Google is implementing a new policy requiring landing pages to meet the “Better Ads Standards,” as outlined by the Coalition For Better Ads.
A recent change to Google’s destination requirements policy states if an ad leads to a page that doesn’t comply with the Better Ads Standards, Google will disapprove the ad.
If you’re an advertiser, this means that if your landing page does not provide a good enough experience for the user, your ads might be disapproved altogether. For most high quality websites, the current changes will have no direct impact, but it is still good practice to review your user experience.
Practices to avoid
Landing pages that include annoying ads and marketing prompts do not comply with the Better Ads Standards. Absolute no-nos are as follows:
- Pop-up ads
- Autoplaying video ads with sound
- Ads that block visitors from seeing the main content
- Prestitial and postitial ads with countdowns
- Large sticky ads that stay on a page as the visitor scrolls
- Ad density greater than 30%
- Flashing animated ads
Avoid repeat ad policy disapprovals
Contrary to other disapprovals due to ad policy, which can be corrected directly on Google Ads, this policy is different, in that it won’t suffice for you to just make changes to your ad copy. This is important, as for repeat violations of a policy, Google issues strikes to your Google Ads account, and penalties progressively increase with each subsequent strike, leading up to account suspension.
If Google suspends your account, all ads in the suspended account will stop running, and they will no longer accept advertising from you, unless the suspension is successfully appealed, which is easier said than done.
In the past, there was a good chance that if you didn’t have pop-ups or self-playing ads on your site, you were already compliant with the Better Ads Standards. In fact, it is estimated that around 98% of sites had no violations, and most sites with violations had already resolved their issues. But the recent changes in advertising policy might be the beginning of a larger-scale shake up, and indicate the standards for landing page experience have just been raised.