Limited ad serving

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To protect the integrity of our Google Ads ecosystem, we limit impressions of ads that have a higher potential of causing abuse or a poor experience for our users. This policy is specific to a certain set of ad-serving scenarios, which are detailed below. In these instances, only qualified advertisers will be able to serve ads without impression limits. This policy is separate from Google’s existing certifications which prohibit uncertified advertisers from serving specific ads, learn more about ad serving eligibility here.

Why will certain advertisers be limited?

Ads from unqualified advertisers will be limited in specific scenarios to decrease the potential for negative user experiences when interacting with these ads and to increase user and advertiser trust in the Google Ads platform. If an advertiser is not promoting ads within these scenarios, their ads will not be limited by this policy. We take the following into consideration when determining if a particular scenario has a higher potential of causing abuse or creating a poor user experience:

  • User feedback
  • Prevalence of abuse
  • Industry trends

Who is a qualified advertiser?

A qualified advertiser’s ad impressions are not limited by this policy. Google will take into consideration various factors to evaluate whether an advertiser is qualified, such as:

  • Account attributes
  • User activity and reports
  • Account maturity
  • Ad format usage
  • History of policy-compliance
  • Advertiser industry
  • Identity verification status

What can you do to become a qualified advertiser?

Continue to build campaigns and creatives with positive user engagement while we assess your account. Make sure you’re complying with our advertising policies. And if your account is eligible, consider initiating advertiser verification.

While your account is being assessed

While an advertiser is building trust with Google and our users to become qualified, their ad impressions may be limited in the scenarios described below. Ads will not be disapproved as a result of this policy. We will automatically review and update advertisers’ ad serving limits as we continue to monitor your accounts. Unfortunately, we can’t say how long this might take.

If we detect any issues after lifting a limit, we may need to reinstate the limit while we evaluate further.

How will I know if my account has been limited?

Unqualified advertisers who have a meaningful proportion of impressions in scope of this policy will receive an in-account notification. Individual ads will not be disapproved. To appeal this restriction, complete the Limited Ad Serving Appeals Form.

In the meantime, your account will still be fully accessible and ads will only be limited in the scenarios listed below.

Below are the scenarios in which your ads may be limited.

Advertisers with unclear brand relationships and generic ads

This illustration shows a confused user engaging with an ad with unclear brand relationship.

We want to ensure that users know which advertisers they are interacting with. At times, users may not be seeking content related to a particular advertiser, brand, product, or service; other times they may have a specific brand in mind. In both situations, Google wants to ensure that the identity of the advertiser the user chooses to engage with is unambiguous.

While an advertiser may not intend to purposefully mislead a user or misrepresent themselves, ads that reference other brands and generic ads that have no branding at all may confuse the user into thinking they are interacting with their desired advertiser. In these cases, Google may limit impressions for all branded and generic ads for that advertiser.

Examples that reference a brand where the relationship to the advertiser is unclear include (non-exhaustive):

  • Referencing another brand’s name or likeness (such as an airline or customer service department) in response to a user’s search for that brand
  • Referencing a name or brand closely resembling another brand in response to a user’s general search of an industry (e.g., technology, travel, customer service)
  • Situations where the user has reason to believe they are interacting with another brand
  • Use of a brand logo by an unaffiliated advertiser

Examples when a generic ad may be unclear include (non-exhaustive):

  • Users searching for specific brands, products, or services who encounter unbranded ads from third parties

Here are some ways to help make your identity clear in your creatives and minimize limited ad serving:

  • Pin your domain (e.g. in the front of the ad title, especially if you are a new advertiser or not well-known by users. (Note: The ability to pin your domain might not be available in certain ad or campaign types, limiting your access to those features temporarily)
  • Make sure you’re complying with our advertising policies
  • Don’t use names of other brands or logos in your ad creative, and clearly include your brand in the ad
  • Avoid overly generic copy in your ads and landing page
  • Avoid promoting products or services without your clear brand identity
  • If eligible, complete the advertiser verification.
  • Continue to build campaigns and creatives to accumulate positive user interactions so we can better assess your account.

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