Ads Not Showing? Check These 8 Things First

Holiday shoppers are expected to spend $21 billion online this year. Don’t let ad disapprovals keep you from earning your share of that windfall. Use these eight helpful tips to figure out why your ads have been disapproved, or to keep them from being disapproved in the first place.

1. Final URL

Your landing page should always display, regardless of the user’s location, or the browser or device they’re using. Ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Does the landing page return an HTTP error code? Check a list of error codes if you’re unfamiliar with the error code. Consider pausing your ads or sending users to the home page until the error is fixed.
  2. Is the URL globally accessible? Check your site’s global accessibility on the Uptrends uptime tool. Select “All checkpoints” and click “Start test” to see your results.
  3. Is the landing page too slow? Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to check your page’s load time and get suggestions on how to improve performance.

2. Punctuation, Numbers, and Symbols

Check the punctuation and use of numbers and symbols in your ads. Repeating punctuation marks, and using numbers and symbols improperly, will trigger ad disapproval. For example, the following will not be approved:

  • Try for Free!!!
  • $#op Now.
  • Order Tod@y.

In addition, Google’s responsive ads only allow one exclamation point total in descriptions, even though you can submit multiple description lines. The only exceptions to non-standard punctuation and symbols are trademarks, brand names, and product names.

3. Spacing

Check the spacing in your ad copy. Omitting spaces or adding extra spaces to grab attention isn’t allowed. For example, “HugeBlackFridaySale” and “Huge S A L E” would both cause the ad to be disapproved.

4. Capitalization

Make sure your ads are following the rules for capitalization. All caps and excessive capitalization aren’t allowed unless they’re in a trademark, brand name, product name, coupon code, model number, abbreviation or acronym. For all caps to be allowed in the ad copy, it must appear in all caps on the landing page. For example, if a model number appears on the landing page multiple times in different formats – for example, once in all caps and once in lowercase – then the ad copy text will only be allowed in lowercase.

5. Recreational Drugs

Make sure your ads do not contain drug-related terms. Ads referencing products or services that alter mental state for the purpose of recreation will get flagged. If your ad doesn’t have any reference to drug-related terms, check the landing page. Policy violations on the website, as well as in the ad copy, can cause ad disapprovals.

6 .Trademarks and Copyrighted Content

Check for unintentional trademark or copyright violations in your ads. One fix is to use a synonym to replace the offending text. Another is to contact the copyright holder and request permission to use their trademark.

7. Character Limit

Make sure your ad copy fields are within the allotted character limits. Headline fields allow 30 characters each, description lines 90 characters each, and paths 15 characters each. Use as much character space as possible without exceeding the character limit, which will cause your ads not to show.

8. Adult Content

Check the text, images, and landing pages for adult content. Certain kinds of content and images aren’t allowed in order to comply with legal regulations. Other kinds of content (such as dating sites and plastic surgery services) are allowed, but only if you comply with the policies and don’t target minors. Google’s support site lists all of the adult content ad policies.

Flouting Google’s ad policies can get your ads disapproved – or worse, your account suspended. Check your account often to make sure your ads (and entire website) comply with all policies, guidelines, and requirements. If your ads get disapproved, reach out to Google support so that they can review your ads and advise you on how to get them live.

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