Abusing the ad network

Display & Video 360 users must comply with this Google Ads policy. Visit the Display & Video 360 help centre for additional restrictions.

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.

Below are some examples of what to avoid in your ads. Learn about what happens if you violate our policies.

Malicious or unwanted software

These requirements apply to your ads and any software that your site or app either hosts or links to, regardless of whether the software is promoted through the Google advertising network. The following isn't allowed:

Malicious software or 'malware' that may harm or gain unauthorised access to a computer, device or network

Examples (non-exhaustive): Computer viruses, ransomware, worms, trojan horses, rootkits, keyloggers, diallers, spyware, rogue security software and other malicious programmes or apps

Troubleshooter: Malicious software
  1. Check the status of your site in the Google Search Console. If you haven’t used Search Console before, enter the URL of your website and click 'Add a property' to see its status. You may need to verify that you own the site.

    If the Search Console doesn’t report any problems, your site could still have security issues that were detected by Google Ads. Consult with your webmaster or web-hosting provider to investigate further. Learn more about how we identify malicious or unwanted software.

  2. Remove any malicious or unwanted software.

    Google provides resources and instructions to help you fix your site through Help for Hacked Websites. If you can’t fix the ad’s destination, update the ad with a new destination that complies with this policy.

  3. Edit the ad.

    Editing the ad will resubmit the ad and its destination for review. Most ads are reviewed within one working day, but some can take longer if they need a more complex review.

 

Ads or destinations that violate Google's Unwanted Software policy

Examples (non-exhaustive): Failure to be transparent about the functionality that the software provides or the full implications of installing the software; failing to include Terms of Service or an End User License Agreement; bundling software or applications without the user's knowledge; making system changes without the user's consent; making it difficult for users to disable or uninstall the software; failing to properly use publicly available Google APIs when interacting with Google services or products

Troubleshooter: Unwanted software
  1. Check your ad and destination to make sure that it complies with the Google Unwanted Software Policy.

  2. Edit the ad and/or destination.

    Editing the ad will resubmit the ad and its destination for review. Most ads are reviewed within one working day, but some can take longer if they need a more complex review.

 
Violations of this policy won't lead to immediate account suspension without prior warning. A warning will be issued, at least seven days, prior to any suspension of your account. Learn more about suspended accounts.

Unfair advantage

The following isn't allowed:

Using the Google Network to gain an unfair traffic advantage over other participants in the auction

Examples (non-exhaustive): Affiliates that advertise on Google Ads against the applicable affiliate programme rules; promoting the same or similar content from multiple accounts on the same or similar queries, trying to show more than one ad at a time for your business, app or site

Note: Keywords should fit the target audience’s likely intent when searching. Each website or app that you promote should offer distinct value to users. For example, avoid promoting similar products and prices across related destinations.

Violations of this policy won't lead to immediate account suspension without prior warning. A warning will be issued, at least seven days, prior to any suspension of your account. Learn more about suspended accounts.

Circumventing systems

The following isn't allowed:

Not allowed Engaging in practices that circumvent or interfere with Google's advertising systems and processes, or attempts to do so.

Examples (non-exhaustive):

  • Cloaking (showing different content to certain users, including Google, than to other users) that aims at or results in interference with Google’s review systems, or hides or attempts to hide non-compliance with Google Ads policies, such as: 
    • Redirection to non-compliant content
    • Using dynamic DNS to switch page or ad content
    • Manipulating site content or restricting access to so many of your landing pages that it makes it difficult to meaningfully review your ad, site or account

    Note: Cloaking doesn't include providing content personalisation that adds genuine value for certain users, such as different language versions of the same content or different versions of the same content depending on the user’s Internet service provider, as long as the offering is still substantially the same, the variation in content is still compliant with Google Ads policies and Google is able to review a version of the content.

  • Repeated policy violations across any of your accounts, including creating new domains or accounts to post ads that are similar to ads that have been disapproved (for this or any other Google Ads policy)
  • Bypassing enforcement mechanisms and detection by creating variations of ads, domains or content that have been disapproved (for this or any Google Ads policy) 
  • After a previous suspension decision, attempting to use the Google Ads system again by creating new accounts in order to re-enter the system
  • Abusing Google Ads product features in order to show policy non-compliant content to users and/or gain additional traffic
  • Submitting false information as part of our verification programmes

We take violations of this policy very seriously and consider them egregious. An egregious violation of the Google Ads policies is a violation so serious that it's unlawful or poses significant harm to our users. Note that in determining whether an advertiser or destination is violating this policy, we may review information from multiple sources including your ad, website, accounts and third-party sources.  If we find violations of this policy, we'll suspend your Google Ads accounts upon detection and without prior warning, and you won't be allowed to advertise with us again. If you believe that there's been an error, and that you haven’t violated our policy, submit an appeal and explain why. We only reinstate accounts in compelling circumstances, and when there's good reason so it's important that you take the time to be thorough, accurate and honest. Learn more about suspended accounts.

Not allowed Manipulating ad text in an attempt to bypass our automated system checks

Examples (non-exhaustive): Misspelling prohibited words or phrases to avoid ad disapproval; manipulating trademark terms in the ad text to avoid the restrictions associated with the use of that trademark

Violations of this policy won't lead to immediate account suspension without prior warning. A warning will be issued, at least seven days, prior to any suspension of your account. Learn more about suspended accounts.
Troubleshooter: Circumventing systems

It’s possible to have an ad disapproved for violating this policy without having your entire account suspended. This is most common when a word or phrase in the ad appears to be too similar to a prohibited word or a trademarked term that you aren’t authorised to advertise. In this case, simply remove that word or phrase from your ad. Once you edit and save the ad, it will automatically be reviewed and can be approved to run if we find that it no longer violates this policy.

Webmaster Guidelines

The following isn't allowed:

Engaging in practices that violate the Google Webmaster Guidelines

Examples (non-exhaustive): Keyword stuffing, cloaking, sneaky redirects, doorway pages, spamming social network sites

Violations of this policy won't lead to immediate account suspension without prior warning. A warning will be issued, at least seven days, prior to any suspension of your account. Learn more about suspended accounts.

Need help?

If you have questions about our policies, let us know: Contact Google Ads Support
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