Google Ads helps large and small businesses around the world reach their goals, from driving awareness to delivering ROI. Google Ads is now updating its Malicious or Unwanted Software policy as well as Financial Products and Services policy.
While the Google Ads Malicious or Unwanted Software policy is split into 3 separate policies – Malicious Software, Compromised Sites, and Unwanted Software, the Financial Products and Services policy will be revised to make clear the parameters and standards for the promotion of businesses and services associated with cryptocurrencies.
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Google Ads Policy Updates
Malicious or Unwanted Software Policy
Google has announced that “In May 2023, the Google Ads Malicious or unwanted software policy will be split into 3 separate policies: Malicious software, Compromised sites, and Unwanted software. We will begin enforcing these policies on May 9, 2023, with full enforcement ramping up over approximately 4 weeks.”
Until these policy changes are brought into effect, Google will continue to enforce its current malware policy.
3 Separate Policies
Malicious software: The Malicious software policy is now narrowed to ban the deliberate distribution of malicious software or “malware” that may harm or gain unauthorized access to a computer, device, or network. Regardless of whether the software is promoted through the Google advertising network, this limitation applies to your ads and any software that your website or app hosts or links to. Violation of the malicious software policy will now be regarded as extreme violation.
Compromised sites: A site or destination is considered as compromised, when its code is manipulated or hacked by a third party without the knowledge of the site or destination’s owner or operator, and harms the site’s users. Your ads are not permitted to use locations that have been hacked into or compromised. Account suspension won’t happen immediately after a violation of this policy without a warning. A notice will be sent, at least 7 days before your account is suspended.
Unwanted software: Advertisements and websites that contravene Google’s Unwanted Software Policy are prohibited. Account suspension won’t happen immediately after a violation of this policy without a warning. A notice will be sent, at least 7 days before your account is suspended.
It is important for website owners and marketers to review these policy changes to see whether any of your ads are covered by it, and if they are, those ads have to be removed before May 9th, 2023.
Updates to Financial Products and Services Policy (April 2023)
Google’s Financial products and services policy is designed to safeguard users from harmful or dishonest practices. For the purposes of this policy, financial products and services include personalized advice and are related to the management or investment of money and cryptocurrencies.
The latest announcement is that Google will update its financial products and services policy in April 2023, to clarify the scope and requirements for the advertisement of cryptocurrency-related businesses and services. Advertisers advertising cryptocurrency exchanges to Indonesian consumers may do so starting on April 28, 2023, if they match the criteria below and are approved by Google.
Indonesia (Cryptocurrency Exchanges)
As long as the advertiser has the required Crypto Asset Physical Trader license from Bappebti, Google permits ads for cryptocurrency exchanges targeting Indonesia. Moreover, any additional local legal requirements must be followed.
Google expects all advertisers to comply with the local laws for any area that their ads target.
This policy will apply globally to all accounts that advertise these financial products. For more information, consider referring to About restricted financial products certification. Account suspension won’t happen immediately after a violation of this policy without a warning. A notice will be sent, at least 7 days before your account is suspended.
Violation of Ad Policies
Advertisers are required to comply with all applicable laws and regulations in addition to Google Ads policies. Any content that violates these policies can be blocked on the Google Ads platform and associated networks.
This is how Google enforces policies and laws, for policy violations –
Ad or asset disapproval
Ads and assets that violate Google Ads policies will be disapproved. Such disapproved ads can be run, only when the policy violation is fixed and the ad is reviewed, which will be noted in the “Status” column.
Google has warned that “If we detect an egregious violation, your account will be suspended immediately and without prior warning. An egregious violation of the Google Ads policies is a violation so serious that it is unlawful or poses significant harm to our users or our digital advertising ecosystem.” Any egregious violations will result in immediate account suspension, upon detection and without prior warning. For any other violations that lead to account suspension, Google will send a warning to outline the nature of the policy violation and any remedial action that can be taken, in order to comply. This notification will be sent at least 7 days prior to suspension action.
For persistent policy violations, Google issues strikes to Google Ads account. Penalties rise with each additional strike, eventually leading to account suspension. There is a three-strike limit per policy on your Google Ads account.
If your account is suspended, all of the ads in that account will stop running, and unless you are successful in appealing, Google will no longer accept your advertising. It will also automatically suspend any new accounts you create and any associated accounts (such as those using the same payment method).
Remarketing list disabling
Remarketing lists that fail to follow the Personalized advertising policy can no longer be used with ad campaigns, and new users won’t be added. Those restrictions apply to both individual web pages and entire websites and apps.
At any moment, Google could check to see if your business complies with the Customer Match policy. If Google contacts your business to verify compliance-related information, you have to reply promptly and take any necessary remedial action to ensure that you abide by Google’s standards. Google may also contact managed accounts to verify compliance.
Businesses relying on digital marketing outsourcing companies to handle their Google Ads must make sure that the partner company is aware of such updates.