Sometimes despite your best efforts to create a legitimate Google advertising campaign, it still gets rejected by the company. Often the ban happens when advertisers fail to meet all the Google ads regulations.

There are several reasons why Google may block your ad or refuse to display it on their network. It might be due to a missing URL, restricted content, repetition, or even a bad-quality image. All these examples would mean violating the Google Ads policy.

It’s fair to say that Google’s rules are pretty hefty and strict. However, it’s certainly possible to follow all of them and get your ad approved. In this guide, we’ll help you avoid the most common mistakes and go over reading the regulations, understanding the most crucial points, and applying them. 

Thankfully, in most cases, if your ad is rejected, Google will tell you exactly which policy it violated. In this case, it usually doesn’t take long to fix the issue and get it shown on the web. Recently, Google updated its Destination Requirements Policy and clarified its language regarding Insufficient Original Content and other policy validation terms.

Yet we aim not to have to fix anything and to get it right from the begging. Not only will it help you to save some time, but it’s also important to know that Google reduces the reach of ads they suspect of breaking their policies. In extreme cases, too many disapproved ads can block the entire ad account. This article will help you avoid violating Google ads regulations and creating campaigns that aren’t spammy or include prohibited language.

About Google’s policies

Google ads give a fair chance to all businesses, regardless of their size, location, or reputation when it comes to using their advertising services. They want to help advertisers to reach their audiences and sell more profitably online. However, to ensure a healthy digital advertising ecosystem and the well-being and interests of its users, Google has created advertising policies. Firstly, Google only allows ads that are clear and professional in appearance and that lead users to content that is relevant, useful, and easy to interact with. However, there are more specific regulations.

While their policies update with the changing nature of the internet, some rules stay the same. When crafting its policies, Google pays close attention to any changes in online trends, listens to what its users want, and keeps in mind its company values. Google requires that advertisers comply with all applicable laws and regulations and Google policies. You must familiarize yourself with and keep up to date on these requirements.

When Google finds content that violates their requirements, they may block it from appearing, and in cases of repeated violations, they prohibit the transgressor from advertising with them.

The approval status of your ads

Knowing that once you’ve submitted your ad to Google, it goes through different statuses is essential. Firstly, it would always be ‘under review’. It then might move to ‘eligible’, which would mean that Google is still in the process of reviewing; however, it might already show your ad on a few search pages, based on the preliminary scanning. If the ad complies with all of Google’s regulations, it will be ‘approved’, and Google will run it. However, if, during the check, Google finds something against the rules, the ad would either be ‘disapproved’ or ‘approved limited’. A disapproved ad cannot be run, while a partly approved ad is allowed to run; however not quite the same as an approved ad. Usually, ads get limited approval due to content or industry restrictions, and in this situation, there is nothing you can do to make Google show your ad more often and in more cases.

Overview of the policies

To help advertisers prepare ads that align with their policies, Google has highlighted four main categories of advertisements that cannot be violated. Those include:

  • Prohibited content
  • Prohibited practices
  • Restricted content and features
  • Editorial and technical

As we’ve mentioned before, rejecting to follow even a subcategory of one of the listed broad areas results in ad rejection by Google. Google is good at detecting breaches as they use a combination of automated and human evaluation when approving the ads. Let’s have a closer look at each one of the categories:

1. Prohibited content: Content you can’t advertise on the Google Network

Prohibited content includes Counterfeit goods, Dangerous products and services, Enabling dishonest behavior, and Inappropriate content.

In other words, products that mimic the brand features of the product in an attempt to pass themselves off as a genuine product of the brand owner will not be allowed on Google ads; nor will Google allow the promotion of tobacco products, weapons, recreational drugs, and psychoactive substances. Hacking software or academic cheating services as examples of services that promote dishonest behavior also violate Google advertising policies. There are tons of examples of inappropriate content, including cruelty to animals, murder, and self-harm – don’t try advertising any of it on Google ads.

2. Prohibited practices: Things you can’t do if you want to advertise with Google

Prohibited practices include Abusing the ad network, Collecting and using data, and Misrepresentation.

If you want your ad to run, don’t try tricking Google’s ad validation system, be honest and transparent in what you promote. Similarly, you can’t misuse the information you collect, nor collect it for unclear purposes or without appropriate disclosures or security measures.

3. Restricted content and features: Content you can advertise, but with limitations

Some content you can advertise, but if you wish to do so, you have to pay extra attention to the details. These subcategories include Alcohol, Sexual content, Gambling, Healthcare and Medicine, Political content, and Financial Services. We’ll quickly go over each below.

Sexual content

Google’s legal regulations don’t allow certain sexual content in ads or on destination pages. Restricted content includes visible genitalia and female breasts, sex toys, and more.


Some alcohol-related ads are allowed if they meet local alcohol laws and industry standards, don’t target minors, and are only shown in countries allowed to show alcohol ads.

Gambling and games

To advertise gambling, you need to get a particular Google Ads certification.

Healthcare and medicines

We are dedicated to following advertising regulations for healthcare and medicine, so we expect that ads and destinations follow appropriate laws and industry standards. Healthcare-related content can’t be advertised at all, while others can only be advertised if the advertiser is certified with Google and targets only approved countries. Check local regulations for the areas you want to target.

Political content

The regulation on promoting political content varied based on the region. Therefore, if you are trying to promote political parties or candidates on Google ads, you need to check what’s legal in the country you are trying to do it.

Financial services

Similarly to political content, the promotion of financial services may vary from region to region; therefore, an advertiser must check the laws before running an ad calling to buy cryptocurrency or to invest money somewhere specific. It might mean including particular disclosures required by local law.

4. Editorial and technical: Quality standards for your ads, websites, and apps

This section might appear the most important to many advertisers. The principal regulations to pay attention to when promoting non-explicit or prohibited items and services.

Technical requirements

Advertisers must follow technical requirements, which include image and video quality. Google will ban ads with images that are sideways, upside down, or that don’t take up the entire space of the chosen image size. Videos with poor sound quality or blurry visuals will not be accepted either. The company will also remove non-family safe content in the videos and images.

Destination requirements

Destination pages are a significant part of any digital ad. Therefore, Google checks not only campaigns but also the pages that the ad takes users to. For example, an ad would be rejected if it displays a wrong URL, such as instead of taking users to “” as promised on the ad, it takes them to “”. If a landing page is a website under contraction or broken, the ad would not be accepted either.

Editorial requirements

Google’s editorial requirements include the following sections: Style and spelling, Punctuation and symbols, Capitalization, Repetition, Unacceptable spacing, and Phone number in the ad text. You can have a closer look at all of them here. Below we will go over the most common ones that are almost guaranteed to be flagged by Google.

Sensational Language

Clickbait is described as text or content with the main purpose of attracting users to click. This tactic is a big no for advertising on Google. Be careful with your language; if it seems like you are screaming at users to make them click, rephrase your sentences. Examples of sensational language are “You will never believe that…”, “Shocking news about Katy Perry”, and so on.

Exclamation Marks in Headlines

Don’t include exclamation marks in headlines. Similar to sensational language, those marks seem like the advertisers are trying too hard to get the user’s attention and are not encouraged by Google. Therefore, keep your headlines simple and evident with no unnecessary punctuation.

Incorrect Grammar

Google only accepts proper English, so you must write correctly, with no typos or mistakes. Google’s rules are also very strict on punctuation. Not only in the headlines, but any written text symbols must only be used as punctuation according to the grammatical rules. It means that you cannot write like this: H-E-L-L-O.

Phone Numbers in the Text

Simple as that: no phone numbers in your ads or even descriptions. Leave this information for the destination page, and your ad will not be blocked.

Final thoughts

To conclude, we would like to highlight the importance of following Google’s guidelines as they are just as strict when the ads include prohibited content as when there is a grammatical mistake. Please ensure you pay attention to any updates and follow all the regulations. Here is a short list highlighting what not to do when you want your ad to be accepted.

  • Don’t violate any Google ads policies.
  • Don’t use content focused on adult entertainment, gambling, explosive products, counterfeit goods, or offensive content in general.
  • Don’t include your phone number in the ad text.
  • When advertising financial services and products, ensure they comply with local and state regulations for your specific country or region.
  • Pay attention to the destination page and ensure it follows the regulations.

And if your ad is suspended or not accepted, read what Google tells you and try to understand why. Then you’ll be able to fix it by reviewing the regulations again. If the problem persists, even when you’ve created a perfectly legal ad that follows Google’s policy, consider contacting them directly. Also, make sure to delete any previously disapproved ads from your account.