Categories: strikesThree

Three strikes, you’re out: Google’s new ad policy violations pilot

Starting in September 2021, Google Ads will begin testing a new three-strikes pilot program for accounts that repeatedly violate ad policies.

“Warnings and strikes will be issued for violations of our Enabling Dishonest Behavior, Unapproved Substances and Dangerous Products or Services policies—this includes ads promoting deceptive behavior or products such as the creation of false documents, hacking services, and spyware, as well as tobacco, drugs and weapons, among other types of content,” the company said in a new Help Center News Announcement. These ads types have been prohibited for a while, but the system to punish those who don’t abide by the policies is new.

Penalties in the strikes system. The system starts with a warning and no penalties for an initial violation. From there, each violation has an increasingly stringent penalty until the account is finally suspended.

Type Trigger Penalty
Warning First instance of ad content violating our Enabling Dishonest Behavior, Unapproved Substances and Dangerous Products or Services policies No penalties beyond the removal of the
relevant ads
First strike Violation of the same policy for which you’ve received a warning within 90 days The account will be placed on a temporary hold for three days, during which ads will not be eligible to run
Second strike Violation of the same policy for which you’ve received a first strike within 90 days of the first strike The account will be placed on a temporary hold for seven days, during which ads will not be eligible to run. This will serve as the last and final notice for the advertiser to avoid account suspension
Third strike Violation of the same policy for which you’ve received a second strike within 90 days of the second strike Account suspension for repeat violation of our policies

If an account violates a policy, the account admin will receive an email informing them of the issue. After the initial warning, admins will need to correct the policy infringements and send Google Ads an acknowledgment that the changes were made in order to serve ads again.

Strike timelines. Strikes expire after 90 days, according to Google. If you’ve had two strikes, fix the issues, send an acknowledgment of the issues and fixes, and then do not violate another policy for 90 days after the fix, your account resets, in a way, and the next violation will be t

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