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Google Ad Grants Policy

In 2017, Google updated their Ad Grants policies with guidance on running a high-quality account. Failure to comply with the Google Ad Grant policy can result in account suspension or deactivation. If you don’t want this to happen to your account, then this guide is for you.

1. Do not use single-word, generic, or branded keywords

Single-word keywords should be removed. Period. But as always, there’s an exception to the rule: your own brand terms, medical conditions, acronyms, and words from this list of keywords policy exceptions.

  • Keywords with dashes, periods or special characters are not treated as single-word keywords.

Generic keywords like “best videos”, “today's news”, "things to do", or names of people, other organisations, and historical events are no longer permitted and would be disapproved due to ‘Unclear Relevance’.

Be more specific and relevant: instead of using the keyword “museum”, use a keyword like “museums in Bristol”.

Branded keywords like Youtube, Facebook, Android, etc. that are neither owned by you, nor are relevant to your account should NOT be used.

2. Remove or pause all keywords that have a quality score of 1 or 2

You can set up an automated rule and the system will automatically pause keywords with low-quality scores for you.

Tools > Rules > + create new rule

Tools > Rules > + create new rule

3. Ensure that you have at least 2 active ads per ad group and at least 2 active ad groups per campaign

Use your Search Terms report to evaluate keyword searches that have gained a good click-through rate (CTR) and would benefit from having their own ad group.

4. Create at least 2 sitelink extensions

Sitelink extensions enable you to expand your ads with additional information, giving people more reasons to choose your organisation. They also give your ad greater visibility and more prominence on the search results page.


5. Maintain a 5% click-through-rate (CTR) each month

Your CTR helps you gauge how effective, helpful, and relevant your ads are. If you fail to meet the required 5% CTR for two consecutive months, your account will be deactivated.

  • Pause keywords with high impressions and low CTR to help increase your average CTR for all enabled keywords.

  • Accounts that have been active for less than 90 days are not subject to this requirement.

6. Use specific geo-targeting

Your ads must only show in particular areas/locations that are relevant to your organisation.

  • Create separate campaigns targeting different geographic areas if you are an organisation that has various services locally and nationally.

location targetting.png

7. Acquire at least 1 valid conversion per month

The new Google Ad Grants policy has shifted focus from just driving traffic for its grantees to increasing the number of meaningful conversions. Conversion tracking provides you with data on the desired actions your site visitors take after interacting with your ads. Whilst clicks measure traffic, conversions measure value.

  • Monetary conversions - donations, purchases, membership fees

  • Non-monetary conversions - email sign-ups, volunteer sign-ups, new membership for completions, information request submissions, calls to your organisation, engagement with content on your website

8. Respond to the programme survey

Make sure that the email address used for notifications is also opted into receiving emails from Google Ad Grants, failure to participate in or complete the survey will result in account suspension or cancellation without notification.


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