AdWords' Trick to Click Policy: Can You Use the Words 'Click Here' in Display Ads?


Recently I had a heated argument with one of our clients about using the word “click” in Google AdWords display banner ads. There are many questions about inappropriate language on Google AdWords, especially for banner or flash ads. Most advertisers take unnecessary precautions because they are worried that the design will be disapproved by the Google Policy Team. Google prohibits advertisers from using the word “click” or “click here” as a call to action in text ads, which is clearly stated on the Google Policy Page under “Inappropriate language”:

AdWords Inappropriate Language

The words “click” or “click here” could be easily replaced in these text ads by the words follow, see, check, find etc.

However, as a Paid Search Strategist at WordStream, I receive a lot of questions when it comes to a banner or flash ad design. Many AdWords users are confused on this point or don’t know that they can take an advantage and use the word “click” in their banner ads.

No “Click to Trick” Ads in AdWords

The Google policy is little confusing when it comes to inappropriate language for image ads. The Google Image Policy page puts a lot of emphasis on the idea that the banner can’t fade into a website, look like a site or system warning message, or otherwise confuse visitors with the design in order to increase amount of clicks. But it doesn’t prohibit advertisers from using a button that says “click here.”

Trick to Click

To get a final answer, I contacted the Google team and received the following reply: “Per our image ads policy, we allow the term 'Click here' in image ads” (click the image to enlarge the email):

Using Click Here in Display Ads

In sum, using "Click here" as a call to action in a display ad is allowed by Google, as long as you don't employ any of the above "tricks."

The phrase “click here” is the easiest call to action you can create and I definitely recommend that online advertisers test it in their banner and display ads.

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Mar 20, 2013

Sadly, Google is rarely completely clear about any of their rules. Anyway, I wasn't aware of that policy "trick" and can see it will have to be something to try in the future. Thanks!

Adwords Click Through Rate
Mar 20, 2013

Thanks for sharing this. We've been using calls to action like "Learn More", "Contact Us" "Call Us" etc. but with image ads I didn't realize they would let you use the "click here" call to action. That's something that I will definitely be testing to see how this helps our CTR on the display network.  Thanks for sharing Sergey! Dustin

Mar 23, 2013

Amazing trick.It will help us to have improved performance of our display ads.Thanks to share this blog.

Mar 23, 2013

Thanks for the article. I have recently been discouraged from using the phrase, "Click Here". I read a few days ago that the text that is written in a link can replace the Click Here call to action. Is this true? 

Eceltic SEO
Apr 05, 2013

Hi Sergey Rusak,  Thanks for sharing this useful information with us. It is really a tricky thing and many clients argue with us on this. Keep up the good work :)

Jan 31, 2017

Looking at these spamming goofs. Luckily, I am not one of them.

Good article homie. I'll keep flagging deceptive ads.

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