(Not So New) Google Policy Update That Most Advertiser Should Be Aware Of


Last year, Google introduced a new policy that requires landing pages which engage in information harvesting to include a privacy policy on the website. Advertisers that don’t comply with this new policy may run the risk of having their websites suspended by AdWords.

There are three requirements that advertisers have to follow under this new policy change:

1. Clear, accessible disclosure before visitors submit personal information

Our existing policy requires you to clearly describe how any personal information you solicit will be used. Soon, we’ll require that your description must also be easily accessible before site visitors submit their details.

2. Option to discontinue direct communications

In the same description of how personal information will be used, you’ll also be required to describe how people can opt out of future emails, phone calls, or other direct communications.

3. SSL when collecting payment and certain financial and personal information

Many websites use what are known as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connections to encrypt sensitive information that travels between the user’s browser and the website’s servers. To help ensure user safety, AdWords policy will require all advertisers to use SSL when collecting payments and certain financial and personal information (like bank account and social security numbers).

The following personal and financial information are covered by the new policy:

  • Full name
  • Email address
  • Mailing address
  • Phone number
  • National identity, pension, social security, tax ID, health care, or driver’s license number
  • Mother’s maiden name or birth date in addition to any of the above information

In addition, AdWords policy will require the following information to be transmitted securely over an SSL (https:) connection:

  • Credit and debit card numbers
  • Bank and investment account numbers
  • Checking account numbers
  • Wire transfer numbers
  • National identity, pension, social security, tax ID, health care, or driver’s license number

For example, if your landing pages require visitor to submit their email address in order for them to download either demo software or whitepaper, etc, you better watch out!

Why do I choose to bring up this old post now?

Well, even though this “new” policy has been out for almost a year, but Google hasn’t been strictly enforcing it (yet). Once in a while there will a be a few innocent advertisers that got their sites suspended from advertising and most of them couldn’t figure out what the problem was because Google never made any big announcement about this new policy. AdWords Help certainly does not help in this case (ironically)! Most advertisers will just get referred to the general policy page without any clear indication to which policy they’ve violated.

So I’m bring this up as a warning to all lead generation advertiser out there, if you see a big red “SITE SUSPENDED” status in your account, this can very possibly be the reason.

Also, Google follows a very strict guideline on what they deem acceptable or not, so here is a tip for those of you that are in a hurry to implement this new update:

  • Have a link to your privacy policy page near the “submit button” of your form (I got this one from talking to a Google representative. Even though I already have the privacy policy tab on the very top of every page, she still think it’s not visible enough and required me to include another link somewhere around the submit button. Oh wait, did I mention Google is very strict?)

Pitstop Media offers ROI-based internet marketing services. If you need help with PPC management or PPC optimization please contact us for a free, no obligation quote. We’ve helped companies reduce their paid advertising cost by as much as 48% and increase AdWords conversion rates by as much as 410%. See our internet marketing case studies.

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Steve worked for Pitstop Media Inc as a Pay per Click (PPC) specialist, helping clients maximize the value of their PPC campaigns. He is also a musician and a part-time sound designer for TV/film.


2 Responses to “(Not So New) Google Policy Update That Most Advertiser Should Be Aware Of”

  1. Richard said:

    Mar 28, 12 at 2:29 pm

    Anybody else think it’s quite funny that the world’s biggest information harvester, whose entire business relies on scraping sites for content, tells other people what they can or can’t do in this manner? It’s more than a bit peculiar from my perspective.

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  2. TraiaN said:

    Mar 29, 12 at 2:10 pm

    thanks for you comments, Richard

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