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Google AdWords Grants Updates In 2018

Google helps more than 35,000 non-profit businesses by offering free advertising in Google AdWords Grant accounts for up to $10,000. Starting January 1, 2018 Google made several changes to their policies for these accounts in order to raise standards of quality and to add clarity.

Changes Made to Grant Accounts

Mission-Based Campaigns

Each ad and keyword in a Google Ad Grants AdWords account needs to;

  • reflect a non-profits primary mission
  • be relevant to the non-profits programs and services
  • be specific in order to provide a good experience for users.

There has been little restrictions on the keywords that could be used in grant accounts previously however, this has now changed. The following, taken from Google’s Mission-based campaigns page, is no longer allowed:

  • Branded words that you don’t own like “YouTube” or “Google” or names of newspapers or other organizations
  • Single-word keywords (excluding your own branded words, recognized medical conditions, and a small number of exception keywords published here)
    • Note terms with dashes, periods, or special characters are not treated as single-word keywords
  • Overly generic keywords like “free videos”, “e-books”, “today’s news”, “easy yoga”, “download games”, “job alert”, names of places, names of historical events/people
  • Keywords with a quality score of 2 or less.

So, what if your account doesn’t comply? If an account is found in violation, then it will be subject to automatic suspension. Once the problems are corrected, you can request reinstatement.

Account Management Policy

A CTR of 5% must be maintained on all Google Ad Grants accounts. In order for this to occur, there are further account management policies that should be followed:

  • Accounts should use geo-targeting ensuring ads are shown only in locations relevant to the non-profit organisation.
  • At least 2 ad groups should be active in each campaign.
  • Each ad group needs 2 closely related keywords and 2 active text ads.
  • An account should have at least 2 sitelink ad extensions.

If an account’s CTR falls below the 5% for 2 consecutive months, the account will be deactivated.

Website Policy

The websites connected to the Ad Grants account must observe the following criteria:

  • Owned And Operated Website:
    • The domain attached to the account must be owned by the organisation.
  • High-Quality Website:
    • The site must have a clear description of the organisation and mission with enough information to help users understand your purpose.
    • The site should function without broken links.
    • The ads, keywords and website should not make claims that promise results. Websites with such claims must cite verifiable references.
  • Commercial Activity:
    • The main purpose of the website must not be commercial activity.
    • Your non-monetary mission needs to be supported by any commercial activity on the site.
    • Your site needs to explain how funds from commercial activity are used.
  • Limited Ads on Website:
    • Advertising should only be relevant to your mission and non-obtrusive.
    • The website cannot have Google AdSense ads or affiliate advertising links.

Any personalised suggestions and notifications of non-compliance will be sent through in-product notifications.

These policies are specific to Ad Grants accounts, but these accounts also need to ensure they are following standard AdWords policies also.

If you are a non-profit business and do not know about Google Ad Grants accounts, or you have an account and are having trouble implementing these changes, contact us at The Online Co. We’re here to help!

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