PPC Shake-up: Google AdWords policy gets teeth

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PPC marketing is set for a huge shake-up as Google gets tough on paid search.

Today marks one of the most significant updates to the Google AdWords policy since it started offering pay per click advertising.

Google's guidelines have always stipulated that ads should be relevant, reliable, trustworthy and honest.

The new update will mean Google suspends any ad which breaks the guidelines.

It gives the guidelines real teeth: any PPC accounts which break the policy could see their ads disappear, or even have their Google AdWords accounts banned.

The rules Google will be enforcing include:

  • Missing lines or extraneous spacing will be punished.
  • Poor grammar will be pulled.
  • All ad keywords have to reflect what's on a landing page.
  • Adtext must mention products or services on the landing page.
  • Poor, one-size-fits-all calls-to-action, like 'click here', are disallowed.
  • Landing pages must be unique to the adtext: ads unrelated to a business will be blocked.

The policy is also looking at duplicate content, scraped sites, templates and sites full of ads rather than actual content.

A full policy list can be found on the AdWords release notes page.

The policy enforcement comes hot on the heels of a series of algorithm updates to Google's organic search engine in the past 18 months. It's likely Google is going to apply the same standards to paid search ads that it now does to organic results.

That could mean a nightmare for unprepared PPC managers - an account review today could possibly be overdue.

Ads which break the guidelines will be flagged by Google, and marketers will have chance to resubmit the ad for approval.

Google AdWords accounts which are in severe breach, however, could be suspended, or even banned.

The move should benefit genuine PPC marketing professionals - who can now focus on building their Quality Score through quality content, and may see better clickthrough rates as nasty adverts which may've been stealing clicks will no longer appear.

Unlike the introduction of the Panda and Penguin algorithms, the implementation of this new AdWords policy update will take place over the coming weeks. - so everyone has chance to get up to scratch.

One of the biggest shocks with Penguin, especially, was that it was relatively unexpected, and immediate affected drastic effects in the search results.

Google plans to go gentle with PPC, gradually reviewing all paid ads run in AdWords, ensuring that each one adheres to the guidelines, before disallowing accounts.

News brought to you by ClickThrough – specialists in Search Engine Optimisation and Internet Marketing.

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