Summary of Google Changes
In an effort to curb the spread of misinformation, Google is suppressing ads across multiple platforms such as Google Ads and YouTube, that contain any term relating to COVID-19 or coronavirus, regardless of whether they are “approved” in the interface. This applies to keywords, ad copy, and creative. Further details can be found below.
What Does This Mean?
It means that even if you put keywords or ads targeted for the COVID-19 pandemic, you would see zero search volume on those pieces because Google is actively blocking them.
Why Is Google Doing This?
Google is working to protect users from being capitalized on by companies trying to cash in on the virus, and to also ensure that information provided related to the virus is accurate and timely to help searchers in the best way possible. You can read more here about Google’s efforts to protect users.
Are We Using Those Terms in Our Ads?
iMarket’s paid search team has reviewed all client ad copy to ensure there are no references to coronavirus or COVID-19 related keywords that would impact the visibility of your ads.
We have been adding sitelink extensions to some ads that direct your customers to your blog post(s) regarding your business operations and safety precautions to help educate and reassure your customers during uncertain times.
What Does This Mean for Other Digital Mediums?
Local Service Ads by Google
The Local Service Ads by Google (LSAG) platform does not allow contractors to add language related to COVID-19. The biggest impact COVID-19 is having on LSAG is actual strategy adjustments where a contractor may change their business strategy, for example, to focus less on maintenance and instead focus primarily on replacement/installation.
Google is actively working on removing any content that spreads false information about COVID-19 or makes claims about preventing the virus instead of seeking medical treatment. If you are creating content about Indoor Air Quality, use caution about what you claim these solutions can actually do to mitigate the transmission of the virus.
Facebook has updated its advertising policy to protect users from individuals and companies trying to exploit the pandemic for financial gain. This means Facebook is prohibiting ads for products that refer to the coronavirus and COVID-19 in ways intended to create a panic or imply that their products guarantee a cure or prevent people from contracting it. For example, ads for face masks that imply they are the only ones still available, or claim that they are guaranteed to prevent the virus from spreading will not be allowed to run on Facebook, Instagram, or Facebook Display network.
Google Pledges Google Ads Credits
Google announced March 27 that they are pledging $340 million in Google Ads credits for small and medium-sized businesses in an effort to support businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Details have not yet been shared regarding how much a typical business will receive or how far the credits will stretch, but they will be notifying eligible advertisers about available credits in the coming months. You can read ongoing updates from Google here.
We Will Keep You Informed
The team at iMarket is evaluating other platforms and digital marketing mediums, and will continue to provide updates and adapt strategies as other changes come to light. Please contact your Marketing Coordinator with any questions, or contact us at 800-727-3920 to learn how iMarket can support your business.