Google Ads policies
Welcome to the Google Ads Policy Centre. Here you'll find the requirements for advertising on the Google Network.
Our policies cover four broad areas:
- Prohibited content: Content you can't advertise on the Google Network
- Prohibited practices: Things you can't do if you want to advertise with us
- Restricted content: Content you can advertise, but with limitations
- Editorial and technical: Quality standards for your ads, websites and apps
Google Ads prohibits the sale or promotion for sale of counterfeit goods. Counterfeit goods contain a trademark or logo that is identical to or substantially indistinguishable from the trademark of another. They mimic the brand features of the product in an attempt to pass themselves off as a genuine product of the brand owner. This policy applies to the content of your ad and your website or app.
We want to help keep people safe both online and offline, so we don't allow the promotion of some products or services that cause damage, harm or injury.
Examples of dangerous content: Recreational drugs (chemical or herbal); psychoactive substances; equipment to facilitate drug use; weapons, ammunition, explosive materials and fireworks; instructions for making explosives or other harmful products; tobacco products
We value honesty and fairness, so we don't allow the promotion of products or services that are designed to enable dishonest behaviour.
Examples of products or services that enable dishonest behaviour: Hacking software or instructions; services designed to artificially inflate ad or website traffic; fake documents; academic cheating services
We value diversity and respect for others, and we strive to avoid offending users, so we don’t allow ads or destinations that display shocking content or promote hatred, intolerance, discrimination or violence.
Examples of inappropriate or offensive content: bullying or intimidation of an individual or group, racial discrimination, hate group paraphernalia, graphic crime scene or accident images, cruelty to animals, murder, self-harm, extortion or blackmail, sale or trade of endangered species, ads using profane language
We want ads across the Google Network to be useful, varied, relevant and safe for users. We don’t allow advertisers to run ads, content or destinations that attempt to trick or circumvent our ad review processes.
Examples of abuse of the ad network: promoting content that contains malware; "cloaking" or using other techniques to hide the true destination that users are directed to; "arbitrage" or promoting destinations for the sole or primary purpose of showing ads; promoting "bridge" or "gateway" destinations that are solely designed to send users elsewhere; advertising with the sole or primary intent of gaining public social network endorsements from the user; "gaming" or manipulating settings in an attempt to circumvent our policy review systems
We want users to trust that information about them will be respected and handled with appropriate care. As such, our advertising partners should not misuse this information, nor collect it for unclear purposes or without appropriate security measures.
Examples of user information that should be handled with care: full name; email address; postal address; phone number; national identity, pension, national insurance, VAT, NHS or driving licence number; birth date or mother's maiden name in addition to any of the above information; financial status; political affiliation; sexual orientation; race or ethnicity; religion
Examples of irresponsible data collection & use: obtaining credit card information over a non-secure server, promotions that claim to know a user's sexual orientation or financial status, violations of our policies that apply to interest-based advertising and remarketing
We don't want users to feel misled by ads, so we strive to ensure that ads are clear and honest, and provide the information that users need to make informed decisions. We don’t allow ads or destinations that intend to deceive users by excluding relevant information or giving misleading information about products, services or businesses.
Examples of misrepresentation: omitting or obscuring billing details such as how, what and when users will be charged; omitting or obscuring charges associated with financial services such as interest rates, fees and penalties; failing to display VAT or licence numbers, contact information or physical address where relevant; making offers that aren't actually available; making misleading or unrealistic claims regarding weight loss or financial gain; collecting donations under false pretenses; "phishing" or falsely purporting to be a reputable company in order to get users to part with valuable personal or financial information
The policies below cover content that is sometimes legally or culturally sensitive. Online advertising can be a powerful way to reach customers, but in sensitive areas, we also work hard to avoid showing these ads when and where they might be inappropriate.
For that reason, we allow the promotion of the content below, but on a limited basis. These promotions may not show to every user in every location, and advertisers may need to meet additional requirements before their ads are eligible to run. Note that not all ad products, features or networks are able to support this restricted content. Further details can be found in the Policy Centre.
Ads should respect user preferences and comply with legal regulations, so we don’t allow certain kinds of adult content in ads and destinations. Some kinds of adult-orientated ads and destinations are allowed if they comply with the policies below and don’t target minors, but they will only show in limited scenarios based on user search queries, user age and local laws where the ad is being served.
Find out more about what happens if you violate our policies.
Examples of restricted adult content: strip clubs, erotic cinemas, sex toys, adult magazines, sexual enhancement products, matchmaking sites, models in sexualised poses
We abide by local alcohol laws and industry standards, so we don’t allow certain kinds of alcohol-related advertising, both for alcohol and drinks that resemble alcohol. Some types of alcohol-related ads are allowed if they meet the policies below, don’t target minors and target only countries that are explicitly allowed to show alcohol ads.
Examples of restricted alcoholic drinks: beer, wine, sake, spirits or hard alcohol, Champagne, fortified wine, non-alcoholic beer, non-alcoholic wine and non-alcoholic distilled spirits
We abide by local copyright laws and protect the rights of copyright holders, so we don’t allow ads that are unauthorised to use copyrighted content. If you're legally authorised to use copyrighted content, apply for certification to advertise. If you see unauthorised content, submit a copyright-related complaint.
We support responsible gambling advertising and abide by local gambling laws and industry standards, so we don’t allow certain kinds of gambling-related advertising. Gambling-related ads are allowed if they comply with the policies below and the advertiser has received the proper Google Ads certification. Gambling ads must target approved countries, have a landing page that displays information about responsible gambling and never target minors. Check local regulations for the areas that you want to target.
Examples of restricted gambling-related content: physical casinos; sites where users can bet on poker, bingo, roulette or sports events; national or private lotteries; sports odds aggregator sites; sites offering bonus codes or promotional offers for gambling sites; online educational materials for casino-based games; sites offering "poker-for-fun" games; non-casino-based cash game sites
We are dedicated to following advertising regulations for healthcare and medicine, so we expect ads and destinations to follow appropriate laws and industry standards. Some healthcare-related content can’t be advertised at all, while others can only be advertised if the advertiser is certified with Google and targets only approved countries. Check local regulations for the areas that you want to target.
We expect all political ads and destinations to comply with the local campaign and election laws for any area that the ads target. This policy includes legally mandated election “silence periods”.
Examples of political content: promotion of political parties or candidates, political issue advocacy
We want users to have adequate information to make informed financial decisions. Our policies are designed to give users information to weigh the costs associated with financial products and services, and to protect users from harmful or deceitful practices. For the purposes of this policy, we consider financial products and services to be those related to the management or investment of money and cryptocurrencies, including personalised advice.
When promoting financial products and services, you must comply with state and local regulations for any region or country that your ads target – for example, include specific disclosures required by local law. Refer to our non-exhaustive list of country-specific requirements for more information.
There are multiple factors that determine when trademarks can be used in Google Ads ads. Along with the factors described in our Policy Centre, these policies apply only when a trademark owner has submitted a valid complaint to Google.
You’re always responsible for ensuring that you comply with all applicable laws and regulations, in addition to Google's advertising policies, for all of the locations where your ads are showing.
We restrict certain kinds of businesses from advertising with us to prevent users from being exploited, even if individual businesses appear to comply with our other policies. Based on our own continuous reviews, and feedback from users and consumer protection authorities, we occasionally identify products or services that are prone to abuse. If we feel that certain kinds of businesses pose an unreasonable risk to user safety or user experience, then we may take a conservative position and limit or stop related ads from running.
Editorial & technical requirements
We want to deliver ads that are engaging for users without being annoying or difficult to interact with, so we've developed editorial requirements to help keep your ads appealing to users. We've also specified technical requirements to help users and advertisers get the most out of the variety of ad formats that we offer.
In order to provide a quality user experience, Google requires that all ads, extensions and destinations meet high professional and editorial standards. We only allow ads that are clear, professional in appearance and that lead users to content that is relevant, useful and easy to interact with.
Examples of promotions that don't meet these editorial and professional requirements:
- overly generic ads that contain vague phrases such as "Buy products here"
- gimmicky use of words, numbers, letters, punctuation or symbols such as FREE, f-r-e-e and F₹€€!!
We want consumers to have a good experience when they click on an ad, so ad destinations must offer unique value to users and be functional, useful and easy to navigate.
Examples of promotions that don't meet destination requirements:
- a Display URL that does not accurately reflect the URL of the landing page, such as "google.com" taking users to "gmail.com"
- sites or apps that are under construction, parked domains or are just not working
- sites that are not viewable in commonly used browsers
- sites that have disabled the browser's back button
To help us keep ads clear and functional, advertisers must meet our technical requirements.
In order to help you provide a quality user experience and deliver attractive, professional looking ads, we only allow promotions that comply with specific requirements for each ad. Review the format-specific requirements for all ad formats that you're using.
Note: We don't allow Non-family safe ads in image ads, video ads and other non-text ad formats. Read more about our Adult content policy.
Examples of ad format requirements: character limits for the ad headline or body, image size requirements, file size limits, video length limits, aspect ratios
About our policies
Google Ads enables businesses of all sizes, from around the world, to promote a wide variety of products, services, applications and websites on Google and across our network. We want to help you reach existing and potential customers and audiences. However, to help create a safe and positive experience for users, we listen to their feedback and concerns about the types of ads that they see. We also regularly review changes in online trends and practices, industry norms and regulations. And finally, in crafting our policies, we also think about our values and culture as a company, as well as operational, technical and business considerations. As a result, we have created a set of policies that apply to all promotions on the Google Network.
Google requires that advertisers comply with all applicable laws and regulations and the Google policies described above. It's important that you familiarise yourself with and keep up to date on these requirements for the places where your business operates, as well as any other places that your ads are showing. When we find content that violates these requirements, we may block it from appearing, and in cases of repeated or egregious violations, we may stop you from advertising with us.