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Use custom rules

Custom rules notify you of violations to best practices before posting changes. These notifications can appear as warnings or errors.  There’s a set of built-in, recommended rules set as warnings, and you can edit these to meet your needs.

Note
If you don't find the built-in rules helpful and want to hide them, you can quickly pause them in bulk in the custom rules view.

Built-in custom rules

These rules are built-in by default, but you can customize or disable any of them. The following rules apply to campaigns, unless noted otherwise.
 

Description Alerting condition Rationale
Fewer than 4 sitelink extensions   Warn if there aren’t at least 4 sitelinks at the account level, Search Network campaign level, or at least one sitelink for each ad group within the campaign. Use at least 4 sitelink extensions to make your ads more prominent, which can increase CTR. Learn more
 
Fewer than 4 callout extensions Warn if there aren’t at least 4 callouts at the account level, Search Network campaign level, or at least one callout for each ad group within the campaign. Use at least 4 callout extensions to make your ads more prominent, which can increase CTR. Learn more
No call extensions Warn if there isn’t at least one call extension at the account level, Search Network campaign level, or each ad group within the campaign. Use at least one call extension to make your ads more prominent, which can increase CTR. Learn more
Not targeting Search Partners Warn if a campaign isn’t targeting Search Partners. Showing your ads on partner sites can help increase your ads’ reach and traffic. Clickthrough rates on search partners don't affect Quality Scores on Google Search. Learn more
Manual bidding Warn if a campaign is using manual bidding. Use Enhanced CPC or an automated bidding strategy to bid more efficiently. Learn more
No optimized ad rotation Warn if a Search campaign is not using optimized ad rotation. Use optimize for clicks / conversions to show your best performing ads. Learn more
Accelerated delivery Warn if a campaign is using accelerated delivery. Accelerated delivery is likely to use up your campaign's limited daily budget early in the day. Use "standard" delivery, which is more optimized, so that the delivery of your ads is spread more evenly throughout the day. Learn more
No Search audiences Warn if a campaign is not using remarketing lists for search ads, customer match, or audiences. Attach an audience list to get a better return on investment. Learn more
Fewer than 3 ads
(applied to ad groups)
Warn if there’s only 1 or 2 ads in an ad group and optimized ad rotation is enabled for the Search Network campaign. Use at least 3 variations of your ads in your ad groups to let optimized ad rotation show the best performing one, which may improve CTR or CVR. Learn more
Conversion tracking not set up Warn if the account doesn’t have conversion tracking enabled. Enable conversion tracking to unlock helpful features, like better reporting and automated bidding. Learn more
Image ads but no responsive ads (applied to ad groups) Warn if a Display Network ad group has image ads but not responsive ads. You have image ads but no responsive ads in your Display Network ad group. Use responsive ads to get many more conversions at a similar CPA. Learn more
 
Campaign targeting set to “Target and Bid” Warn if biddable audiences are added to a Search Network or Shopping campaign set as “target and bid.” You have Search Network or Shopping interests and remarketing targeting set to “Target and Bid” which restricts traffic to just the users in your audience.  Use “Bid only” to target all users and adjust bids for the ones in your audience. Learn more
Ad group targeting set to “Target and Bid” Warn if biddable audiences are added to a Search Network or Shopping ad group set as “target and bid.” You have Search Network or Shopping interests and remarketing targeting set to “Target and Bid” which restricts traffic to just the users in your audience.  Use “Bid only” to target all users and adjust bids for the ones in your audience. Learn more
Targeting optimization disabled
(applied to ad groups)
 
Warn if an ad group in display campaign has targeting optimization set to disabled. You have targeting optimization disabled. Enable conservative targeting to optimize your targeting to reach people your targeting wouldn’t otherwise reach, at around the same cost per person, automatically. Learn more
Inactive Search Network audience targeted
(applied to audiences)
 
Warn if an audience has fewer than 100 active users and is targeted by a Search Network campaign or ad group. Your audience has fewer than 100 active users and is targeted by a Search Network campaign or ad group. Your ads won’t serve against this list until more active users are added to it. Learn more
Inactive Display Network audience targeted
(applied to audiences)
 
Warn if an audience has fewer than 100 active users and is targeted by a Display Network ad group. Your audience has fewer than 100 active users and is targeted by a Display Network ad group. Your ads won’t serve against this list until more active users are added to it. Learn more

Instructions

Editing custom rules

To edit built-in custom rules:

  1. In the sidebar below the type list, click Custom rules.
  2. In the data view, select the rule you want to edit.
  3. In the edit panel, make your changes. You can click Comments to add notes about the rule.
  4. Above the data view, click Apply rule changes.
Note
The violation criteria for certain very complex built-in rules can’t be edited currently. These rules are labeled as “<complex> - the violation criteria is not editable” in the “Violation criteria” field in the edit panel. In a future release, you’ll be able to edit these, so stay tuned.
 

To remove built-in custom rules:

  1. In the sidebar below the type list, click Custom rules.
  2. In the data view, select the rule you want to remove.
  3. In the data view, click Remove.
  4. Above the data view, click Apply rule changes
Note
Keep in mind that built-in rules can’t be removed and will instead be paused if you try to remove them.
 

To restore the default settings for built-in custom rules:

  1. In the sidebar below the type list, click Custom rules.
  2. In the data view, click Restore defaults.
  3. Above the data view, click Apply rule changes.

To reshow rule violations that you’ve ignored:

  1. In the sidebar below the type list, click Custom rules.
  2. In the data view, click Reshow ignored violations.
  3. Above the data view, click Apply rule changes.

Creating new custom rules

To create your own custom rules:

  1. In the sidebar below the type list, click Custom rules.
  2. Click Add custom rule.
  3. In the edit panel, fill out all the required fields.
  4. Click Edit below “Applies to” in the edit panel to select what the rule should apply to, such as keywords or text ads.
  5. Under "Violation criteria," select or enter the conditions that will violate a rule when these conditions are met. All criteria are AND-ed together. In other words, they must all be met for the item to violate the rule.
  6. Under “Severity,” select whether you’d like the rule to only notify you of violations or prevent changes that violate the rule from being posted.
  7. Above the data view, click Apply rule changes.
     

Examples of rules you can create

Here are some examples of violation criteria you can use to create custom rules that notify you whenever:

  • An optional field, such as “label,” isn’t entered. Use the following violation criteria:
    • label=""
  • A final URL is missing a domain. Use the following violation criteria:
    • status = enabled -finalurl : "www.exampleURLs.com"
  • The maximum CPC for a keyword exceeds a certain amount. Use the following violation criteria:
    • status = enabled maxcpc >= "4.00"
  • Call reporting hasn’t been enabled for call extensions. Use the following violation criteria:
    • status = enabled -callreporting = enabled
       

 

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