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[Google] Make the Sale: Build, Launch, and Manage E-commerce Stores: Disapprovals in Google Ads

Regardless of the campaign type, all of your ad content needs to comply with Google Ads policies. If your ad violates these policies, it will be disapproved and won’t run. Familiarizing yourself with Google Ads policies and creating ad content that adheres to them can help reduce the likelihood that your ad will be disapproved. Even if you do this, you may occasionally have ads that are disapproved. In this reading, we will discuss Google Ads policies and some examples of violations of them, error and warning checks that indicate an ad may be disapproved, and how to fix a disapproved ad.

Overview of Google Ads policies

Google Ads policies are designed not only to follow laws but to ensure a safe and positive experience for users. These policies aim to prohibit content that could be harmful to users. Google Ads uses a combination of automated and human evaluation to ensure ads comply with these policies.

As you learned in a previous reading, these policies are divided into four general categories: prohibited content, prohibited practices, restricted content, and editorial and technical requirements. Below is a description of each of these categories and examples of violations of them:

  • Prohibited content: Content you’re not allowed to promote on the Google Network
    • Examples: Ads that contain counterfeit goods, dangerous products or services, or inappropriate or offensive content
  • Prohibited practices: Things you can’t do if you want to advertise with Google
    • Examples: Ads that contain malicious software, collect data without appropriate disclosures or security measures, or misrepresent products or services
  • Restricted content: Content you can advertise, but with limitations
    • Examples: Ads that contain sexual, political, alcohol, or gambling-related content or are geared at kids
  • Editorial and technical requirements: Quality standards for ads, websites, and apps
    • Examples: Ads that do not meet certain technical, formatting, or editorial requirements

Before creating an ad, review Google Ads policies to help ensure your ad is in compliance with them.

Error and warning checks

Google Ads Editor automatically detects certain issues that might cause your ad to be disapproved. As you edit your ad, red error icons or yellow warning icons appear to indicate any potential problems. For example, if your ad contains capitalization that is not used correctly or for its intended purpose (e.g., COFFEE, COFfEE, C.O.F.F.E.E.), Google Ads Editor will show a red error icon next to the affected row.

The following icons indicate the status of your ad:

Red circle with an exclamation point inside it

Red circle with an exclamation point inside it

An icon with an exclamation point in a red circle indicates an error. Google Ads Editor can’t check or post the affected item unless you request an exception or make the required change.

Yellow triangle with an exclamation point inside it

Yellow triangle with an exclamation point inside it

An icon with an exclamation point in a yellow triangle indicates a warning. Warnings don’t prevent an item from posting, but you should check the item for accuracy and to ensure that it meets Google Ads policies.

Green circle

Green circle

A green circle icon appears after you check your changes, and it indicates that the item has passed Google Ads policy checks.

Ad review process

After you create or edit an ad or extension, the review process begins automatically. The content in your ad—including your headline, description, keywords, destination, and any images and video—will be reviewed. Most ads are reviewed within one business day. However, some reviews take longer if the ad requires a more complex review.

  • If your ad passes the review, its status will change to eligible, and it will start to run.
  • If the review indicates that your ad violates a policy, its status will change to disapproved, which means it can’t show anywhere.
  • If your ad is marked eligible (limited), it will not show in certain regions, to certain age groups, or on certain devices.

Fix a disapproved ad

If any of your ads are disapproved or eligible (limited), your ad may not be able to run until it’s corrected. In Google Ads, this will be noted in the status column, where you can also find out what policy violation is impacting your ad.

When you have an ad with policy violations, review the policy and then edit the ad so that it complies. Once you fix your ad, Google will review the ad and allow it to run if it’s determined to be compliant.

This video provides more information about how to fix a disapproved ad.

If you’ve reviewed the policy and still believe your ad is compliant, you also have the option to file an appeal. Scroll down to the Appeal policy decision section of this article for more information.

Key takeaways

Learning about Google Ads policies around prohibited content, prohibited practices, restricted content, and editorial and technical requirements can help you create content that is in compliance with these policies, reducing the likelihood that your ad will be disapproved. If there is still an issue with an ad you’re editing, a red warning icon will indicate that there is an error you need to fix. If the review of your ad determines that it violates a policy, its status will change to disapproved. You will need to review the policy violation and fix the error before your ad can run.

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