Abuse of the ad network

Our policy

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 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.

Examples of what's not allowed

Here are some examples of content that we don't allow:

Malicious or unwanted software

These requirements apply to software hosted on your site or linked to from your site, regardless of whether the software is promoted through the Google advertising network.

Malicious software or "malware" that may harm or gain unauthorised access to a computer, device or network
  • Examples: Computer viruses, ransomware, worms, trojan horses, rootkits, keyloggers, diallers, spyware, rogue security software and other malicious programmes
     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 Licence 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

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

If your site is suspended from advertising, all ads pointing to your site will stop running. To avoid this stoppage, you should make sure that you keep your entire site 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 is suspended for unwanted software, see additional information and resources for webmasters about binary malware and unwanted software.

Low value 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

Gaining an 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 programme rules, promoting the same or similar content from multiple accounts on the same or similar queries

Gaming the Google Network

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 AdsBot crawler access to so many of your landing pages that it makes it difficult to meaningfully review your ad, site or account

What you can do

Here's more detail about each violation and what you can do if your ad is disapproved or your site is suspended:

Malicious content
  1. Read the policy above to learn about the behaviours that we don't allow. Don't distribute or host malicious software.
  2. Clean your site. If you're unaware of having malware on your site, your site or computer could have been infected. See our instructions to remove malware. If you fix your site and we don't find any problems, we might be able to run your ad again.
Low value content
  1. Read the policy above to learn about the behaviours that we don't allow. Check your website to see where you can replace low value content with rich original content.
    • Examples of low value content that we don't allow:
      • Websites with excessive advertising (See examples)
      • Websites that scrape content from other sites (See example)
      • Templated websites or pre-generated websites that provide duplicate content to users
      • Websites with deceptive site navigation that never deliver the promised service or product or that prevent a user from doing anything other than clicking an ad
      • Websites with ads that are indistinguishable from the rest of the site's 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
    • Examples of changes that you might make to your site or landing page:
      • Add more original content or functionality to your site. Focus on providing the user with useful, unique and original content immediately when a user first visits your site.
      • Don't use a landing page that has excessive advertising or is otherwise designed primarily to show ads. The main focus of your website 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, including, but not limited to, original logos, business names and images on each domain that you own.
      • If your site has a search functionality, make sure that the search results aren't just copied from other sites.
  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 page of your website that does comply with our policy. If you fix your site to comply with our policy, use this link to let us know:
    Review my fixed website

    We'll review your site, usually within 3 working 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 that your ads can start running.

    If you want to use a different landing page instead, just edit your ad's Destination 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.
Gaining an unfair advantage
  1. Read the policy above to learn about the behaviours 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 or site. Here are some examples:
    • Affiliate programme rules: We don't allow affiliates to advertise on AdWords in violation of the applicable affiliate programme 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 that you promote should offer distinct value to users.
  2. Change your website. If the site that your ad leads to violates this policy, please change it to make it comply. You'll then need to request a site review before moving on to the next step of changing your ad text.
    Review my fixed website
  3. Change your ad.If your ad violates this policy, please edit it to make it comply.
    Take me to my account
    • On your Ads tab, hover over the ad that you want to edit.
    • Click the pencil icon next to your ad to edit it.
    • Click Save when you've finished.
    Once you edit and save your ad, it gets sent to us for review. Most ads are reviewed within 1 working 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 landing page, 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.
Gaming the Google Network

We take this violation very seriously and consider it to be an egregious violation of our policies. Advertisers 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 Guideline violations
  1. Read the policy. Review Google's Webmaster Guidelines and modify your website 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 that spam social network sites to inflate a site's ranking or popularity
  2. Change your website. Once you fix your site to make it comply with our Webmaster Guidelines, let us know by requesting a website review.

What happens if you violate our policies

  • 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 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.

Follow local laws: To ensure a safe and positive experience for users, Google requires that advertisers comply with all applicable laws and regulations in addition to the Google AdWords policies. It's important to 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 serious violations, you may no longer be able to advertise with Google.

 

Need help?

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

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