Google Ads - Updates to enforcement procedures for repeat violations

In September 2021, Google will introduce a new strike-based system to enforce against advertisers who repeatedly violate Google Ads policies. We will begin implementing the strike-based system on Sep 21, 2021, with a gradual ramp up over a period of 3 months, for the following policies: Enabling dishonest behavior, Unapproved substances, Guns, gun parts and related products, Explosives, Other Weapons, and Tobacco. The policy coverage of the strike-based system will be expanded to add additional policies in phases over time and advertisers will be notified each time new policies are brought within scope of the strike-based system. This update does not impact the account suspension procedures for egregious Google Ads policy violations.


What's changing:

To help ensure a safe and positive experience for users, Google requires advertisers to comply with Google Ads policies. As a part of the Google Ads enforcement system, Google will begin issuing strikes to advertisers, which will be accompanied by email notifications and in-account notifications to encourage compliance and deter repeat violations of our policies.

An advertiser’s first policy violation will only result in a warning. But advertisers will earn their first strike if we detect continued violation of our policies. Advertisers will be able to receive a maximum of three strikes, and the penalties applied with each strike will progressively increase. Temporary account holds will be applied for the first and second strikes (for 3 and 7 days respectively), while the third strike will result in an account suspension.

An advertiser placed on a temporary account hold will be required to remedy the violations in question and to submit an acknowledgement form to resume serving ads. Following this acknowledgement, their account will be released from the temporary account hold state either 3 days after the first strike was issued, or after 7 days for a second strike. Advertisers can also appeal a strike decision if they believe it was issued in error. Ads will resume serving immediately after successfully appealing the strike. Accounts will remain on temporary hold if no action is taken by the advertiser to either acknowledge or appeal a strike. Strikes will remain on the Google Ads account for 90 days unless they’re successfully appealed.

Accounts suspended following a third strike will not be able to run any ads or create new content unless the suspension is successfully appealed.


Why Google suspends accounts: Google Ads policies and Terms & Conditions help create a safe and positive experience for users and advertisers. Accounts may be suspended if they are found violating policies or the Terms & Conditions. If they detect an egregious policy violation (defined below) your account will be suspended immediately and without prior warning. For other policy violations that lead to account suspension, we will send you 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.

What is an egregious violation? 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. Egregious violations often reflect that the advertiser's overall business does not adhere to Google Ads policies or that one violation is so severe that we cannot risk future exposure to our users. Given that egregious violations will result in immediate account suspension, upon detection and without prior warning, we limit these to cases when such action is the only effective method to adequately prevent illegal activity and/or significant user harm.


How does Google Ads detect policy violations? They use both automated and human evaluation to detect violations of Google Ads policies. They review information from a variety of sources, including your ads, accounts and content, user complaints, consumer reviews, regulatory warnings and rulings.



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