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9 reasons your Google Ads are disapproved and tips to fix them

Updated: Sep 1, 2020

How to fix Google Disapproved Ads

Has your Google Ad campaign been rejected? Though a common issue, it is frustrating and annoying to know that the ads have been disapproved. If your ad gets disapproved, it doesn’t mean you can never run your ad. One of the best ways to get over the frustration is to fix any live ad disapprovals. If a paused ad is flagged, the best course of action is to delete the ad from the account.

In general, if your Google ad is disapproved, you can write over the old ad(in most cases). Many disapproved ads won’t have any historical data as they were never allowed to run. However, for repeat offenders, Google will most likely suspend your Google Ads account. It means that your ads will not be shown at all and so your business will see a decrease in leads and conversions. Also, businesses must keep in mind that clients get disapproval emails as well. This can be a huge blot on your company’s reputation.

In this post, we have discussed nine common reasons for your ads to be disapproved and tips to fix them.

1. Use of incorrect punctuation and symbols

Repeated or incorrect usage of punctuation and symbols could get your ad rejected.

Some examples are;

  • Too many exclamation points in the ad headline or description

  • Usage of asterisks, bullet points, and ellipses

  • Symbols, numbers, and letters that don’t bring out the true meaning or purpose e.g: “@home” to mean “at home”

  • Excessive use of symbols, numbers or punctuation,e.g: f*l*o*w*e*r*s

  • Use of invalid or unsupported characters such as emojis

How to fix it?

One best way to avoid your ad being flagged for misuse of punctuation or symbols is to leave them out if possible. You may use strong verbs and dictions in your headline instead of using an exclamation point.

Your ad may be approved if you use the same punctuation and symbols consistently in your ad’s destination.

Commonly acceptable symbols such as using an Asterix as a star (for star ratings) is often allowed.


2. Trick- to- Click texts

Ad texts that say “ click here” in the ad text will be flagged immediately.

How to fix it?

Google rejects ads or ads extension that is inconsistent with the clear and informational style of Google Search results or that contains generic CTA like” click here”. So, try using a more specific CTA such as “Shop Now”, “Subscribe” or “Sign up Today”.


3. The root domain is different in the display and the destination URL

According to Google policies, your root domain should be the same. For example, you can’t have “” in the display URL and then use “” in the destination URL.

How to fix it?

Review all your URLs. Your disapproval email will show you the domain pointed to at the time of review. Use Google Search Console to check your destination URL and ensure that the domain matches your display URL domain.

Do remember to edit all of your page URLs and ensure that they comply with Google’s ad policies.


4. Copyright infringement

Your ad will be rejected if you infringe on someone else’s legal right to exclusive production, publication, sale, or distribution. Though only the copyright owner or an authorized representative can file an official infringement notice, Google will respond to the allegations and reject the ad as necessary.

How to fix it?

File a counter-notification and resubmit your ads for approval. You could still be liable for damages(including attorney fees) if you are not guilty of infringing on the copyrights of others.

If you don’t resubmit your ads by filing a valid counter-notification, your Google Ads account may be terminated due to a violation of Google’s repeat infringement policy.


5. Themes and content deemed inappropriate by Google

Your ad will be rejected if it contains content or topics deemed inappropriate by Google. Some prohibited content is;

  • Fake goods- Imitation or knock-off products that attempt to pass as original products

  • Dangerous products and services- Instructions for making explosives, guns, weapons, recreational drugs, tobacco, drug paraphernalia, etc.

Other content such as animal cruelty, dishonest information, gambling, adult-oriented content, etc., are also deemed as inappropriate content.

How to fix it?

Try to avoid all the above-mentioned content completely. However, Google does allow content on a limited basis such as,

  • Alcohol

  • Political content

  • Financial services

  • Healthcare and medicines

Though these content types may not be restricted from every user in every location, you must make sure to meet a few additional requirements before running the ads.


6. Lengthy ad texts

This is a common reason to reject your ad. the Headline can be 25 characters while the description line and the display URL can be 35 characters. However, one exception to the rule is when targeting countries whose national language has lengthy words such as Russia and Kazakhstan.

How to fix it?

Keep your ads simple and concise and make sure to restrict it within the number of characters mentioned.


7. Capitalization issues

If capitalization is used incorrectly or not for its intended purpose could cause your ads to be disapproved. Though you may be tempted to highlight certain elements of your ad with all-caps it is a violation of Google’s ad policy that will get your ad rejected.

Other capitalization issues include;

  • Not capitalizing the first letter of proper nouns

  • Capitalizing of common nouns

  • Random capitalization (e.g aNNual CoNfeReNCe)

How to fix it?

The only solution is to capitalize wherever necessary and avoid it otherwise. Begin your sentences with the first letter in capital letters or start proper nouns with capital letters.

Do note, non-standard capitalization is allowed in some cases like coupon codes, common abbreviations( such as ASAP), brand names, trademarks, and product names.


8. Unreasonable spacing

Adding spaces or omitting may trigger an ad rejection. Google insists on proper grammar which includes spacing.

The following types of non-standard spacing will be disapproved;

  • The omission of spaces (e.g “nonstandardspacing”)

  • Gimmicky spaces (e.g “nonstandard s p a c i n g”)

  • Excessive spacing (e.g “non . standard . spacing .”)

  • Bullet points and numbered lists (the text should be read as a single line)

How to fix it?

If you have trademark terms, product names, or brand names, you can use non-standard spacing. However, it is important to request a review and provide evidence that non-standard spaced terms appear consistently in your app or website and not just in your ad copy.


9. Repetition

Google encourages advertisers to use their characters limit but it will reject your ad if it contains repetitive content. For instance, “Want more customers???” or other unnecessary repetition across the headlines, description and extensions.

How to fix it?

Avoid using repetitive and irrelevant words across your ad headline, description, and extensions.

Wrapping up

Creating an ad complying with Google’s policies and standards can be overwhelming at times. However, you can use this article to know how you can resolve any issues related to your ad and complete your ad campaigns complying with Google’s standards.

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