Fixing disapproving nods from Google

If you run your own Google Ads campaigns, you’ll probably have been frustrated at one time or another by ads being ‘disapproved’. Managing the campaigns for fifty or more companies, we see examples almost every week.

In the past, the dreaded disapproval message has just meant ‘fixing’ the ads, but now a new ‘three strikes’ policy from Google makes us uneasy. The company says that repeated violations may result in accounts being suspended. This would be fine, if it wasn’t for the fact that so many disapproval notices are completely unreasonable.

Fortunately we have a fairly decent line of communication to real humans at Google, but that’s not the case for a lot of individual small advertisers. Avoiding getting ads disapproved has taken on a greater degree of importance.

I’m sure none of us make the obvious mistakes of using daft punctuation, deliberate misspellings or bad language. The more likely inadvertent problems are targeting the ads at redirected URLs or even broken ones (it happens); and including trademarks. This is something Google has been pathetically bad at handing for years, and we’ve been driven to distraction on occasions trying to get permission for a company to use its own trademark.

If you have an ad disapproved, understand why it’s happened, and are happy to fix it, just making the amendments to the advert should automatically force a reasonably quick ‘review’. Of course, it’s then a brand new advert, so if the disapproval was to an existing advert, you’re now starting again as far as data collection is concerned.

Contacting Google to discuss the issue can be a bit hit and miss. I know we have one or two clients who offload their Google Ads campaign onto us mainly to avoid this sort of thing. They’re the type of people who see one of the main advantages of third-party support as being insurance against not having to deal with unscheduled problems. However, if you’re determined to handle everything in-house, don’t be afraid to follow up whatever channels of communication Google is offering, and to be forceful in getting a constructive response.