Can Any Business Advertise Using Google Adwords?

While most businesses can do Pay Per Click advertising without restriction using Google Adwords, many people do not know that there are many rules that need to be followed in order to use the Adwords platform. Some of these rules limit what can be said, and others actually prevent certain businesses and business models from being able to use Adwords entirely. Since many people do not know about any of these rules and restrictions for using Adwords, I decided I would use this article to explain a few of them.

Is it a Good Thing That Google Adwords has Many Rules & Restrictions?

Yes! It is absolutely a good thing. Google wants to deliver a high quality user experience and is only interested in promoting trustworthy, high quality content in its search results, search advertising, and display advertising. The reason why the vast majority of searches take place on Google is because their search results give you exactly what you are looking for, and the overwhelming majority of results you see ranking highly in Organic and Paid placements are high quality websites which deliver the products and services you want, from a company which can be trusted.

The rules and restrictions, while sometimes hard to find and may be limiting to some companies and industries, create a better experience overall for the vast majority of users. Sometimes it is frustrating if you are an honest business and you find yourself at the wrong end of an advertising policy. However, a PPC management expert can help you avoid inadvertently violating the rules and policies, and can also help you navigate the process to fix a campaign or the landing page/site so that you can apply for reconsideration if your campaign or your site gets suspended.

Which Businesses or Advertisers Cannot use Google Adwords?

While Google does allow most advertisers to use Adwords, some business models are completely not allowed. One example of a business model which cannot be advertised on Adwords are affiliate sites. In case you have never heard of affiliate sites, these are sites where they sell products which they never even touch, for example a site where when you make a purchase, the site simply contacts a distributor to drop ship the product to the buyer and will earn a commission on the sale. Another type of affiliate model that is not allowed is where sites act as doorways to sites which actually sell the products from inventory without providing anything unique or valuable to the user.

Another type of business which cannot use Google’s PPC advertising are payday loan companies. While having the ability to get cash quick for an emergency without requiring collateral may be a service which helps some people in their time of need, the industry as a whole has been known to trap people in a cycle of debt where they need to get additional payday loans to pay off their previous ones and where the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is sometimes higher than 700%. Even companies who offer help and relief to people so they can escape payday loan debt can no longer advertise through Google.

These are not the only businesses that cannot be advertised using Pay Per Click. Some other examples of products which cannot be advertised include guns & ammo, intoxicating substances, fireworks, and tobacco products. Sites which enable dishonest behavior like  paper-writing or exam-taking services, fake passports, fake diploma’s, trug test aids, and phone/wire tapping businesses cannot be advertised.

Which Businesses can use Google Adwords with Added Restrictions?

Some businesses have products or services which can be advertised but are restricted in both what they can say in their ads and what they can say on their website. Restricted advertisements will only been shown to some people or displayed on a small selected of websites. Ads which fall under this status are labeled as “Approved (Restricted)” in the Adwords Dashboard.

Some of these Restricted categories are no brainer’s. Adult content, gambling websites, alcohol, and copyrighted content are all examples where Google will subject an advertiser to increased scrutiny and a restricted ad status. Many different types of “exploitative” financial services are very tightly monitored and have to comply with a variety of policies so they are allowed to be advertised on Google. Google requires complete transparency and full disclosure of the fees which a company charges for any financial service such as personal loans and loan modification.

Some restricted content is more surprising. Healthcare advertisements are also investigated more closely and often will be restricted in how they are shown. I have worked with several clients in the healthcare industry including doctors offices, nutritional supplement sales, and medical spa’s. I have had one instance where a campaign I managed had the destination website suspended from advertising because Google found the claims we had made (which were based on Peer reviewed studies) to be “unrealistic or misleading.” Another client needed to get a “pharmacy certification” from Google to advertise a non-invasive procedure to remove belly fat.

Concerned About Advertising Your Business on Google?

Contact our PPC marketing experts for a free consultation to discuss your business model and what you want to advertise on Google. We will provide our thoughts, and can give you a quote to have your campaign managed by our professional Pay Per Click Management team. If you should decide to roll the dice, be aware that there are consequences to violating advertising policies.

Learn more abut what happens if you violate Adwords policies.



Image from Pixabay used under Creative Commons CC 0