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Google Ads Strike Policy

Google Ads Strike Policy: What Bay Area Online Business Advertisers Need to Know

Have you received a recent email from Google about a new strike-based system they plan to launch on September 21, 2021? Well, you are not alone. Google Ads is implementing a new 3-strike based system to enforce against advertisers who repeatedly infringe on Google Ads policies. The company will start implementing this new system for three months, beginning on September 21, 2021.

This piece takes a deep dive into what the new Google Ads 3-strike policy means to your business and how to prepare and protect your account.

What is Google’s 3 strike policy?

Google’s 3 strike policy is designed to impose a series of penalties or strikes on repeat offenders going against its ad policies. Essentially, policy offenders receive three strikes or penalties, with the third strike resulting in an indefinite account suspension. At the moment, Google’s strike-based system impacts only three policies, including unapproved pharmaceuticals and supplements, enabling dishonest behavior, tobacco, explosives, and other weapons. However, the policy coverage will be expanded with time to include additional areas. The company promises to notify advertisers accordingly each time a new policy is brought within the scope of the strike-based system.

Let’s take a closer look at the three policies:

Enabling dishonest behavior

This policy affects persons and businesses that offer hacking services, products used for unauthorized tracking, and fake documentation such as fake passports or IDs. You can get the full list of the services here.

Unapproved pharmaceuticals and supplements

This policy impacts businesses and persons that provide, distribute, or sell unapproved pharmaceuticals and supplements such as 360Dreams, 4-AD, 72 Hours, Afterburn, or Alteril Fast-Acting Softgels. Others in this category include Amour Again, Amour for him, APL, APL, Apple Slim by Apple Slim, ArimiDex, Arom-X, and more. You can get the specific substances and pharmaceuticals that the policy is referring to here.

Tobacco, explosives, and other weapons

This policy covers ads for products that may cause damage to people or property. These include explosives such as nail bombs, chemical bombs, fireworks that explode, firecrackers, and grenades. It also covers ads for instructional content about the assembly, enhancement, or acquisition of explosive items, for example, bomb-making sites, guides, software, or equipment for 3D printing of parts of grenades. You can view the full list here.

How Does the Google Ads 3-Strikes System Will Work?

The first disapproval that you get for violating the three policies is a “warning” that only impacts the offending ads. In essence, the offending ads will be flagged down until you make the necessary changes to the copy. Offenders who violate the same policy are entered into the strikes system that affects their entire account. So how does the 3-strike system work?


Before the first strike is issued, you will receive a warning through your email. You will also receive an in-account notification from Google regarding the offending parts of your ad.

Strike one

You will receive the first strike if any part of your ad violates a policy you were warned about within 90 days of the original warning. Strike one comes with a temporary hold on your account for three days. Once the three days are over, your account will be restored but minus the offending ads.

Strike two

Advertisers who violate the same policy again within 90 days of the first strike will receive the second strike. The second strike results in a seven-day account suspension. Typically, before your account is restored, you will have to correct the ad at fault and submit an acknowledgment form.

Strike three

If you violate the same policy again within 90 days of the second strike, you will receive the third strike. The third strike is typically the harshest as it results in an indefinite suspension of your account.

How Do I Prepare and Protect My Account from Google’s 3 Strike System?

Sanitize your ads and assets

If you offer products or services covered under the 3 strike system policies, it is crucial to audit your account and assets before September. This means that you have to remove any words, phrases, images, and rhetoric that could violate Google’s policies.

Be familiar with the appeal processes

It is essential to familiarize yourself with Google’s appeal process to prepare for any eventualities. The process is straightforward; all it takes is to log in to your account and submit your appeal request. Ensure you have included the reasons for your appeal. Afterward, check in your account whether Google has approved your appeal. If the appeal is successful, your ads will begin running immediately.

Incorporate other marketing channels

There is no doubt Google is a very effective platform for small businesses to advertise their products and service offerings. However, it is never smart to put all your eggs in a single basket, especially regarding the new policies. Consider running your PPC ads across other search engines, including Bing and Yahoo. You should also adopt other marketing channels, such as SEO, social media marketing, or display marketing. This reduces your exposure in case of an unexpected Google ads accounts suspension.

Work with professionals

Work with marketing professionals who understand Google’s new policies. The right marketing partner can help you implement and run your ads per Google’s guidelines, so that you won’t have to worry about Goggle’s warnings or strikes.

What Do I Do If I Get a Strike?

Keep in mind Goggle only implements a strike if you violate the same policy more than once. Once you receive the initial warning, you must make the necessary adjustments to prevent your account from violating Google’s policy and avoid suspensions. You can also appeal your warning or strike if you feel you were wrongly targeted. If your appeal is successful, your ad account will start rerunning the ads.

Get Professional Help to Protect Your Account

There is no doubt the new policy from Google is alarming. However, you can escape its impact if you take the necessary steps to protect your account and keep your ads running. If you have any questions or need help to protect your account from the new Google policy, don’t hesitate to contact BC Networks.

BC Networks is a leading IT support company offering managed IT services for San Jose, Silicon Valley & South Bay companies. We provide exceptional IT solutions designed to reduce the risk of cyber threats, increase productivity, and help you achieve your business goals. Our highly experienced professionals will help get your account in good standing before September. We will remove words and phrases, images, or phrasing that Google’s automated review system could pick up to avoid a strike, warning, or possible account suspension. Contact us today to learn more.

Dave Brewer

Dave Brewer

When it comes to IT services and solutions, it's crucial to have a knowledgeable and passionate partner who can help clients achieve sustainable growth using proven IT solutions. Our CEO, Dave, is deeply committed to assisting clients in enhancing their technology to gain a competitive advantage in their respective industries. At BC Networks, Dave Brewer leads a team of dedicated professionals who are focused on delivering outstanding IT services and solutions. With his vast expertise and practical experience, Dave ensures that clients receive top-notch support and guidance for their IT initiatives. You can rely on BC Networks to elevate your business systems and stay ahead in today's fiercely competitive business environment.