How to create a shopping campaign in Google AdWords – Part 2

Shopping policies to be adhered…

A few days back I was just browsing through a few videos on YouTube and I stumbled upon an ad from HP. The content was amazing, they show a young guy who is working on his laptop and there are a few hi-fly execs in their expensive suits who make fun of this guy. But tables turn when they find the same guy to be an investor in their company. The tagline is “I like your soch, but love my approach” #BendTheRules. To watch the video click here

Imagine that HP’s team overlooked Google’s shopping policy & promoted a product that formed part of a Recalled Products list. This will lead to Google disapproving ads of other products and in some cases suspending the brands account. Can you imagine what a disaster this will be, just because one small detail was overlooked?

Today we will look at a few of these Shopping policies from Google.

User Experience:

(a) Accounts which are inactive:

Google doesn’t allow ads from accounts which are inactive for more than 14 months.

(b) Quality of landing pages:

Say a user advertises on Google with the only purpose of showing ads on his website and earning money, then such websites are not allowed by Google to be advertised. A few other instances which are not allowed by Google are as follows:

– Submission of any items twice

– Content or images which are taken from any other site and are not owned by the advertiser

– Ads which lead to Parked domain. Parked domain sites are those where only ads are showed and there is no relevant content.

(c) Content of landing pages:

There are a couple of points that you need to keep in mind in order to maintain the landing page’s content and its adherence to the Google’s Shopping policy. Following are just a few of many:

– The product on the landing page should be the same as compared to the ad that you have showed to the user.

– User should not be taken to an error page and it should be a proper landing page. Instead of a page you can’t take the user to a video link or a PDF file.

– Making login compulsory to see a product is not allowed.

You can see a detailed description of other points here.

Safety & Security:

Following are the kind of sites that are not allowed by Google’s shopping policies:

(a) Sites which:

– are infected with or install malware on user’s computer

– pull content from such malware infected sites

(b) Phishing:

When any website tries to look like another site to obtain personal information, this activity is called phishing. Google has a list of suspected sites who may indulge into phishing. These sites are not allowed to be promoted.

(c) Recalled products:

Recently there have been a few instances where lot of cars have been recalled by a few auto players. These cars may not be allowed to be advertised as per Google’s Shopping policy. Another scenario is products which are recalled by any government agency will also not be allowed to advertise.

(d) Sale of free items:

Say you have got a holiday package which you paid for but later came to know that it has been offered for free to everyone. You will feel bad and will never trust the ad on Google network again. In order to avoid this, Google doesn’t allow promotion of products which are offered for free. Even no entity can advertise forms which are offered by government agencies for free or lesser cost.

(e) Spam techniques:

Google shopping campaigns do not allow techniques such as cloaking and bulk marketing. In Cloaking the content presented to the Google crawler is different from that presented to the user’s browser. This clearly violates Google’s code of offering relevant content to its users. Apart from this Google doesn’t allow promotion of keyword stuffed webpages which are dense with keywords just to increase SEO ranking of the webpage.

(f) Time sensitivity:

Google doesn’t allow promotion of services whose value is based on time. For example, concert passes have a time expiry. Similarly railway tickets are something which have time expiry. These services can’t be advertised as part of a shopping campaign.

(g) Safety of users:

If the product guarantees cures or benefits beyond abilities of modern medicine, then those products are not allowed to be advertised. Additionally any content on illegal products is also not allowed in the shopping campaign.

That’s it for today. Next time we will see steps on how to create a shopping campaign. Till then keep being awesome 🙂

(Content source and courtesy: Adwords support.google.com)

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