PPC Chat Streamcap – Dealing with Disapproved Ads

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with yet another great question set titled “Dealing with Disapproved Ads.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: How often do you check for disapproved/under review ads in your accounts? Do you setup a filter(s)?

  • I dont check, I expect the warnings to let me know. – John Lavin (@Johnnyjetfan)
  •  I get a notification for disapproved ads. For pending ads, I check daily, (which can drive you nuts). – Mark Kennedy (@markkennedysem)
  • Normally get emails. Although most recent batch don’t seem to have triggered this. – Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
    • Tricky when clients get these emails as well… (we’ll discuss in a later question). – Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
  • Probably not as often as I should, but I try to check at least once or twice a month. – Matt Umbro
  • Don’t you get automatically notified in your MCC on all disapproved Ads? Any need for a filter? – Liam Lally (@ZaddleMarketing)
  • Way more often than I’d like to. – Cassie Allinger (@CassieAllinger)
  • Checking disapproved ads is getting more time consuming as Google is disapproving older paused ads. – Sevanko (@sevanko)
  • I check daily for keyword problems in general, also receive notifications. Easier with only once account. – Dennis Petretti (@Denetti)
  • Every client set up includes filters, makes this easy and needs to be done regularly. – Mark Jensen (@Just_Markus)
  • The bot doesn’t catch em fast enough to prevent loss of exposure. I check weekly and keep an eye out for pending always. – Heather Cooan (@HeatherCooan)

Q2: How do you communicate the ad review process with clients who sell questionable products (vitamins, pharmaceuticals, etc)?

  • For Pharma’s we let them know it’s more complicated, but should eventually get approved. For lawyers bidding on Pharam recalls, there is a high chance ads will get disapproved. – Mark Kennedy
  • We’ve found these clients are frequently a waste of time. We qualify with extreme candor ‘your stuff is iffy, could not work. – Mark Jensen
  • We tell these clients that most likely ads will get disapproved, but once we call Google we can most likely get them approved. – Matt Umbro
  • We make it very clear that ads will take longer to be approved, if they are approved at all. – Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
    • Set expectations up front “this might not work…” Aaron Levy (@bigalittlea)
  • It’s about honesty. They may want ad copy that speaks to ridiculous claims. Sometimes there is just no way to please. – Jesse Semchuck (@jessesem)
  • We’re really straight with them – Google doesn’t necessarily like what you do/sell, so we have to proceed with caution. – Katie Saxon (@ksaxoninternet)
    • I don’t preach to them about business ethics, it’s always through the lens of what Google allows. – Jesse Semchuck
  • I always send the link to the official policies to the clients just to reinforce what I’m saying. – Matt Umbro
  • I try to remind them that although these ads are intended to convert, we want customers to convert on a foundation of honesty. – Jesse Semchuck
  • We can’t beat Google, we can just hope to have some influence. – Matt Umbro
    • My clients don’t undertstand them. I’ll match a sentence from the guidelines to an ad via email. – Jesse Semchuck

Q3: How do you interact with clients when they forward you ad disapproval emails?

  • Tell them what happened and why, then fix if possible. If not, consider alternatives. – Mark Kennedy
  • This doesn’t happen often, but when it does. We thank the client and assure them we’ve taken care of the issue and we fix it. – Heather Cooan
  • We respond immediately, tell them “we’re on it”, follow up with them re reasons same/next day. – Laura Thieme (@bizwatchlaura)
  • Let them know we have already taken care of the issue (explain what it was) and thank them for sending over the notification. – Kristina Hughes (@KhughesCosta)
  • A quick thank you, explanation of why and how to fix it. Usually! because I got! Too excited! with punctuation!!! – Aaron Levy
  • If it’s possible- we have them change the contact email so the notifications go straight to us. – Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo)
  • I am casual about it with the client. No panic. “This happens from time to time. We’ll take care of it.” 24 hour resolution. – Jesse Semchuck
  • Very frustrating when clients get these emails when supposedly a destination URL isn’t working…makes us look bad. – Matt Umbro
  • If it is a mess up from me (sometimes) I apologise and fix. Anything else, I explain change and try to fix. – Richard Fergie
  • A lightening bolt shoots through my body. Then we contact them explain the issue and tell them we have it un control. – Patrick Tigue (@patricktigue)
  • Clients generally quite interested to learn about new trademarks etc. in their area. – Richard Fergie

Q4: What types of messaging do you try to avoid in your copy so ads won’t get disapproved or be put under review?

  • Main problems I have are with random trademark words. – Richard Fergie
  • Superlatives or anything close. Anything close to pharma/bulk lists. Anything remotely close to “naughty." – Aaron Levy
  • I try to stay away from ‘Free’ in sitelinks…seems these always get disproved. – Heather Cooan
  • If you are selling vitamins avoid terms like “capsules” and “tablets” – Instead use “caps” and “tabs”. – Matt Umbro
    • You can even avoid the caps and tabs terms and replace them with dosage. – Sevanko
    • Can’t avoid if UR selling ipad related products.Got disapproved for TM. Then changed to tablets & got disapproved too! – Shaad Hamid (@ShaadHamid)
  • I will still use the terms and ask for exception (if prompted), but have safer variations as backups. – Mark Kennedy
  • FREE; !!; trademark issues. – Laura Thieme
  • Pretty much anything on George Carlin’s list of seven things you can’t say on TV. – Elizabeth Marsten
  • I have found you can’t say kickass or kick-ass, but bitchin’ is ok. – Melissa Mackey
  • Some descriptive terms are also drug slang, so I try to stay away from those when writing ads. Like “spice”. – Dennis Petretti
  • The auto industry is a hot mess for disapproved ads … I avoid anything the manufacturers deem in violation of compliance. – Cassie Allinger
  • Worked in automotive PPC in past – biggest pain having to wait for trademark approval to use several brand names. – Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
  • Also, in PLA promotional text avoid brand names. In my experience, ads with brand names stay under review forever. – Matt Umbro
    • Even if you manually reach out to support to request review? – Timothy Jensen
      • When I reach out to support the ads will sometimes get approved, but in general, just easier to avoid. – Matt Umbro
    • I just added PLA promotional text, but haven’t seen it show up yet in ads. Where does this show up? – Laura Thieme
      • Generally, you have to hover over the image to see the text. – Matt Umbro

Q5: What tactics do you use to ensure ads don’t stay in the dreaded “under review” state for longer than necessary?

  • Contact your rep and ask them and have them push it through. – Kristina Hughes
    • Agreed, may be a pain to have to contact support frequently but usually results in quick approval. – Timothy Jensen
  • Call Adwords and whine. – Mark Kennedy
    • If your ad is taking longer than a day, this expedites them. – Aaron Levy
  • I stay on Google’s butt to get em through. – Heather Cooan
  • No joke – agencies could probably hire interns just to deal with disapprovals and “under reviews” – Matt Umbro
  • I try to have multiple ads so at least one ad is running and then call Google and plead. – Sevanko
  • I have AdWords 1-866 number on my speed dial. – Elizabeth Marsten
  • If no change after a couple days I usually just rewrite them if I see an easy fix. Otherwise an email to our rep. – Dennis Petretti
  • If it’s longer than 3 biz days, Google recommends a call. If you get to there, its likely it will be much longer without calling. – Robert Boyd (@robboyd_jr)

Q6: Have you noticed any difference in traffic (clicks & impressions) with ads that are approved vs approved (limited)?

  • Yes, I’ve had ad groups with a combo of both and the non-limited ones received significantly more traffic. – Timothy Jensen
  • More often then not I’m opted out of search partners due to higher CPA’s, so no difference here. – Heather Cooan
  • Yes. The way it was explained to me is that the limited ads may not run on search partners or in certain countries. – Mark Kennedy
  • Unless there is non-family safe content that is. I have an ‘adult’ client and visibility is tough with them on Google. – Heather Cooan
    • Yep that’s the situation I dealt with, that category significantly limits impressions. – Timothy Jensen
      • And no display, which means no remarketing. – Heather Cooan
  • Yes very much so. Specifically on ipad related ads that are limited. Changed them to tablet with approved got tons more traffic. – Robert Boyd


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About StreamCaptain America

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; WebRanking SEM Manager in Minneapolis, Minnesota, #PPCChat Streamcap Grabber, SEO Blog Author. Connect with me @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

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