The Google Ads 3 Strike Rule – What To Expect and How To Avoid

On July 20th 2021, Google announced their new three strike system for Google Ad account users, in order to prevent harmful ads from showing on its platform.

Whilst the fundamental elements Google’s restrictions are not new, the method in which these specific policies will be enforced have yet to be seen.

Therefore, having knowledge of how the new strike system will be administrated, when and what to expect it and how to avoid, will help eliminate time and money being wasted in future PPC campaigns.

The three policies that Google will have their watchful eye on are:

  1. Enabling dishonest behaviour policy
  2. Unapproved pharmaceuticals or supplements
  3. Dangerous products or services

Google also stated (unsurprisingly), “This includes ads promoting deceptive behaviour or products such as the creation of false documents, hacking services, and spyware, as well as tobacco, drugs and weapons, among other types of content.”

How it will work

First, you’ll receive ‘warning’ if you are found violating any of the three policies above, alongside the offending ad being deactivated. If another of your ads is once again deemed as violating the same policy within 90 days of your first warning, you’ll be placed in the three strike system. You’ll now have one strike attached to your account as well as all running ads being temporary on hold  for three days.

Given another penalty within another 90 day period of the same policy? That’s strike two, and your account is suspended for a further seven days.

The third strike will cause Google to suspend your account, indefinitely.

You will witness the new policy coming into affect from September 21st 2021, when a pilot of the program will be rolled out.

How to avoid

Ensure you submit the acknowledgement form that is required to be completed by the account user following strikes one and two. Be on alert and ready to appeal any ads that are unexpectedly (or wrongfully) flagged.

It’s not just ad copy that can lead to Google’s disapproval, any content related to your ads will be under scrutiny such as landing pages, images and ad extensions. So, be mindful of all elements  of your ad that could potentially cause your ad to be removed.

Need help creating and setting up the perfect Google Ad, that not only avoids falling victim to the three strike rule, but that is rich in conversions and elevates your brand’s position? Get in touch with the Vivid Creative team for paid ad strategy, consultancy and management that meet your business goals.

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