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Google Updates its Policy Violations Enforcement with Three-Strike Rule

Google has announced that it will introduce a new strike-based system to prevent repeat Google Ads policy violations. In an email sent to advertisers, Google stated that the new system will roll out on 21st September 2021, slowly increasing over a three month period.

If you have ever advertised on Google, you will know that Google requires advertisers to comply with a number of policies. If these policies are broken, ads will be disapproved and ineligible to run until changes are made. However, the new system which comes into place in September runs a ‘Three Strikes And You’re Out’ style rule.

What's Changing?

For advertisers who continue to violate certain Google policies, the company will issue strikes (accompanied by email and in-account notifications) to deter repeat offences. The first policy violation will only result in a warning, but continued rule breaks will see advertisers earn their first strike. For each strike an advertiser receives, the penalty applied will progressively increase.

As a result of first and second strikes, advertisers will be placed on temporary account holds. A first strike will result in an account hold of three days, while a second strike will result in a seven day account hold. A third strike will result in suspension of the account.

To resume advertising, accounts placed on a temporary hold will need to fix any violations and submit a form of acknowledgement to Google. There will also be an option to appeal a strike if an advertiser believes there to be an error. Once successfully appealed, adverts will immediately resume serving but if no action is taken by an advertiser then accounts will remain on temporary hold. Unless successfully appealed, strikes will remain on an account for 90 days.

After a third strike, suspended accounts will not be able to create or run ads until the suspension has been appealed by Google.

Which Policies Will Be Impacted?

As previously mentioned, the new system will roll out in September over a period of three months. The system will apply to the following Google Ads policies: 

Over time, the new strike-based system will extend to other policies and advertisers will be notified by Google of any changes.

It is important to note that this update does not impact regular account suspension protocol for egregious Google Ads policy violations. With these upcoming changes, it is vital that you maintain a strict practice of regularly reviewing Google’s policies and auditing your account for any possible policy violations. If you have any questions or would like advice regarding Google Advertising, get in touch with us and one of our experts will be happy to help.

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