Spam techniques

What's the policy?

Google AdWords doesn't allow the following:

  • Ad spam techniques (exploiting online advertising systems, like AdWords, for financial gain)
  • Affiliate spam techniques (conducting affiliate campaigns on AdWords in violation of the applicable affiliate program rules)
  • Bulk marketing techniques (distributing spam to large audiences)
  • Webmaster Guidelines violations (promoting websites that violate our Webmaster Guidelines, including Cloaking and Gaming.

We've created this policy to protect users from unwanted spam, to provide a positive user experience, and to protect users' privacy.

Examples

Ad spam techniques

Techniques Allowed? Details
Legitimate traffic and link exchange programs Allowed Google allows legitimate traffic and link exchange programs that don't promise a fixed number of clicks or impressions.
Legitimate advice on how to increase traffic Allowed Google allows legitimate advice on how to increase traffic via genuine optimization of your ad or site.
Business models designed to create artificial ad traffic Not allowed
Click, impression, and conversion inflation programs Not allowed
Illegitimate pay-to-read and pay-to-surf programs Not allowed Google doesn't allow pay-to-read and pay-to-surf programs where users receive monetary incentives for viewing web pages.
Illegitimate pay-to-click programs where users receive monetary incentives for viewing web pages Not allowed Google doesn't allow pay-to-click programs where users receive monetary incentives for viewing web pages.
Auto-surfing Not allowed
Automated ad clicking Not allowed
Illegitimate traffic exchange programs Not allowed Google doesn't allow, for example, services that offer a fixed price for a fixed package of traffic/hits/page views. These types of programs usually promise "real users" or "targeted users," though most don't explain where the users come from, meaning that they most likely use illegitimate means to generate the hits.
"Type ads at home" affiliate programs Not allowed Google doesn't allow affiliate programs that encourage users to sign-up for a fee, "type ads," and advertise the data entry affiliate program they initially signed up for. These types of sites tend to claim very high earning potentials and use terminology like "type at home," "data entry jobs," "make money from home," "make $ typing ads," "online data entry," "make $ using AdWords."
Template or pre-generated "ready made" sites Not allowed Google doesn't allow template or pre-generated "ready made" sites intended to profit from AdSense ads or ads from other publisher networks.
Claims or guarantees intended to mislead the user into believing that a third party has a unique relationship with Google Not allowed Google doesn't allow claims or guarantees intended to mislead the user into believing that a third party has a unique relationship with Google, allowing them to offer any of the following:
  • Discounts on keywords
  • Guaranteed (top) placement
  • Reseller agreements with us that don't exist
  • Special working relationship with Google
  • Exception to the auction (don't have to pay by CPC, etc.)
  • Ability to purchase keywords in bulk
Fake reviews Not allowed Google doesn't allow business models that promote techniques to artificially increase or lower ranking or ratings via fake reviews.

Affiliate spam techniques

Techniques Allowed?
Click, impression, and conversion inflation programs Not allowed
Business models that are designed to create artificial traffic from an affiliate links Not allowed
Report affiliate spam: If you're an affiliate program owner who believes that an AdWords advertiser is running ads in violation of your program rules, you can report the issue to us. In your email, please provide the following:
-- Proof that you own the affiliate program and that your affiliate program does not allow affiliate ads on AdWords.
-- The affiliate link(s) that you're concerned about and the destination URLs they are pointing to.

Bulk marketing techniques

Techniques Allowed? Details
"Opt-out" email or SMS (text message) lists Not allowed Google doesn't allow "opt-out" email or SMS (text message) lists where users are automatically added to distribution lists and must proactively choose to be excluded from the list. Any lists not specifically defined as "opt-in" are assumed to be "opt-out."
"Opt-in" email or SMS (text message) lists Allowed Google allows "opt-in" email and SMS (text message) lists. These allow users to choose whether or not they want to be included in email or text message mailings.
Bulk email or SMS software for non-personal or non-corporate services Not allowed Google doesn't allow software that does any of the following:
  • Allows marketers to indiscriminately obtain email addresses and/or send emails
  • Turns computers into email servers
  • Sends emails to unsolicited customers or skims the internet for email addresses
  • Automates the sending of bulk social networking friend requests, invites, or comments
Bulk pop-up or pop-under messaging by IP range Not allowed Google doesn't allow browser windows that open in addition to the original window, regardless of content or whether it's located on top of or underneath the current browser window. Every computer has an internet protocol (IP) address. Google doesn't allow pop-ups and pop-unders to be promoted by targeting a range of IP addresses.
Personal and corporate email or SMS sending software Allowed Google allows software that automates or manages the sending of emails or SMS messages to personal or corporate email/SMS lists.
Bulk messaging for employee communication use Allowed Google allows the promotion of bulk messaging when used to communicate among employees in a company's IP range.

Webmaster Guidelines violations

Techniques Allowed? Details
Keyword stuffing Not allowed Google doesn't allow the promotion of sites that use keyword stuffing – a technique where web pages are loaded with keywords to inflate the site's ranking.
Cloaking Not allowed Google doesn't allow the promotion of sites that use cloaking – a technique where different content is served to search engines than to users.
Sneaky JavaScript redirects (Gaming) Not allowed Google doesn't allow the promotion of sites that use sneaky Javascript redirects – a technique that displays different content to users and Google's ads crawl. We call this technique "gaming" because this is done to "game" our system.
Doorway pages Not allowed Google doesn't allow the promotion of web pages that are created solely to rank high in search engine results for particular phrases, with the purpose of sending you to a different page.
Spamming social network sites Not allowed Google doesn't allow the promotion of sites that spam social network sites to inflate a site's ranking or popularity.

Learn more about cloaking, sneaky JavaScript redirects, and doorway pages.

What can I do if my ad gets disapproved?

If your ad gets disapproved for violating this policy, try reviewing the following tips to help resolve your issue:

Disapproval reason What does it mean? What do I do now?
Ad spam Your ad or website uses ad spam techniques. Review the guidelines above and see where your ad might be violating this policy. If an element of your business features ad spam techniques, please remove that element from your site. Once you've made any necessary changes, you can then resubmit your ad for review, following the instructions in the section below.
Bulk messaging products Your ad or website uses or promotes bulk marketing techniques. Remove all references to prohibited bulk marketing techniques from your ad and website. Once you've made any necessary changes, you can then resubmit your ad for review, following the instructions in the section below.
Webmaster Guidelines violations Your ad or website violates Google's Webmaster Guidelines. Review Google's Webmaster Guidelines and modify your website so that you're not using any techniques to artificially inflate ranking or popularity. After making any necessary changes to your site, request a re-review of your site by following the instructions below.

How do I resubmit my ad for review?

If your ad gets disapproved, you can resubmit it for review by simply editing your ad and then saving it. To avoid getting disapproved again, make sure that your ad complies with our policies and that you remove any references to unacceptable content before saving your ad.

Here's how to edit your ad:

  1. Visit your account's Ads tab.
  2. Hover over the table row that lists the ad you want to edit. Click the pencil icon next to your ad, and you'll be able to edit your ad right there.
  3. Click Save when you're done editing your ad.

After editing and saving your ad, the Status column will change from "Disapproved" to another status like "Under review" or "Eligible." We review most ads within 1 business day. Some reviews may take longer because some ads require more complex review.

How can I request a re-review of my website?

Once you've addressed the violation, please contact us via the link below. You'll be taken to our "Site Policy" form where you can request a re-review of your site.
Request a re-review

What happens if I violate this policy?

  • Ad disapproval: Ads that don't follow this policy may get disapproved. A disapproved ad won't be able to run until the policy violation is fixed and the ad is approved.
  • Domain disabling: We may suspend websites that violate this policy, meaning that the website can no longer be advertised with AdWords until the problem is fixed.
  • Account suspension: An account may get suspended if you have several violations or a serious violation. If this happens, all ads in the suspended account will stop running, and we may no longer accept advertising from you. Any related accounts may also get permanently suspended and your new accounts may get automatically suspended at setup. Learn more about suspended accounts.

Contact information

If you still have questions about this policy, you can contact us via the link below. You'll be taken to a form where you can write to us about your issue.
Contact AdWords Support