Overview of affiliate programs
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Traffic arbitrage

How to pass moderation in Google Ads — beginner's guide

Contextual advertising in Google Ads is one of the ways to earn money online. At first glance, it's enough to find a suitable offer, create creatives and ads, set up and launch an advertising campaign. However, one must not forget about moderation in Google Ads. It's important to understand how it works, why ads can be rejected, and an advertising account can be suspended. And even more importantly, knowing what to do in such a case.

How is your ad reviewed in Google Ads?

After creating an advertisement, the moderation process begins. It occurs in two modes: automatic and manual. Right after creation, settings, and launching of the advertising campaign, the advertisements and the site they lead to undergo an initial review by a robot. The robot examines headlines, texts, used keywords, images, and videos. If everything is in order and there are no errors, the ad is approved for display and obtains a 'Approved' status. This usually takes 10-15 minutes (and no more than one business day).

A few days later, the advertisements you've created are manually reviewed by Google Ads moderators. This review doesn't affect the functionality of the advertising campaign, but it can identify errors that might have been missed by the automatic moderation. In such cases, the displays will be paused, and you'll receive an email with the specified violation and suggestions for correction. If you follow all the guidelines, your advertising will resume being shown to users.

Moderation statuses

Under review. Your advertisement is still under moderation. Display in the advertising network is not taking place.
Preliminarily approved. The advertisement is still under review but may already appear in Google search results.
Approved. The advertisement has passed moderation and is being displayed in connected Google advertising networks.
Approved (non-family safe). In this case, there are display restrictions for certain users. This includes creatives with advertisements for gambling and dating services. If a person has 'SafeSearch' enabled, they won't see them. Note that some advertising networks connected to Google might not show ads marked as 'Adult' or 'Non-family safe.'
Approved (adult only). This includes creatives containing content labeled as '18+'. This could pertain to advertising for websites with sexual content, for example. As a result, users with 'SafeSearch' enabled won't see them. Additionally, this category of advertisements might be prohibited in certain countries or advertising networks. Approved (with restrictions). This status means your advertisement is approved for display only on specific devices, within a limited list of GEOs, or for specific search queries.
Rejected. The advertisement violates Google Ads policies and is prohibited from being displayed. You need to identify and resolve the issue to pass moderation.
Site suspended. This status indicates that the site linked in the advertisement violates Google Ads policies. Its advertising is prohibited from being displayed. Therefore, you need to identify the error and rectify it.

What does Google Ads prohibit?

When creating advertisements and configuring advertising campaigns, it's important to consider what specific content is strictly prohibited from advertising in Google Ads.

  1. Counterfeit products of original brands. This means no Abibas pretending to be authentic Adidas.
  2. Potentially harmful products or information to users' health. This could include advertising for drugs, weapons, guides on making explosives, and so on.
  3. Fraud. This includes websites offering services for hacking PCs, traffic manipulation, creating fake documents, and the like.

In addition to analyzing your advertisements and promoted websites, Google keeps an eye on your actions.

Therefore, advertisements and the advertising account will be blocked if:

  • You violate the network's advertising policies. For instance, cloaking, using malicious software on promoted websites, etc.
  • You engage in collecting users' personal data (full names, contact or banking information, etc.) without notifying them and obtaining their consent.
  • You provide inaccurate information about yourself and the advertised product (false promises, unclear explanations of payment methods, etc.).

Furthermore, Google Ads might disapprove advertisements from being displayed if:

  • There are negative user reviews about the product or service.
  • The products you're advertising might be promoted by scammers (in this case, it's more of a question for the affiliate program or CPA network from which you received the offer).
  • The promoted products pose risks to users' safety, health, or convenience.

It's recommended to regularly review the Google Help Center where lists of prohibited topics and advertising restrictions are constantly updated.

Ad requirements

In order for your advertisements to pass moderation without issues, it's necessary to create them while adhering to specific conditions.

  • Avoid grammatical or spelling errors.
  • Do not use general words or statements that cannot be verified.
  • Avoid special characters and excessive use of punctuation marks.
  • Adhere to character limits for the ad size.
  • Do not include phone numbers or other contact details in the advertisement.
  • Use high-quality videos or images in your creatives.

If you need to clarify the requirements for specific advertising formats in Google Ads, be sure to review them in the advertising network's Help Center

Landing page requirements

Google requires ad relevance and user-friendliness. Therefore, your landing page should:

  • Precisely match the theme of the advertisement.
  • Have user-friendly navigation.
  • Load quickly.
  • Not prompt users to download files or send emails.
  • Be free of redirects or disguised system ad messages.
  • Contain unique, meaningful content.
  • Not be a copy of any other sites.
  • Be accessible for scanning by Google Ads bots.
  • Have a valid URL (without errors or prohibited characters). Additionally, the domain displayed in the ad and the final URL must match.

You can find the complete list of landing page requirements in the Google Help Center

What to do if an ad is rejected?

There are five main ways to pass moderation if your ads have been rejected with the 'Rejected' status.

  1. Make a small change to the ad. This method is suitable if you are confident that you didn't violate any rules. Just modify the text or headline (e.g., change the word order). After this, the advertising campaign will be re-submitted for review and may be approved.
  2. Submit to Google Ads technical support. This works if your ads are rejected during the automatic moderation stage and are redirected for manual review. The main drawback is the waiting time (up to several days).
  3. Call the support service. For this, you'll need to call the unified number, provide your Google Ads account ID, and talk to an operator. Calmly and politely explain the situation with your advertising campaign, and they will forward your ads for manual review.
  4. Chat with the support operator. Similar to a phone call, this is one of the most efficient methods to resolve moderation issues.
  5. Appeal. If you believe you're not violating Google Ads rules but your ads are still rejected, you can file an appeal stating that the review was conducted incorrectly (or you've already fixed all errors, and the advertising campaign should be approved for display).


Passing moderation in Google Ads is both easy and challenging at the same time. If you're promoting only 'white hat' offers and adhering to the advertising network's policies, you shouldn't encounter problems. The key is to ensure that your creatives and websites comply with Google's requirements. However, even in this case, you might face errors caused by algorithms or human factors. Therefore, work on your creatives and be prepared to communicate with technical support to defend your advertising campaigns.