Google Ads to launch ‘Three Strikes and out’ System

21st Jul 2021

Google Ads plans to expand the scope of the project after the initial pilot to include more policy types.

Search Engine giant Google will be implementing a new ‘three strikes’ policy for paid advertising, from September 2021.

The policy, designed to weed out regular transgressors of advertising rules, particularly those that promote unapproved substances or products, dangerous products or services, or enable dishonest behaviour.

Whilst the ads have been on the prohibited list for some time, the policy has not been to ban advertisers who regularly flout the rules – rather, to date, ads are simply not approved to start with or removed as soon as they are flagged.

Google Ads’ help centre released a statement saying, “Warnings and strikes will be issued for violations of our Enabling Dishonest Behaviour, Unapproved Substances and Dangerous Products or Services policies — 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 the penalty system will work

A first transgression will flag a warning without immediate penalties, after which each violation will invoke increasingly stringent penalties until the account is finally suspended.

If an account violates a policy, the account admin will receive an email informing them of the issue. After the initial warning, admins will need to correct the policy infringements and send Google Ads an update before they will be allowed to post ads again.

Fair opportunity part of the system

Google Ads will allow strikes to expire after 90 days, and if an account has had two strikes, fixed the issues, sent the required, and then does not violate another policy for 90 days after the fix, the account will reset, with the next violation starting at the initial warning stage again.

There is also an appeal process in place for any violation and enforcement decisions.

“We already administer immediate account level suspensions when we detect egregious policy violations such as circumventing our systems (e.g., creating new accounts to bypass multi-strike suspensions), phishing or misrepresenting the product or service to intentionally mislead users,” Google Ads added.

Initially Google Ads will be piloting the system with the aforementioned transgressions, but there are plans to expand to include more policy types. The program will eventually roll out globally.

Find out more about Google Ads campaigns and how to create effective, engaging campaigns that deliver optimised results. Contact Realnet today on 01223 550800 or

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