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Abusing the ad network

We want ads to be useful, varied, relevant, and safe for users when serving them across the Google Network. As a result, we don't allow any of the following:
  • malicious ads, sites, or apps
  • ads promoting sites or apps that offer little unique value to users and are focused primarily on traffic generation
  • businesses that attempt to gain an unfair advantage in the ad auction
  • businesses that attempt to bypass our review processes

All of our policies are crafted to protect a high-quality user experience, and we've built enforcement systems and processes to prevent ads that fall below these standards from serving. We take any attempts to trick or circumvent our ad review processes very seriously, so play fair.

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

If you think your ad was incorrectly disapproved, you can request a review through the Disapproved ads and policy questions form.

Malicious or unwanted software

These requirements apply to software that your site or app either hosts or links to, regardless of whether the software is promoted through the Google advertising network.

Malicious software or "malware" that may harm or gain unauthorized access to a computer, device, or network
  • Examples: Computer viruses, ransomware, worms, trojan horses, rootkits, keyloggers, dialers, spyware, rogue security software, and other malicious programs or apps
  • See our requirements around malware

Promotions that violate Google's Unwanted Software policy

  • Examples: 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
  • See Google's Unwanted Software policy

Websites and apps must comply with Google's Unwanted Software policy. If Google detects unwanted software hosted on or linked to from your site or app, we may disapprove related advertising until the problem is fixed. Similarly, if your promotion isn't absolutely clear about the behavior or functionality of the software, we may disapprove your ads or suspend your site or app from advertising.

If your site or app is suspended, all ads pointing to it will stop running. To avoid suspension, you should make sure your entire site or app is clean of unwanted software and links that lead to unwanted software, even if you aren't directly promoting that unwanted software in your ads. If your site or app is suspended for unwanted software, see additional information and resources about binary malware and unwanted software.

Troubleshooter: Malicious or unwanted software
  1. Read the policy above to learn about the behaviors that we don't allow. Don't distribute or host malicious software.
  2. Clean your site or app. If you don't regularly check for malware, your site or computer could be infected. See our instructions to remove malware. If you remove all malware and we don't find any additional problems, we might be able to run your ad again.

Insufficient original content

Content that is designed for the primary purpose of showing ads

Examples: Driving traffic (whether through "arbitrage" or otherwise) to destinations with more ads than original content, little or no original content, or excessive advertising

Content that is replicated from another source without adding value in the form of original content or additional functionality

Examples: Mirroring, framing, or scraping content from another source

Landing pages that are solely designed to send users elsewhere

Examples: Bridge, doorway, gateway, or other intermediate pages

Troubleshooter: Insufficient original content
  1. Read the policy above to learn about the behaviors that we don't allow. Check your website or app to see where you can replace low-value content with rich original content.
    • Examples of low-value content that we don't allow:
      • Websites or apps with excessive advertising
      • Websites or apps that scrape content from other sources
      • Templated websites or pre-generated websites that provide duplicate content to users
      • Websites or apps with deceptive navigation, that never deliver the promised service or product, or that prevent a user from doing anything other than clicking an ad
      • Websites or apps with ads that are indistinguishable from the rest of the content
      • App download promotions that direct users to a destination where the app can't actually be downloaded and that lack any other original content or functionality
      • Landing pages that are solely designed to send users elsewhere
      • Landing pages that copy the content of other websites or apps
    • Examples of changes you might make to your landing page:
      • Add more original content or functionality to your site. Focus on providing the user with useful, unique, and original content immediately.
      • Don't use a landing page that has excessive advertising or is otherwise designed primarily to show ads. The main focus of your website or app shouldn't be ads, regardless of how relevant the ads are to your ad text.
      • Reduce the number of ads or space taken up by ads.
      • Remove all HTML framesets that copy content from domains other than the ad landing page domain.
      • Create unique, original content, such as original logos, business names, and images on each domain that you own.
      • If your site or app has search functionality, make sure that the search results aren't just copied from other sites or apps.
  2. Change your ad's landing page. To run your ad, you can either fix your landing page to make it comply, or you can choose to change your destination URL to point to another part of your website or app that does comply with our policy. If you made changes to comply with our policy, use this link to let us know:

    We'll review your site, usually within 3 business days, though some can take longer if they need a more complex review. If we find that your site meets all of our policy requirements, we can approve it so your ads can start running.

    If you want to use a different landing page instead, just edit your ad's final URL.
If you aren't able to fix these violations or choose not to, please remove your ad to help prevent your account from becoming suspended in the future for having too many disapproved ads.

Unfair advantage

Using the Google Network to gain an unfair traffic advantage over other participants in the auction
  • Examples: Affiliates that advertise on AdWords against the applicable affiliate program rules, promoting the same or similar content from multiple accounts on the same or similar queries
Troubleshooter: Unfair advantage
  1. Read the policy above to learn about the behaviors that we don't allow. Check your ad campaigns and other AdWords accounts to make sure that you're not trying to show more than one ad at a time for your business, app, or site. Here are some examples:
    • Affiliate program rules: We don't allow affiliates to advertise on AdWords in violation of the applicable affiliate program rules.
    • Diverse content: We don’t allow advertisers to promote the same or similar content from multiple accounts on the same or similar queries.
      • Think about the target audience for your campaigns, and develop your keywords to fit the user's likely intent when searching.
      • Each website or app that you promote should offer distinct value to users.
  2. Change your website or app. If your ad leads to content that violates this policy, fix the website or app to make it comply. You'll then need to request a review before moving on to the next step of changing your ad text.
  3. Change your ad.

    If your ad violates this policy, edit it to make it comply.

    • On your Ads page, hover over the ad you want to edit.
    • Click the pencil icon next to your ad to edit it.
    • Click Save when you're done.

    Once you edit and save your ad, it's sent for review. Most ads are reviewed within 1 business day, though some can take longer if they need a more complex review. If we find that you've removed the unacceptable content from your ad and its destination, we can approve your ad to start running.

If you aren't able to fix these violations or choose not to, please remove your ad to help prevent your account from becoming suspended in the future for having too many disapproved ads.

Circumventing systems

Engaging in practices that attempt to circumvent or interfere with Google's advertising systems and processes
  • Examples: Cloaking; using dynamic DNS to switch page or ad content; manipulating ad text or site content in order to bypass our automated system checks; restricting access to so many of your landing pages that it makes it difficult to meaningfully review your ad, site, or account
Troubleshooter: Circumventing systems

We take this violation very seriously and consider it to be an egregious violation of our policies. Advertisers, apps, or sites that are found to be gaming the Google Network will be suspended and won't be allowed to advertise with us again.

If this is an error and you have not actually violated our policy, we want to get your account running again as quickly as possible. Please submit an appeal and explain why you believe we've made an error. Because this policy violation is so serious, we only reinstate accounts in compelling circumstances, such as when we've made a mistake. So it's important that you take the time to be thorough, accurate, and honest.

Webmaster Guidelines

Engaging in practices that violate the Google Webmaster Guidelines
Troubleshooter: Webmaster Guidelines
  1. Read the policy. Review Google's Webmaster Guidelines and modify your website or app so that you're not using any techniques to artificially inflate ranking or popularity. Here are some examples of what we don't allow:
    • Keyword stuffing: a technique where webpages are loaded with keywords to inflate the site's ranking
    • Cloaking: a technique where different content is served to search engines than to users
    • Sneaky JavaScript redirects (Gaming): a technique that displays different content to users and Google's ads crawl in order to "game" our system
    • Doorway pages: webpages 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: sites or apps that spam social network sites to inflate a site's ranking or popularity
  2. Change your website or app. Once you fix your site to make it comply with our Webmaster Guidelines, let us know by requesting a website review.

Need help?

If you have questions about this policy, let us know:
Contact AdWords Support
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