Yet Another Google Upgrade: AdWords Policy 2.0

July 3, 2014

Receiving an alert from Google about a policy upgrade isn’t the ideal start to any search marketer’s day. We hope that by now you’ve had time to let the idea simmer. If you’re not aware, on June 16, Google announced that upgrades are coming to its AdWords policy “around September.”

The recently released 2.0 version of the AdWords policy has one main focus: the end user. The new policy will crack down on advertisers, enforcing high-quality, no-junk content to ensure the most streamlined experience for ad viewers.

Will the new and improved policy cause ads to look more like native ads to the user, ultimately resulting in increased clicks and revenue for Google? We’ll be keeping a close eye on the digital marketing ramifications over the coming months. In the meantime, here are two key upgrades you need to be aware of as a search marketer:

1. A Streamlined Policy

In an effort to make its policy easier to comprehend, Google shrunk the existing policy from seven broad categories to four. Google hopes that organizing its policy into fewer sections will make it more practical and digestible for advertisers.


Existing google adwords policy

Will become:

New google adwords policy

2. Increased Emphasis on Content Quality

Paid search ads will now adhere to strict policies to protect a user’s experience. Google claims that it doesn’t want users to feel misled by the ads delivered to them. To ensure the highest quality experience, Google’s Abuse of the Ad Network policy prohibits:

  • Malicious ads, sites or apps

  • Ads promoting sites that offer little unique value to users and are focused primarily on traffic generation

  • Businesses that attempt to gain an unfair advantage in the ad auction

  • Businesses that attempt to bypass Google’s review processes

Google concludes by asking advertisers to “play fair.” Any attempts to circumvent the ad review process will result in serious consequences.

The Bottom Line

Google doesn’t want end users to be bombarded with intrusive ads. This new policy aims to be more transparent, cracking down on advertisers in an effort to eliminate “black hat” marketing practices.

According to Google, if your current paid search campaigns comply with the existing policy, you shouldn’t stress over this upgrade. However, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with the new policies and considering whether you need to make any changes before September. You can find a preview of the upcoming policy here.


Blog post by Jordan Nowlin, social media and blog manager, ChannelAdvisor

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