Enforcement Changes to Google Ads that Affect SaaS

Last week Google notified customers of some changes to their policies on abusive content on the ad network. This is good news for users and searchers.  The changes most heavily affect ads by software providers and app providers. The intent behind changes was to improve experiences for searchers by adding transparency, and keep their systems safer while clicking ads. 

An abusive ad, as described by Google, is an ad that promotes “malicious software or ‘malware’ that may harm or gain unauthorized access to a computer, device, or network” or “ads or destinations that violate Google’s Unwanted Software policy.” 

Abusive content may consist of ads that don’t disclose functions of their software, add malicious content to the user’s system, collect data without permission, or bundle software together without disclosure. 

So how can you avoid your ads from being classified as abusive? The advice Google offered in it’s email to customers included a few ways:

  • For one, ensure that your ads and landing pages properly disclose all of the functionality and components of your product. Especially when it comes to downloadable content.
  • Secondly, make sure you classify any software type in your ad and landing page and be as transparent as possible about what the user is downloading. 
  • And lastly, if the software makes any changes to the user’s system you must disclose those changes and how they might affect the user.

These policy changes are a step in the right direction towards increasing transparency and quality of downloadable content accessible in the Google ad network.