One of the ways that you can get kicked out of AdWords is by running an “untrustworthy promotion”. What does this mean exactly? In essence, it’s making a claim in your PPC advertising that Google thinks is misleading, inaccurate, or a trick to get people to click.
There are certain industries where Google takes a hard line on this topic. If your product or service is in the health, weight loss, beauty, or financial industries, you’ll want to read this article carefully so you can avoid getting kicked off of Google.
The key thing to know
Here’s the key: if you make a finite or absolute claim about what your product or service can do, you’ll be at risk. It doesn’t matter where it is on your site. You don’t even have to write it yourself. If it’s there, you’ll get dinged.
Here are some examples of finite claims:
“If you take my pill, you’ll lose 10 pounds in 1 week.”
“Buy my real estate program and you’ll start making $5,000 a week in no time!”
Google does not want to serve ads that seem shady. Thus, claims like these are dubious at best. You would have to prove to Google that anyone and everyone who used your product got the same minimum level of results. Obviously, this is impossible.
Here are some absolute claims:
“My miracle cure beauty cream will cure your wrinkles completely.”
“This fitness shake is the only meal you’ll need for the rest of your life, and it will prevent the common cold.”
Again, the same principle applies. You would have to prove it in all cases and that’s impossible.
So how can you make a bold claim without running into these rules? Here are some things to do.
You have to qualify your claim. One way to do that is through a guarantee. For instance, you can say “if you use my product as directed, I guarantee that you’ll see an improvement in your life within six weeks.” This is vague enough to avoid both the finite claim and the absolute claim. The time frame on the guarantee is tied to it and not the product, so that’s okay.
However, if you are in the financial or weight-loss niches Google doesn’t like guarantees. Avoid them if your product or service is related.
Any picture, illustration, or testimonial has to be accompanied by a disclaimer. Furthermore, the disclaimer has to be the same font size and color as the surrounding text and be near the element it applies to. You can’t hide your disclaimer at the bottom of the page or make it too light to see. And yes, Google can measure this easily.
Also, if any of your testimonials have finite or absolute claims in them, Google will suspend you. It does NOT matter if you didn’t write it originally! If it’s on your site, you’re responsible. Google doesn’t care.
It doesn’t have to be something complex. Just saying something like “Results aren’t typical. Your results may vary” can be enough. A good place to get disclaimer statements is to look at physical or television marketing collateral in a high-risk niche. You’ll see little disclaimers everywhere.
If you’re writing copy for your product, be wary of making claims that are too broad or too specific. You could get hit with an untrustworthy promotion ban. Follow the tips here and you can keep your site clean, and customers will also appreciate the honesty of your advertising.
Chris Hickman is the Founder and CEO at Adficient with 14 years of experience in search marketing and conversion optimization. Since 2006, he founded GetBackonGoogle.com, helping busineses and websites suspended in Adwords to Get Back on Google.