September 13, 2021 by Jason Pittock | 3 min reading time

Beginning in September, Google has announced that they will roll out a strike policy that will be used against advertisers who continually violate Google Ads’ policies. On September 21, 2021, Google will implement the strike system with a gradual increase in additional policies to come in the next couple of months after that. 

The following policies will be affected:

  • Enabling dishonest behavior
  • Unapproved substances
  • Guns, gun parts and related products
  • Explosives
  • Other weapons
  • Tobacco.

Additional policies will be impacted over time and advertisers will be notified each time something is added that violates the strike system. 

The Changes 

The strike system functions as a three-strikes-you’re-out type of thing. The first policy violation will result in a warning, which means no strike! However, if you keep violating policies, you will get a strike. As soon as you get a warning, it’s best to stop your behavior so your account doesn’t earn a strike. 

If you get your second strike, Google will place a temporary, three-day hold on your account. In order to alleviate this hold, you will have to fix the violation in question and submit a Google acknowledgment form to resume ad campaigns. 

When a third strike is issued, Google will place your account on a seven-day hold. Again, in order to get the hold dropped, you will have to fix the violation and then send in an acknowledgment that you understand Google Ads’ policies. 

If you get a fourth strike, you’re out. You will not be able to run any ads or create any content until the suspension is appealed to Google. You can appeal a decision if you believe it was issued in error, or if you’ve reached your fourth strike and you don’t want to lose your account. Hopefully, it doesn’t get to that point, but there are ways to preserve your ad campaign if you get strikes on your account. Once your strike is successfully appealed, your ads will automatically and immediately resume. 

If you don’t take any action to appeal the strike or to fix your violation, your account will remain on hold - therefore, it’s important to get these violations out of the way as soon as possible. Strikes will remain on your account for 90 days unless the strike is appealed - your ad campaign will definitely be jeopardized during this suspension period if you don’t ap

Conclusion

Google is really cracking down on users who are violating Google Ads’ policies (which is ironic, given Google themselves tends to be involved in all sorts of scandals for breaking different policies and laws). By implementing a three-strikes policy, Google is really making sure that the ads that are shown and the content that is produced falls within their rules and violations are spotted early in the process. Though this will undoubtedly bring up conversations regarding censorship and what advertisers are allowed to create, it’s a new way to make sure that all accounts follow the rules. We suggest familiarizing yourself with Google Ads’ policies to ensure you’re not breaking any rules - the consequences can be dire if you do.