19 Pesky Google Ads Disapprovals – How to Fix Them

19 Pesky Google Ads Disapprovals – How to Fix Them


We hate it when this happens. You’ve either got your new campaign ready to go or you’ve been using it for quite some time. You suddenly see that red text in the status column. You. You. It. It’s gone. Get it done ASAP! But how do you get there?

stick figure at computer confused about google ads disapproval

Do not be afraid! To alleviate your ad disapproval woes, I’ll be diving into the following:

  • How to fix 19 Google Ads disapprovals.
  • How to appeal a Google Ads disapproval
  • How to avoid disapproval from Google Ads in the future

You’ll be done with those disapprovals by the end of this article!

UPDATE JULY 2021:AAs of September 21, 2021 disapprovals for enabling dishonesty (#13), dangerous products or service (#14), or unapproved substances (#19), will be punished via Google’s three strike system. We cover everything you need to know here.

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Google Ads disapprovals are the most important thing you need to know

Google Ads disapprovals occur all the time. These disapprovals are caused by an automated review process that doesn’t consider context as a human would. These are the results.More often than not, disapprovals can be mistakenly “incorrect”.. If you take it personally, it is a consolation.

It can be very frustrating, especially if you need to get your ad up and running as soon as possible. Later, I will discuss what to do if your ad is receiving disapprovals. But first, let us dive into the ways to fix them.

19 Google Ads Disapprovals: What they Mean and How to Fix them

Disapprovals are based on Google Advertising policies. There are many policies. There are too many policies to list in one blog post, especially since some of them are industry-specific. Here are 19 common disapprovals that you will encounter. While some are more obscure than others, I believe we can all agree that they are all irritating.

1. Destination not working

It means:Google can’t reach your site using its crawlers.

screen shot of

How to fix itThis is the most disapproval you will ever feel. There could be several reasons for your disapproval.Landing pageGoogle has deemed it “not working”. This may mean that your site code must be modified to allow crawlers to access it using a “robots.txt” add-on. It could also be as easy as a typo in your ad URL, which you need to fix.

You should also ensure that your website is accessible to everyone, even if it’s only for a particular area. If you’re unsure about the root of your “destination not working” disapproval, I’ll cover some tips later on how to get further clarification from Google.







2. Mismatch in destination

It means:The URL that links to an ad from another ad within the same ad group does not always match the original URL.

screenshot of google ads destination mismatch disapproval

How to fix itSolving aDestination mismatchIt’s easy to disapprove! It is easy to disapprove.

You can have multiple ads going to different locations if you wish. They will however need to be placed in different ad campaigns or groups.

Campaigns cannot have two domains as their final URLs. Campaigns can have different final URLs within them but not ad groups. Campaigns cannot have ads that point to multiple domains. Accounts may contain ads that point to multiple domains.

3. Capitalization

It means:Either your ad has been removed or extended.incorrect capitalizationExcessive or “gimmicky use.”

screenshot of google ads capitalization disapproval

How to fix itIt’s not yet aBest practiceYou should capitalize the first letter of each word in your ad copy. You can use all uppercase if you need to include a portion of text, such as a coupon code, or for branding purposes.request a capitalization review.

4. 4. Punctuation & Symbols

It means:This section of Google Ads requires that advertisers use grammatically correct text and avoid excessive symbols.

screenshot of google ads punctuation and symbols disapproval

How to fix itGoogle Ads is just like any other public content platform.Stilistic guidelinesAll text in ads must adhere to these guidelines. This means that you should avoid using exclamation points to emphasize text, however tempting.

You also can’t throw in symbols to try to amplify your ad copy or apply extra periods for a longer pause between words. To get your message across, you’ll need to use the context of the ad and correct any punctuation.

5. Malicious software

It means:Google crawlers detected suspicious activity on your site.

screenshot of malicious software google ad disapproval

Image source

How to fix itThis one is a little more difficult, we’ll be honest. This usually involves your website’s links or coding. You may feel like you are searching for a needle in a haystack. Google will most likely help you to resolve the issue by directing you to a specific area on your site.

In the meantime, we suggest having your webmaster check your site code for any suspicious activity.







6. Sensitive events

It means:Your landing page copy and ad copy are designed to exploit a significant social, cultural or political event. This could include a discussion about a public health emergency, civil emergencies or natural disasters, as well as the victims of such events.

google ads disapproval for sensitive events

How to fix itIt is important to remember that what may not be sensitive to you might be to others. Senior living accounts offering Alzheimer’s care might not want to mention victims of the disease. This could be seen as leverage for clicks.

They might instead be more focused on the care they provide, which may be more neutral. You may need to tinker with your headlines and descriptions on this one.

7. 7.

It means:In your ad copy you have included the brand name of another business.unauthorized.

approved limited notification from google ads

How to fix itThis could happen accidentally, since the brand names of different companies can be identical to generalizedSearch terms. You get theTrademark disapprovalYour ad may still be running. However, Google will limit the time it can show.

There is a support form where you can dispute your use of the “trademarked” term. You can also use the same form if you believe this is happening under your brand name.

8. Copyrighted content

It means:This is similar to the above disapproval, in which your ad text includes content that has been copyrighted.

google ads disapproval for copyrighted content

How to fix itYou will need to obtain authorisation if you are allowed to use this content.submit copyrighted documentationYou must provide proof of eligibility from the original owner. You can also apply if your copyrighted content has been incorrectly used.file a complaint.

You may want to reconsider your ad and ad extension text in order to remove any copyrighted content.







9. Image quality

It means:The incorrect image details have disapproved your display ad. It could be blurry, upside down, or even upside down.


google ads disapproval for poor image quality

How to fix itYou can simply swap the images from this one! It is a good idea to have at least two variations of your design.Display ad copyFor situations like this. If Google returns an image, you can resubmit it with a different one.

However, if your heart is set on using a specific image, then cross-check it with Google’s image quality guidelines to look for any missing pieces you can change to get your display ad to run.

10. Misrepresentation

It means:It means that Google considers your ad and landing page similar to a “bait-and-switch” situation.

google ads disapproval for misrepresentation

Image source

How to fix itThemisrepresentation Google Ads disapprovalThere are many reasons why this happens. You may see your ad headlines as containingclickbaitOr, you might accidentally promote a price that isn’t accurate. Any advertising relating to your ads may be deemed a scam in any form. This will result in disapproval.

Reevaluating your content is the best solution. If you are certain you are following the guidelines, you can cross-check any outdated or incorrect information that you may have.

11. 11.

It means:Although this may seem obvious, it means that Google has deemed your ad and landing page to contain wording, phrases or images that are explicit, violent or other generally offensive materialInappropriate content.

How to fix itGoogle Ads space is G-rated. Some doctors, such as plastic surgeons, have been flagged for inappropriate content. Although it might be necessary for these types of businesses to include such material, Google’s automated review process may not screen for context.

You can still include this content in your ad if you feel it is necessary. However, the ad will be marked “approved: limited”, meaning that you have restrictions on your targeting. We recommend following our steps to correct your disapproval.

If you’re not sure what to do, then take a look at all your Google ads through a G-rated lens. Then, remove any objectionable content.

12. Unsupported language

It means:Google Ads doesn’t support your ad language or landing page.Language targeting.

How to fix itTheunsupported language disapprovalThis policy covers the technical requirements policy, which allows you to make your content as easy-to-use as possible. Your ad and landing page don’t have to be written in English. However, it must be in the language Google supports through language targeting. Make sure your campaign language targeting is set up to the language that you prefer and adjust your content accordingly.








13. Dishonest behavior

It means:Google Ads values fairness and honesty to ensure a level playing field. If your landing page or ad encourages customers to lie or collect unauthorized data, you might be notified.Dishonest Behavior disapproval.

google ads disapproval for dishonest behavior

How to fix itThis warning will appear on your account and your account will be suspended for seven days. This could include spyware, hacking services and illegal documentation services.

Others include exam answers, passing drug tests supplies, selling sensitive information such as people’s banking numbers and any other “sketchy” items.

14. Products or services that are dangerous

It means:The SERP does not allow advertisements that promote explosives, marijuana, tobacco, knives, or other weapons.

google ads disapproval for dangerous products

How to fix itTheDisapproval of dangerous products and servicesFor firearm-related accounts, it can be reprinted time and again. Google’s resource page confirms that it is perfectly legal to advertise for weapons parts that promote safety like knife cases or locks.

Although most authorized, certified and legally approved arms dealers are able to still run ads, only safety-related ads can be allowed. Once they have arrived at the store, they can continue to talk with customers about their other products. This is a second disapproval, and it’s more severe. If you don’t comply or contact Google after the first warning, your account will be suspended.

15. In an ad text, please include a phone number

It means:Your searchRSA or ETAInclude a phone number in your headline or description.

How to fix itGoogle is doing you a favor by allowing you to use theText disapproval of ad text to include phone numberBecause you don’t have to include your phone number! Instead, leverageCall extensionsOrCall adsTo encourage phone calls

This is not generally true.DisplayAdvertisementsHowever, it is not uncommon to be disapproved of image ads. In such cases, a manual review will suffice. Same applies if your business name includes a number.

16. 16.

It means:Repetitive words are deemed to be a problem in your ad or extension.

How to fix itThis is what you might call keyword stuffing. It’s when you repeatedly use the same keyword to try to increase your chances of success.Increase your impression share. Your ad viewers will feel the same way as you would about the same word repeated in an article. Check out these additional examples.Readability tipsHere.

So, Google put this repetition policy in place with that in mind. There are many tools that will help you create new ad copy.

example of keyword stuffing in a google ad

17. For kids content

It means:ExecutingPersonalized advertisingAdverts that speak to a younger audience may contain inappropriate or offensive content.

How to fix itYou can opt in for special approval to “Made for children content“You can’t apply to any of the followingAdvertising strategies that are personalizedCertain demographic exclusions. All of your content should be suitable for a young audience.

If your display or video ad, or ad text, is deemed not okay for someone under the age of 13 to see, then your ad will get disapproved. Re-strategizing your products could help you angle them (books, toys, etc.). You could also adjust the copy to make it more family-friendly to appeal to parents.







18. Approved (limited).

It means:Google has classified your ad or extension as a landing page, but you have agreed to follow the guidelines. Therefore?Your ad runs as normal, but may have targeting restrictions.

How to fix itThis one might be best left alone as it doesn’t have any issues with your ad. This is Google’s way to remind you that you may be restricted by a certain category.

If you decide to exclude a certain demographic from an ad with this flag in the future, you will be disapproved. This is common for those within the vicinity of the new housing, employment, and credit policies implemented by Google back in 2019.

19. Disapprovals specific to the industry

It means:Although I cannot address all policies Google has that could cause a disapproval, it is something I wanted to honor.Policy for industry-specific Google AdsThere are many.

google ads industry-specific disapproval

How to fix itBe aware of the vertical in which you are located as well as all topics within your industry that Google might find suspicious. Start small by creating a neutral search ad to see if there are any risks in the product you want to promote.

To avoid problems later, you might also want to be cautious with your targeting. For example, personalized advertising applies to many industries for which you can’t exclude certain demographics or execute remarketing. The following are examples of industries: any information relating to medical, senior care, restaurant selling alcohol, housing, credit and employment.

How to appeal Google Ads’ disapproval

As I said, most disapprovals are just an error made by Google’s automated review system. So, regardless of whether you try the tricks mentioned by policy above, here are the three must do steps for your disapprovals–especially if you feel you shouldn’t be getting the disapproval you now have:

1. Double-check everything else.

First, go through your landing page, extensions and ad text with a fine-tooth comb. Identify any issues that make you stop and think. It’s helpful to keep a list of account locations handy for when you work with Google support.

Pro tip:Even if it seems impossible! How can I (insert bizarre policy disapproval here?) my ad/landing page? !”– Don’t underestimate Google’s thoroughness in its policies.

2. 2. Appeal

You can appeal if you don’t see anything that is disapproval-worthy. You can usually appeal if you hover over the disapproval column. However, there are some policies that don’t allow you to appeal. Click appeal to select the ads you would like to appeal.

google ads disapproval appeal form

If you disagree with the decision, you can either dispute it or say that you have made changes to comply. Appeal usually take less than a week. You can view the status of your Policy Manager from its top toolbar.

Pro tip:Do not overload the system with appeals. Multiple appeals for disapprovals of the same advertisement in rapid succession can “confuse” an automated appeal review, which could delay approval. You can also submit duplicate appeals for the disapproval of the same ad without waiting for a day.







3. Contact Google Support

At the end of the day, you’ll most likely need to contact Google Support. The support form usually responds within a week to two weeks. It is a good idea to mention that you are looking for a manual review in your request.

google ads support form

Also, make sure to be as specific as you can about the disapproval you are receiving, where it is located, and what you have done to rectify it. Although it may be tempting to simply type “Reapprove my ad now!” and hit submit immediately, having this additional information will help you save time in the future.

You can use the support form to reach out to a person who will help you explain your situation and give you the steps you need in order for you get back on track.

Pro tip:Give it two weeks. If you don’t hear back within that time, fill out another form to intensify your urgency.

How to stop Google Ads disapproval

It can be difficult to accept disapprovals. The best strategy is to stop them from ever happening. Although this is not always possible, here are some tips.

If you’re questioning it, don’t do it

It is likely that it will be disapproved if it isn’t approved. Although it is unfortunate that we cannot all add the targeting and ad copy we desire, there are silver linings. This will encourage us to be more creative. You can think outside the box to finesse your targeting and ad copy while adhering to Google’s policies.

Check your landing pages regularly

All of these issues have one thing in common: most disapprovals occur outside of your ad accounts. Check your website as often as your ads. Any changes to the URL or content will be noticed.

Keep other channels open

This is a great way to ensure that you are still getting brand exposure through other channels, even if you feel like you are fighting an uphill battle against Google Ads disapprovals. While you are dealing with any Google Ads disapprovals, a great alternative is to run ads on Microsoft Ads and Facebook. But be careful not to make these Facebook ad errors! .

alternatives to google ads

Don’t let Google Ads disapprovals get you down

We have learned one thing from the Google Ad disapproval jungle: most advertisers will experience at least one disapproval during their careers. That’s okay!

Google wants you to succeed. They wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for your efforts! The support team will help you. To navigate a disapproval, it is important to stay calm, identify the culprit, and then take troubleshooting steps.

Always have an emergency backup account, campaign or ad in your pocket for any type of marketing. This will ensure that you are always showing your viewers, no matter what.







Let’s close with the complete list of disapprovals discussed in this post.

  1. Destination is not working
  2. Mismatch in destination
  3. Capitalization
  4. Punctuation & Symbols
  5. Malicious software
  6. Sensitive events
  7. Trademarks in Ad Text
  8. Copyrighted content
  9. Image quality
  10. Misrepresentation
  11. Inappropriate content
  12. Unsupported language
  13. Dishonest behavior
  14. Dangerous products and services
  15. In an ad text, include a phone number
  16. Repetition
  17. Made for children content
  18. Limited approval
  19. Disapprovals specific to the industry