HomeBlog9 Reasons Your AdWords Ad Was Disapproved – And How to Fix It

9 Reasons Your AdWords Ad Was Disapproved – And How to Fix It

Author: Helen Edwards
Last Updated: November 21, 2021 | Paid Search Marketing

It’s no big secret that Google has been cracking down on ad disapprovals lately. The search powerhouse is becoming stricter in order to better regulate the quality of ads being shown to users. On the marketing services team here at WordStream, we work with many accounts from various industries, and it seems that all industries are being affected. Google is even digging into paused ads and flagging disapprovals.

Why You Should Care About Ad Disapprovals

For frequent, repeat offenders, Google is entitled to suspend your Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) account. Obviously a suspended account means that ads are not being shown at all, so your company will see an overall decrease in leads and conversions.

On another note, agencies should keep in mind that clients get the disapproval emails too. This can make the agency look very sloppy and will come across to the client that you’re not handling the account well.

adwords ad disapprovals

What to Do When Your Ad Gets Disapproved

Most small and medium-sized businesses don’t have a lot of time to put into their PPC efforts. These ad disapprovals can be annoying and time-consuming. The best course of action is to fix any live ad disapprovals. On the other hand, if a paused ad is flagged as disapproved, the best course of action for busy business owners wearing multiple hats is to just delete the ad from the account. This way, the pesky disapproval will be forever out of your hair.

When your Google ad is disapproved, in most cases it is fine to simply write over the old ad. Most disapproved ads won’t have any historical data anyway, seeing as they were never allowed to run. See below for some common mistakes you might be making.

9 Common Reasons for Ad Disapprovals in Google Ads

Here are a few common reasons why your ads are being flagged, and how to fix them:

  • Your ad mentions themes deemed inappropriate by Google. Stay away from anything having to do with adult-oriented content, gambling, counterfeit goods, dangerous products (like fireworks), and offensive content.
  • Your ad makes mention of copyrighted content. If another company has a copyright over certain words, you’ll be flagged for using them. Find a synonym to use instead.
  • You included your company’s business phone number in the ad text. Google will flag ads with the number in the actual ad text, but you can use phone extensions, which raise your Quality Scores and lower your CPCs. It’s like killing two birds with one stone.
  • Your ad claims your company is #1 or the “best in business.” Unless a third party supports your claim, these kind of statements are not allowed in the ad text. Instead, try using another complimentary tagline, like “Customers Love Us!”
  • Your ad text is too long. Remember, the headline can be 25 characters and each description line and the display URL can be 35 characters. The only exception to this rule is when the targeted country’s national language has lengthy words, like Kazakhstan and Russia. The trick is to keep ads simple and to the point.
  • Your ad contains words that are in all caps. (ex. HUGE SALE – SHOP NOW). The only exception to this rule is if you’re highlighting a promotional code. (Ex. 20% Off – Use Code: SAVE20)
  • Your ad contains “trick-to-click” text. Any ad that says “click here” in the ad text will be immediately flagged. Try using a different call to action, like “Shop Now!”
  • Your ad has too many exclamation points. Try to not get too excited over Google Ads. Remember, only one exclamation point per ad is allowed. Also, no exclamation points are allowed in the headline of the ad.
  • Your root domain is different in the display URL and the destination URL. Google policies require that the root domain be the same. For example, you can’t have catsarecool.com in the display URL and then use dogsarecool.com for the destination URL. The roots must be consistent, apples to apples – oranges to oranges.

Ad disapprovals can be very pesky and can tank an account for repeat offenders. Keep these common fixes in mind, and remember to always fix an ad disapproval when it appears.

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