Destination Requirements Update to impact Google Ad disapprovals

Google recently stated that it will update its Destination requirements policy in accordance with the Better Ads Standards set forth by the Coalition for Better Ads. As a result, starting from October 2022, some of your ads might be disapproved if their destination does not conform to the new policies and the Better Ads Standards. What does this mean for your running and planned Ad campaigns and how can you prepare for the upcoming changes? Find out more in the article below. 

What are the Better Ads Standards and the Coalition for Better Ads?

The Coalition for Better Ads is a group of advertising platforms and companies, such as Google, Meta, and Microsoft, that aims at improving consumers’ experience with online advertising. As consumers get increasingly frustrated by disruptive ads and slow browsing online, they install ad blockers and find other ways to circumvent ad exposure. 

To prevent this, the Coalition for Better Ads researched and tested which ad experiences fall beneath the consumers’ threshold of acceptability and has created “The Better Ads Standard”, a set of guidelines aimed at improving the user experience that advertisers can use to inform campaign development and execution. 

What parts of Google’s Destination requirements policy will change?

The Google Destination requirements policy states which content is allowed on destination pages and which aspects negatively impact the page quality. By controlling the quality of destinations Google ensures that users have a good experience when clicking on an ad and are offered valuable, functional and easy-to-navigate content. If you don’t comply with the Destination requirements policy, the ads in question will be disapproved and will no longer be served to users until you adjust your destination or landing page. 

Currently not allowed are destinations which

  • are unnecessarily difficult to navigate,
  • initiate a direct download,
  • don’t offer original content,
  • don’t match the content of the ad,
  • are not working, not accessible or are not crawlable by Google Ads,
  • violate App or Web Store policy.

In addition to the currently disallowed ads, the Coalition for Better Ads has identified a number of aspects of destination pages which disrupt the user experience and will most likely be included in the upcoming update to Google’s Destination requirements policy. 

These undesirable ad experiences include amongst others: 

  • pop-up, auto-playing, large sticky, and prestitial ads with countdowns on destinations on a desktop or on a mobile device,
  • flashing animated ads, auto-playing ads with sound, full-screen scrollover ads and those ads with a density higher than 30% on mobile devices,
  • a number of interruptive interstitials both in video and non-video form and both unskippable and skippable form in mobile Apps.

How do the upcoming changes affect my Google Ads?

Even if the destinations of your currently active or planned ads are high-quality landing pages which were approved by Google, they might not withstand the scrutiny of the Better Ads Standard update. It is presently unclear in which way Google will review ads, which elements on destinations will definitely lead to ad disapproval and which will most likely stand the test of time. 

How can I prevent my Google Ads from being disapproved?

If the destinations and landing pages of your currently active or planned ads already violate some of Google’s current Destination requirements policy you should review your pages and make necessary adjustments as soon as possible. You should also proactively take a look at the Better Ad Standards and ensure that any current destinations or upcoming landing pages fit the criteria. 
If you need support in optimizing your Ad campaigns, your online presence or even the digital transformation of your business, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Google products, business and marketing data and the ever-changing nature of digital marketing are at the core of our business and we always keep a close eye on any updates and how they impact our and our clients’ bottom lines.

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