Google third-party policy
Welcome to the Google third-party policy centre. Here you'll find the requirements for third parties that purchase or manage Google advertising on behalf of their customers.
Accountability is a core principle of Google advertising, and we want to make sure advertisers – whether they work directly with Google or not – understand how Google advertising is performing for them and what to expect from their third-party partners.
Our third-party policy covers three areas:
- Transparency requirements: Information that you need to share with your customers
- Prohibited practices: Things that you can't do if you want to purchase or manage Google advertising on behalf of your customers
- Account setup requirements: How you need to arrange your customers' Google advertising accounts
For advertisers to fully realise the benefits of advertising on Google, they need to have the right information to make informed decisions. Therefore, we require all of our third-party partners to be transparent with information that affects these decisions. In addition to meeting the requirements outlined below, third parties must make reasonable efforts to provide their customers with other relevant information when requested.
Google advertising cost and performance
At a minimum, you must provide your customers with monthly performance reports that include data on costs, clicks and impressions at the Google advertising account level. When sharing Google advertising cost data with customers, report the exact amount charged by Google, exclusive of any fees that you charge.
If you provide other reports on cost or performance beyond the minimum requirement described above, those reports also need to apply specifically to Google advertising products. For example, if you provide your customers with daily cost and performance reporting at the keyword level across all advertising networks, then you're also required to provide reporting on daily cost and performance specifically for AdWords keywords.
Share your Google advertising cost and performance reports in a way that makes it easy for your customers to access the reports, such as by email or via your website. Alternatively, you can meet this reporting requirement by allowing your customers to sign in to their Google advertising accounts directly to access their cost and performance data. Learn how to share account access.
Third parties often charge a management fee for the valuable services they provide, and end-advertisers should know if they are going to be charged these fees. If you charge a management fee (separate from the cost of AdWords or AdWords Express), let customers know. At a minimum, inform new customers in writing before each first sale and disclose the existence of this fee on customer invoices.
Sharing the disclosure notice
It's especially important for advertisers with smaller budgets -- who may not have the resources or expertise of large advertisers -- to know what they can expect when working with a third-party partner. Therefore, all third parties that primarily serve customers with small to medium-sized budgets need to share the "Working with a third-party" disclosure notice with all of their customers.
If 80% or more of your customers spend less than $1,000 USD (or local currency equivalent) per month on AdWords or AdWords Express, you're required to share that disclosure notice with all customers who buy AdWords or AdWords Express from you. Have a link to the disclosure notice in a clearly discoverable location on your website. Examples of acceptable locations include the footer of your homepage, the advertiser section of your site, your advertiser reporting dashboard and the products or services section of your site. In addition, during new sales or renewals, let your customers know about the presence of the disclosure notice on your website by either emailing them a soft copy or mailing them a printed copy.
AdWords or AdWords Express customer IDs
It's important for advertisers to have the ability to contact Google directly with concerns about a third-party partner. To allow Google to properly investigate and assist the advertiser, we require that you provide your customers with the customer IDs for their AdWords or AdWords Express accounts when requested. Learn how to find an AdWords customer ID or AdWords Express customer ID.
We want advertisers to make informed decisions about working with third-party partners, which means you need to be upfront and truthful when describing your company, your services, the costs associated with those services and the results that advertisers can expect. Don't make false, misleading or unrealistic claims.
- claiming a false affiliation with Google
- guaranteeing top placement on Google
- claiming that ads will appear in Google Search at all times
- representing free Google products as pay-for-insertion products
- making false statements about how AdWords costs are calculated
- offering unlimited clicks
Advertisers should get as great service from a third-party partner as they would get when working directly with Google. So don't use harassing, abusive or untrustworthy tactics with potential or existing customers.
- repeatedly cold-calling potential customers
- putting undue pressure on an advertiser to sign up or stay with your agency
- having others take Google certification exams on your behalf
- offering AdWords vouchers in exchange for payment
Account setup requirements
One advertiser per account
Having a separate account for each end-advertiser is essential to maintaining the integrity of the AdWords Quality Score. Because account history is a core component of the AdWords Quality Score, mixing advertisers in one account can result in Quality Scores that inaccurately represent any one advertiser's performance. Additionally, we'll show only one ad per account for a particular keyword, so mixing advertisers in one account could unfairly limit ad serving for those advertisers. For these reasons, we require that you use a separate account for each end-advertiser that you manage.
About our policies
It's important that you familiarise yourself with and keep up to date on Google's third-party policy. If we believe that you violate our policies, we may contact you to conduct a detailed review of your practices and request corrective action. In cases of repeated or serious violations, we may stop you from advertising with us.
These policies are in addition to any existing terms and policies that may apply to third parties, including these:
- Google Advertising Programme Terms
- Google AdWords Policy
- Google Partners Programme Terms and Conditions
- Google AdWords API Terms and Conditions
- Google Brand-Usage Guidelines
What happens if you violate policy
- Compliance review: We may review your business for compliance with our third-party policy at any time. If we contact you to request information related to compliance, you're required to respond in a timely manner and swiftly take any corrective action needed to comply with our policies. We may also contact your clients to verify compliance.
- Notification of non-compliance: If we believe that you're violating third-party policy, we'll usually contact you to request corrective action. If you fail to make the requested corrections within the time period given, your access to Google third-party programmes and your advertising accounts may be suspended. In cases of serious or repeated violations, you may be suspended immediately and without notification.
- Third-party programme suspension: Your participation in Google third-party programmes, such as Google Partners or Premier SMB Partners, is predicated upon compliance with third-party policy and may be limited or suspended if we find that you're violating our policies or if you fail to cooperate with our efforts to review your business for compliance.
- Advertising account suspension: We may suspend your Google advertising accounts if you commit a serious policy violation. In cases of repeated or especially serious policy violations, your Google advertising accounts may be permanently suspended, and you may no longer be able to advertise with Google.
Report a violation of third-party policyThink a third-party partner is violating this policy? Let us know:
Report a violation of third-party policy
Need help?If you have questions about third-party policy, we're here to help.