1. Self-Service Tool Frequently Asked Questions
  2. Redeeming an offer
  3. Google Offers Program Policies
  4. Google Offers Product Policies
  5. Google Offers Editorial Policies
  6. Google CPG Offers Policies
  1. Self-Service Tool Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the plan for the Google Offers self-service tool going forward?

    We will be turning off the Google Offers self-service tool as we focus on building better solutions for your business. After 3/31/2014, all offers that you created through the tool will no longer be available or distributed on Google.

    You can continue to review the performance of your offers and access your billing summary page through 3/31/2014. You will only be charged for offers saved prior to 1/12/2014, even if you had a live budget after that date. Please note that you will still need to honor any saved offers that have not yet been used.

    What will happen to my offers that are already live?

    After 3/31/2014, all offers that you created through the tool will no longer be available or distributed on Google. Please note that you will still need to honor any saved offers that have not yet been used.

    For more details about Google Offers, please see our Terms of Service.

    We appreciate you participating in the Google Offers program, and encourage you to stay tuned to any product changes in the future.

    Can I still access my Offers and the performance data?

    Your Google Offers performance data will be available until 3/31/2014. The data can be accessed via your Manage tab. To do this:

    1. Sign in to your Google Offers account at google.com/local/add/offers
    2. Click Manage
    3. Click View details in the top right corner of the offer  

    After 3/31/2014 you’ll no longer be able to access this data in your dashboard.

    Do I still have to honor the Offers that I created?

    Please continue to honor any non-expired offers that customers have saved as outlined in the Terms of Service.

    Can I still access my Google Offers Transaction history?

    You can still access your transaction history for previous offers until 3/31/14. Here’s how:

    1. Sign in to your Google Offers account at google.com/local/add/offer
    2. Click the Gear icon in the top-right corner
    3. Select Billing from the dropdown menu

    You’ll be taken automatically to your transaction history where you can view any past offers you paid for. Keep in mind that Google did not charge for any saves after 1/12/2014

    Please note that you’ll no longer be able to view this information in your dashboard after 3/31/14.

    Can I download my Transaction history?
    From your Transaction history page, click the Export button to:
    • Print selected history: Print the information in the table below
    • Export all as .csv: Download information about costs and payments to a .csv file

    Please note that you’ll no longer be able to download this information after 3/31/2014.

    I created an Offer with a budget recently. Am I going to get charged?

    You will only be charged for offers saved prior to 1/12/2014, even if you had a live budget after that date.

    If you have any issues related to your billing or budget, please contact us.

     
     
     
     
     
  2. Redeeming an offer

    How to redeem

    For offers that get redeemed in-store, the way to redeem depends on how the offer was originally set up. There are three possibilities:

    • The offer has a barcode that you scan (offers created with your account manager)
    • The offer has a numeric code that you enter
    • The offer has no code

    Steps:

    1. Customers show their phone screens when they're ready to pay.
      1. If the screen displays a "Use now" button, ask them to tap it.
    2. You should see a screen with a button at the bottom that says "Mark as used"--that's the redemption screen. It will also display the offer title and may have a barcode or numeric code across the middle.
      1. If a barcode, scan the barcode using your point-of-sale device; f the barcode won't scan, try entering in the numeric code (offer created with your account manager).
      2. If a code with numbers, letters, or both, enter the code using your point-of-sale device.
      3. If there's no code or barcode, check that the offer details on the screen match your business' offer.
    3. Apply the appropriate discount to the customer's bill.
    4. Ask the customer to tap "Mark as used" on the offer redemption screen, so that their offer is recorded as redeemed and can't be used again.

    When to redeem

    You should redeem an offer when the customer pays for the purchase or service that's described in the offer, not when the customer is making a reservation or appointment to have the service at a later date. 

    In other words, redeeming an offer only happens at the point when the customer would normally pay for the service or item provided.

  3. Google Offers Program Policies

    Click to Expand Policy

    To ensure a positive experience for customers, all offers distributed on the Google Offers product platform must abide by the following policies:

    Offers must add value above and beyond the product’s normal price.

    Offers should provide a monetary discount or an additional good or service not normally associated with the purchase.

    We also do not allow offers for products or services that are normally offered for free, offers that are sweepstakes, or offers which include text only meant to advertise the product without a discount.

    Offers must represent a unique and limited opportunity.

    Offers should provide a limited time period in which they are valid. Examples include a weekly special or a deal good for 30 days.

    Note that redemption periods may vary based on offer format.

    Additional format specific policies:

    Offers created with your account manager

    Each business should have no more than five offers at a time, in order to ensure they're truly unique opportunities.

    Offers created in Google Places for Business or Google+ Dashboard
    Expiration dates must be within one year of the date that the offer was created.
    Google CPG Offers

    Expiration dates must be within 90 days of the date that the offer was launched.

    Given the nature of coupon distribution for consumer packaged goods, there is no limit to the number of offers consumer product manufacturers or retailers may launch.

    Offers must have a place of redemption.

    Offers should clearly outline how and where the user can redeem them. The deal should also be redeemable at all listed locations, unless otherwise specified.

    Additional format specific policies:

    Offers created with your account manager
    Offers may be redeemed in-store or in-store and online.
    Offers created in Google Places for Business or Google+ Dashboard
    Offers may only be redeemed in-store at this time. Offers which require emailing or any other online action to redeem are not allowed.
    Google CPG Offers
    Offers may only be redeemed in-store at this time.

    Offer title and body text must be clear and accurate.

    Offer titles should be easy to understand and accurately represent the value of the deal being promoted only. The titles and body of the offer should not attempt to trick users by stating different deals or otherwise misleading users. Offer details should include the conditions of use and/or any restrictions or limitations of the offer. Please see our Google Offers Editorial Policies for more information.

    Offer redemption must be clear and simple.

    Offer terms must clearly disclose any redemption requirements, billing expectations, additional charges, minimum purchase limits, etc. as a result of redeeming a deal with the merchant. Hidden fees disclosed upon redemption are not permissible.

    Merchants must not impose deal specific costs on users upon redemption if these costs do not apply to non-deal purchases. In other words, when users redeem their offer, they should not be subject to fees which do not apply to users not redeeming an offer.

    Offers must be redeemable without unspecified additional user requirements. Unacceptable additional requirements include, but are not limited to:

    • Sign up for store credit card
    • Access additional store content

    Offers requiring a minimum purchase to redeem must state that amount in the offer title.

    Additional format specific policies:

    Offers created with your account manager
    • Users must present the offer in order to receive their discount. We do not allow couponless offers on Offers platforms. 
    Offers created in Google Places for Business or Google+ Dashboard
    • Users must present the offer in order to receive their discount. We do not allow couponless offers to be created in Google Places for Business.
    • If your business normally requires an appointment, please include this in the offer terms. Unacceptable additional requirements include restaurant reservations.
    Google CPG Offers
    Offers are automatically redeemed via loyalty card or alternative loyalty identifier. Users do not need to present the offer in order to receive their discount.

    Offers must not be overly restrictive.

    Offers must be generally accessible to most customers. Offers available only to a subset of users are unacceptable and include, but are not limited to:

    • “$10 off for Teachers & Students”
    • “10% off for Seniors and Military”
    • “$15 off on your birthday”

    Offers must not be restricted to club or loyalty cards requiring paid membership but may be restricted to free club or loyalty card holders when clearly outlined in the terms. Note that offers for discounts on paid memberships are acceptable.

    Offers must also not be restricted to specific payment methods which are different from the store’s normal payment restrictions.

    As an exception, offers may be restricted to first time customers only. Merchants wishing to include this restriction must comply with Editorial Policies highlighting this restriction.

    Google CPG Offers
    Offers may be targeted to specific users based on purchase history.

    Promoted products must be clear to the user.

    Users must be able to redeem offers for all applicable products mentioned in the deal. When an offer is for storewide products, it must be applicable to all products in the store without exceptions. When an offer is limited to specific products, it must be applicable to all specific products as defined in offer terms.

    Offers must adhere to our Editorial Policies.

    Please see our Google Offers Editorial Policies for instructions on how to format the text and images of your offer.

    Google or its affiliates may modify offer text (a) to make non-material changes (e.g., size, formatting, punctuation, capitalization and spelling modifications) or (b) as described in Program Policies. Google making these changes does not in any way shift the merchant's liability for the content, and Google is not responsible for the accurate depiction of branded terms.

    Additional format specific policies:

    Offers created with your account manager
    Google may contact your business to request changes based on those guidelines, in order to optimize the quality of your offer.

    Offers must adhere to our Product Policies.

    Some products or services cannot be promoted in Offers. For a list of these, please see our Google Offers Product Policies.

    Google reserves the right to remove any offer at any time for any reason. This includes, but is not limited to, a response to customer complaints about your offer or fulfillment thereof.

    Finally, please note that any use of Google Maps must abide by our Google Maps Terms and Conditions.

  4. Google Offers Product Policies

    Click to Expand Policy

    Product policies listed below play an important role in maintaining a positive experience for everyone using Google products. 

    To ensure a positive experience for customers, the policies listed below are applicable to all offers distributed on the Google Offers product platform. 

    Abortion
    Google Offers doesn't allow abortion related services and content related to abortion that uses violent language or gruesome imagery.

    Academic Aids
    Google Offers doesn't allow custom and pre-written academic papers, paper-writing or test-taking services.

    Adult Goods and Services
    Google Offers doesn't allow pornography and other sexually suggestive materials (including literature, imagery and other media); escort services; adult novelties and toys; erotic clothing and intimate massages.

    Alcohol
    Google Offers doesn't allow the direct purchase of alcohol, discounted alcohol or free alcohol including but not limited to, beer or wine of the month clubs, alcohol or beer making kits, establishments whose sole or primary purpose is the consumption of alcohol and offers which are solely to be redeemed for alcoholic beverages.

    "Anti" and Violence
    Google Offers doesn't allow the promotion of "anti" or violent concepts including but not limited to content encouraging or inciting violent acts, intolerance or hatred; content advocating against an organization, person, or group of people; and content associated with websites advocating against a protected group. A protected group is distinguished by one of the following: race or ethnic origin, color, national origin, religion, disability, sex, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

    Casinos and Gambling
    Google Offers doesn't allow gambling, lotteries or related products. This may include, but is not limited to, sports betting, casinos, online gambling, tips, odds, sports picks, and gambling-related tutoring or education materials.

    Copyright
    Google Offers doesn't allow products that might promote or encourage the infringement of the intellectual property rights of others, including patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, and other proprietary rights.

    Counterfeit and Unauthorized Goods
    Google Offers doesn't allow counterfeit goods, including products promoted as faux, replicas, imitations, or clones of the original product.

    Drugs and Drug Paraphernalia
    Google Offers doesn't allow drugs, drug paraphernalia and aids to pass drug tests. This may include but is not limited to, drug related products, legal substances, or substances or compounds claiming to provide unsubstantiated health benefits.

    Fake Documents
    Google Offers doesn't allow fake documents including fake ids, government documents, diplomas, and nobility titles.

    Financial Services, Securities, and Stored Value
    Google Offers doesn't allow services related to management of money or investments including financial or investment consulting, mortgage lenders, insurances, Forex trading, credit card services, and stored value cards.

    Fireworks
    Google Offers doesn't allow fireworks, pyrotechnic devices, and related products.

    Hacking
    Google Offers doesn't allow hacking and tools that aid in copyright infringement. This includes manuals, how-to guides, information and/or equipment used for hacking or copyright infringement.

    Health Care and Medicines
    Google Offers doesn't allow online pharmacies, prescription drugs, miracle cures, and false health claims.

    Illegal Activities
    Google Offers doesn't allow materials, products, or information promoting illegal goods or enabling illegal or dangerous acts.

    Plastic Surgery and Other Procedures
    Google Offers doesn't allow plastic surgery and invasive or otherwise regulated procedures including liposuction, tattooing, body piercing, and Botox.

    Regulated and Endangered Species
    Google Offers doesn't allow products obtained from endangered or threatened species including elephant ivory, shark, tiger, whale, or dolphin products and staghorn or elkhorn coral.

    Regulated Goods
    Google Offers doesn't allow regulated goods or services including lock-picking devices, medical devices, pesticides and insecticides, recalled items and surveillance equipment.

    Sale of Free Items
    Google Offers doesn't allow items or services that are otherwise available for free. This includes the sale of government forms or services that are available for free or for a lower price on the official or government site.

    Sensitive Issues
    Google Offers doesn't allow content that attempts to capitalize on or is related to sensitive issues such as natural disasters, tragic occurrences, war, and world conflicts. Because sensitive issues are usually identified in response to unpredictable events, other policy areas may be impacted depending on the nature of the event.

    Third Party Reference
    Google Offers doesn't allow mention or use of logos, images, screen shots, or personal information of any person or third party without their written permission.

    Tobacco and Cigarettes
    Google Offers doesn't allow tobacco or tobacco-related products, including cigarettes, cigars, tobacco pipes, rolling papers, electronic cigarettes and e-cigarette cartridges.

    Traffic Devices
    Google Offers doesn't allow products that are primarily designed to evade traffic laws. This may include, but is not limited to, radar jammers, license plate covers, and photo blocker sprays.

    User Safety
    Google Offers doesn't allow deceptive business models or products associated with misleading claims including multi-level marketing programs, matrix, pyramid, Ponzi schemes, and wealth creation programs.

    Weapons
    Google Offers doesn't allow firearms, firearm components, ammunition, knives, and other items including but not limited to, martial arts weapons, silencers, gun parts, BB guns, and tear gas.

  5. Google Offers Editorial Policies

    Click to Expand Policy

    Offer content must provide a complete, accurate description of the offer that is easy to understand and does not mislead users.

    Titles must state the value of the offer ($ off, % off, free item, etc.).
    Value must only reflect the specific offer that gets applied at checkout; it may not incorporate any additional markdowns or discounts.
    Titles must state the offer's applicability (the item or service that is valid for discount).
    • If an offer requires a minimum purchase, it must be stated in the title (ex: $5 off purchases over $20).
    • Don't be misleading. If an offer is good for only certain items, sizes, or types of items, don't create a title that implies otherwise.
    If one offer includes a range of possible discounts, the title must always state the lowest possible value (the "floor"), never just the highest possible value (the "ceiling").
    • No: Up to $20 off
    • Yes: $10-20 off, $10+ off
    If there's a maximum discount available, stating it in the title is recommended (where space permits), but stating it in the restrictions is required.
    Example: 30% off organic household products (max discount $20)
    If the offer is only valid for first-time customers, stating it in the title is recommended (where space permits), but stating it in the restrictions is required.
    Example: $10 off one-hour massage (new clients only)
    If an offer is only valid at certain locations, it must be stated in the restrictions. Detailing which locations are included or excluded is recommended.
    Example: Valid at Sunnyvale locations only
    Titles must not exceed character limits.
    Long Titles have a limit of 60 characters, and Short Titles have a limit of 25 characters.

    Offer text must use correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization.

    Grammar and spelling

    All words must be spelled correctly with no typos, and text must be written in logical sentence form, using correct grammar.

    Exceptions are allowed for common abbreviations that the majority of users would understand.

    Example offer Allowed?
    Free onion rings when you buy and entree Not allowed - Text uses the wrong word, "and" for "an"
    Free eyeshadow when you visited our store Not allowed - Text uses incorrect verb tense
    $5 off pastries or bagels, Mon thru Wed only Allowed - Most users understand that "thru" stands for "through," and that "Mon" and "Wed" are days of the week
    Spacing

    Offers must not have missing spaces or extra spaces between letters or words, or around punctuation.

    Example offer Allowed?
    30% off eyebrow,face,bikini,Brazilian waxing Not allowed - Text does not leave proper spacing between words
    $5 off women's shirt s with  purchase Not allowed - Text has an incorrect space within one word and an extra space between two words
    Free coffee with purchase, Sat-Sun only Allowed - Text uses correct spacing around words separated by hyphens
    Punctuation and symbols

    Offers must have correct punctuation and must not use unnecessary, distracting, or gimmicky numbers, letters, or symbols, such as:

    • Exclamation marks in the title
    • More than one exclamation mark in the details
    • Repeated punctuation or symbols
    • Symbols, numbers, and letters that don't adhere to their true meaning
    Example offer Allowed?
    30% off wood furniture 4 kitchens Not allowed - Text uses symbols that don't adhere to their true meaning
    ***Free appetizer when you buy an entree*** Not allowed - Text uses gimmicky punctuation
    $10 off tickets to "All in the Family" Allowed - Text uses quotation marks correctly
    Capitalization

    Offers must not contain excessive, gimmicky, or inconsistent capitalization.

    Example offer Allowed?
    FREE pizza with purchase Not allowed - Text contains excessive capitalization
    Free pizza With purchase Not allowed - Text contains inconsistent capitalization
    Free pizza with purchase Allowed - Text uses sentence-style capitalization
    Free Pizza With Purchase Allowed - It's okay to capitalize the first letter of every word in the offer title, as long as it's done consistently

    Titles must not include any of the following:

    • Business names: This name will always appear elsewhere on the offer; it is repetitive to place in the title as well.
    • Codes: Redemption codes should only be entered in the fields designed specifically for them, not in any other offer text.
    • Redemption instructions: Titles should not detail any steps that a user needs to take in order to redeem.
    • Periods or exclamation marks, unless part of the brand name

    Offers must not contain gimmicky repetition of words and phrases, or any unnecessary or irrelevant text.

    Offers must represent the terms of the offer consistently throughout all text. They must not display conflicting information about the expiration dates, days of validity, value, or any other detail. 

    Offers must not contain inappropriate or offensive language or images.

    Google Offers is not currently optimized to accept offers in languages other than English.

    Image policy

    Images must adhere to legal and Google Offers Product Policies, as well as to the following format and content rules:

    • Images must be hosted at a public URL (Google Picasa Web / Google+ Photos is a great free image hosting service)
    • Aspect ratio: 4:3
    • Size: 1280 x 960 px
    • Resolution: at least 72 dpi
    Google CPG Offers format specific image requirements
    • Partners must submit images to Google. Images will be hosted by Google
    • Format: PNG, JPEG
    • Background: white or transparent
    • Size: minimum width 336px

    The following images are not allowed:

    • Dark and/or blurry images
    • Under or overexposed images
    • Images with text overlay
    • Image collages
    • Images that don't spec (dimensions outlined above)

    Logo policy

    Logos must adhere to the following format:

    • Aspect ratio: may vary
    • Size: minimum size for largest dimension must be at least 200 px
    • Resolution: at least 72 dpi

    Logos should make the brand instantly recognizable and convey it in the clearest way possible.

    If you have the option of submitting a logo only (that is, if you are not submitting an image as well), it would be best if the logo adhered to the image spec described under Image Policy.

    Additional guidelines

    Offer Title / Long Title
    • Shorter is better; remove unnecessary words like "take," "enjoy," etc.
    • 60 characters maximum
    • Examples:
      • $10 off purchases over $50
      • 50% off select women's clothing
      • Free burrito when you spend $15
    Short Title
    • For offers created with your account manager only
    • Provide as much relevant information as possible within character count
    • Avoid generic promotional text; always state the value of the offer
    • 25 characters maximum
    • Examples:
      • $10 off $50+ home decor
      • 50% off women's apparel
      • Free eyeshadow with $25+
      • Buy 1, get 1 50% off
    Details
    • For offers created with your account manager
      • This field is optional; only use it for additional useful information that doesn't fit in the title
      • Do not repeat the title text in this field
    • For offers created in Google Places for Business or Google+ Dashboard
      • This field will be automatically filled in by selections made around availability and additional restrictions while setting up the offer
    • 100 characters maximum
    Terms
    • For offers created with your account manager only
    • State any restrictions in the most simple, straightforward way possible
    • List the restrictions that are most important for the user to see first
    • 2500 characters maximum
    Google CPG Offers format specific requirements
    • Offer Summary: 25 characters
    • Header 1: 45 characters
    • Header 2: 45 characters
    • Body Text: 52 characters per line, 4 lines maximum
    • Learn More: 2500 characters
    • Terms & Conditions: 2500 characters

    Google or its affiliates may modify offer text a) to make non-material changes (e.g., size, formatting, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling modifications) or b) as described in Program Policies. Google making these changes does not in any way shift the merchant's liability for the content, and Google is not responsible for the accurate depiction of branded terms.

  6. Google CPG Offers Policies

    When distributed on the Google Offers product platform or otherwise branded by Google, Google CPG Offers must adhere to all Google Offers Program, Product and Editorial policies.

    When Google CPG Offers are promoted without Google branding on the retailer’s own website, app, or non-Google coupon portal, retailers are expected to adhere to all applicable laws and regulations.