Starting in September 2021, Google Ads will begin testing a new three-strikes pilot program for accounts that repeatedly violate ad policies. Well, it might be four-strikes; it starts with a warning but then an additional three-strikes after that warning – your Google Ads account can be suspended.
Strikes expire after 90 days, according to Google. If you’ve had two strikes, fix the issues, send an acknowledgment of the issues and fixes, and then do not violate another policy for 90 days after the fix, your account resets, in a way, and the next violation will be the initial warning again. As always, search marketers will be able to appeal any violation and enforcement decisions.
Google may expand this three-strikes rule beyond just the Enabling Dishonest Behavior, Unapproved Substances and Dangerous Products or Services policies areas in the future.
Why we care. The new ad policy pilot program provides clear actions and consequences for advertisers. While Google is testing this program for the Enabling Dishonest Behavior, Unapproved Substances and Dangerous Products or Services policies, it will likely eventually roll out to other policy areas in the coming year. The initial warning gives you the benefit of the doubt, but penalties are increasingly stringent after that. Many advertisers are worried that the new policy will penalize those whose ads get mislabeled or mistakenly violate policies.