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Google crack down on clickbait ads

What’s changing?

Google have announced that they will be introducing a new rule as part of the Google Ads Misinterpretation policy, banning any clickbait in ad headlines from July 2020.

Google say that the policy “covers advertisement which uses sensationalist or clickbait text or imagery which intend to drive traffic to the Ad through pressurising the viewer to take immediate action in order to understand the full context of the Ad.” This means that from next month onwards, Google will be putting a stop to any misleading or tactical language / images in ads.

How will this change things for Digital Marketers?

We’re all familiar with clickbait in ad copy- whether it’s “You won’t believe this” or “Click for one-time offer” etc. But why does this matter to us as a digital marketing agency? Well, this essentially means that if you are one of the advertisers who are currently using these tactics in your display or search ads – then you should be using these next few weeks to reconsider how to overcome these changes, i.e. creating new ads. If you don’t think you’re using clickbait tactics in your ads – as with any new policy, it is still best to keep an eye on it when the changes go into effect to avoid ads being unexpectedly disapproved.

Google gave some more detail about the type of clickbait ads they will be cracking down on, which we’ve summarised below:

  • Ads which use clearly altered or zoomed in body parts, mugshots, or real life disaster photos to tactically promote something. This also includes ‘before and after; snaps which may promote unrealistic changes with the human body.
  • Any ads that use negative life events such as death, illness, arrests or bankruptcy to induce negative emotions with the aim of pressuring a viewer to to take fast action (buy a product, click on an ad).
  • Ads that pressure the user to purchase, subscribe to or stop consuming a product or service in order to avoid harm; ads which use depictions of severe distress, pain, fear or shock to promote a product or service.

Feel free to let us know your thoughts!