Google Ads Campaign Changes From September 2021

    Fact checked by Vahe Arabian
    Vahe Arabian

    Founder and Editor in Chief of State of Digital Publishing. My vision is to provide digital publishing and media professionals a platform to collaborate and promote their efforts, my passion is to uncover talent and… Read more

    Edited by Vahe Arabian
    Vahe Arabian

    Founder and Editor in Chief of State of Digital Publishing. My vision is to provide digital publishing and media professionals a platform to collaborate and promote their efforts, my passion is to uncover talent and…Read more


    Paulina Kubala-Chuchnowska holds a position of Marketing Specialist at PressPad Digital Publishing, a company that creates mobile magazine apps, digital newsstands for PDF issues, and...Read more

    Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) is one of the most popular and largest online advertising platforms (next to Facebook Ads). It enables advertisers to display different kinds of ads across Google’s extensive ad network (properties, partner sites, and apps) to every web user, giving the opportunity for wide product promotion around the world.

    This system changed thinking about advertisements for good. Suddenly it turned out that online advertising can be more effective than traditional advertising; providing great opportunities to analyze data and target users.

    According to Statista, in 2020, Google’s ad revenue amounted to 146.92 billion US dollars, which is the majority of this technology giant’s total income. It’s not surprising if we consider the fact that Google holds a market share of around 90 percent in a wide range of digital markets. In the vast majority of the world, they have no competition (except for China, Russia, and, to some extent, Japan).

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    Advertising revenue of Google from 2001 to 2020 in billion U.S. dollars (source)

    Therefore, Google places great importance on improving its advertising system, providing many regular updates. It forces advertisers and marketers to follow these changes and relearn how to set campaigns. The goal is to provide people with a deeper understanding of how their customers find them on Google search.

    To stay up-to-date with Google Ads campaigns, let’s take a look at some improvements that had been given recently.

    What’s new in Google Ads campaigns in September 2021?

    September 2021 has seen abundant changes and updates introduced by Google. A lot of modifications have just been made, and a lot has been announced. Let’s take a look at some of the changes which have already been released. What Google Ads novelties should advertisers get to know?

    Improving the search terms report while maintaining user privacy

    Since September 9, 2021, Google has been able to show more queries that meet their privacy standards in the search terms report for Search and Dynamic Search Ads campaigns. This is an answer to growing consumers’ expectations about the number of data and simultaneously, one of the largest changes that advertisers have just seen recently.

    Everything started last year when Google updated the search terms report and Dynamic Search Ads search terms report to meet new privacy thresholds. The effect was advertisers wanted more data from Google. To fulfill this wish, Google started exploring new, privacy-safe ways to get people the insights they need to run more effective campaigns. It has just been introduced.

    How will this update help advertisers?

    • Data will now be shown in your reports for queries you received starting from February 1, 2021.
    • It can help advertisers identify more relevant keyword themes, making it easier to optimize ad copy, landing pages, and more. 
    • These metrics will now be more consistent with the rest of the metrics in Google Ads.

    This is not the end of changes in this matter. Google emphasizes its ongoing commitment to privacy. They’ve already announced further updates that are to appear in the coming months. This can help advertisers to save time and gain a better understanding of consumer intent, all while maintaining user privacy. 

    How will it work?

    Google will be giving advertisers even more resources on the Insights page to help them understand the search query themes that drives performance in their campaigns (even if those queries don’t appear in their search terms report).

    Updates to enforcement procedures for repeat violations

    This update was announced in July and it has already been done to some extent. However, the process of implementation is gradual – it is planned for 3 months.

    Google has just started introducing a new strike-based system. In the description we can read:

    “As a part of the Google Ads enforcement system, Google will begin issuing strikes to advertisers, which will be accompanied by email notifications and in-account notifications to encourage compliance and deter repeat violations of our policies.”

    What is this change about?

    • Google requires advertisers to comply with the rules, and as part of the Google Ads system, it will send alerts in the form of e-mail notifications to advertisers and to their account. These messages will remind them to comply with the rules.
    • New rules will be enforced against advertisers who repeatedly violate Google Ads policies.
    • The goal is to prevent dishonest behavior and avoid advertising of unapproved substances e.g.: guns, gun parts, and related products, explosives, other weapons, and tobacco.
    • The change will ensure a safe and positive experience for Internet users along with protecting brand safety.

    The penalties are provided for advertisers who do not follow Google’s rules.

    Advertisers will be able to receive a maximum of three strikes. When they break the rules for the first and the second time, their account will be held (for 3 and 7 days respectively). The third time will mean account suspension.

    Breaking the rules for the third time will mean that accounts will not be able to run any ads or create new content. To avoid this situation, it is necessary to appeal. 

    In the official Google’s announcement we can read: 

    “Advertisers can also appeal a strike decision if they believe it was issued in error. Ads will resume serving immediately after successfully appealing the strike. Accounts will remain on temporary hold if no action is taken by the advertiser to either acknowledge or appeal a strike. Strikes will remain on the Google Ads account for 90 days unless they’re successfully appealed.“

    Update to Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) policy

    After many months of the global pandemic, Google decided to relax the restriction of certain coronavirus-related products. It is to be about shopping ads and free listings. Changes have come into place in September.

    What’s changed in Google Ads campaigns?

    • Some products such as clothes, home goods, etc., were previously disapproved due to the COVID-19 sensitive event. Now, ads offering these items are eligible to serve on Shopping ads and free listings.
    • After this change, advertisers will be allowed to promote test kits in Shopping ads and free listings (you can read more about kinds of acceptable tests here). 

    Update to Advertiser Identity Verification Policy

    Google updated its advertiser identity verification policy due to add new eight regions: Honduras, Kyrgyzstan, Marshall Islands, Myanmar, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Trinidad and Tobago, Uzbekistan. Advertisers from these regions will be asked to complete advertiser identity verification as part of the phased rollout. 

    The future of Google Ads campaigns

    Google’s advertising platform is huge and powerful – nobody doubts it. The key to using it effectively is to stay up to date with relevant changes.

    Google Ads can help every kind and size of entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and increase the overall ad revenue. These goals can be achieved both on desktop and mobile. People can monetize mobile apps using Google AdMob or Google AdSense. Both systems allow mobile users to offer perfectly matched ads.

    There’s a lot of update announcements which are complete or planned for the future on Google’s support website. Among the planned changes are, for example:

    • Updates to Gambling and games policy (planned on October 2021)
    • Update to Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) (October 2021)
    • Update to Political Content Policy (November 2021)
    • Update to Google Ads sexually explicit content policy (planned on December 2021)

    Looking at the number and frequency of their updates, we can be sure that they will appear constantly, which will certainly not let advertisers get bored and will continually improve the advertising experience for the relevant stakeholders.



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