best practices. This is the best way to go about creating your ads without having issue. Be transparent and don’t try to trick the system. In 2014 i tried to trick AdWords system by adding spaces in between words and substituting letter o for number zero. The system is smart and it will definitely detect your trick. Play a clean game and Google will shower you with love. Of course, they too make money when you pay to run ads on their platform. So they want you to run ads, but not by going against their policy.
I have been helping businesses run ads on Google for years and i am still very available to help more businesses. You don’t need to have millions before hiring a professional to manage your ads. We’re not greedy. Personally i love helping people get online. So if you need help running ads on Google, feel free to contact me any time. I will be happy to work with you and grow your business.
I hope this post will help you run ads on Google without having any issue. If you learn one of two things from the post, feel free to share it on your social media timeline.