Today, Google announced via email to advertisers that in November 2017, Google will update its AdWords misrepresentation policy to clarify their position on paid ads that may mislead users who are interacting with them. The comes after the start of an effort to encourage webmasters and site owners to move their sites to HTTPS, Google Chrome will show a ‘Not Secure’ warning on HTTP pages that have search boxes or forms.
Google has always had a pretty strict policy when it comes to what constitutes as a ‘bad ad’. In 2016 they took down 1.7 billon ads that violated their advertising policies. This is more than double the amount that they retracted in 2015. 80 million of these ads were taken down due to deceiving or misleading content.
Focus on targeting audiences and user experience
Recent changes to Google AdWords shown an increasing focus on targeting audiences and user experience, not clicks. Google doesn’t want users to feel misled by ads that they deliver and are striving to be clear with the information that users need to make informed decisions and this has been in their policy for some time. Bad ads can ruin the online experience for everyone, particularly when the information is misleading. As a result, Google is striving to ensure that users have access to accurate and good quality information online when seeing ads.
“Dear AdWords Advertiser,
You're receiving this message to update you about important changes that will affect one or more of your ads.
In November 2017, Google will update its Misrepresentation policy to clarify our position on promotions that may mislead or trick users into interacting with them. As part of the clarification, Google will expand the scope of what is monitored under "ads depicting features that do not work." Additionally, image ads that show "Download" and "Install" buttons/feature forms will no longer be allowed.
The policy description will be updated to reflect this change.
The Google AdWords Team”
Google is now expanding what is considered “features that do not work”, but it does not go into detail as to what “features” exactly are being eluded to, but it is likely to be an extension of what they already consider to be examples of misrepresentation in their AdWords policy.
Additionally, image ads that show “download” and “install” buttons/feature forms will also be considered a violation of their misrepresentation policy and will no longer be allowed to be placed in ads.
Keeping your ads live
While the changes don’t come into place until November, and most legitimate ads will already comply with the policy changes, it may be worth thinking now whether or not you need to make changes to your ongoing campaigns to avoid being penalised by Google.
As a PPC agency, we are already optimising the various ad campaigns that we run for our clients, ensuring that they all adhere to Google’s terms and conditions to make sure that there are no disruptions for our clients.