Google announces plans to update its Misleading Representation policy

Google is going to update its Misleading Representation policy on 21 November 2023.

The search engine is planning to remove non-fulfillment of a product or service due to lack of qualifications under Misrepresentation and file it under the Unacceptable Business Practices policy instead.

Why we care. It’s vital to keep up-to-date with policy changes as violations can result in the suspension of your Google Ads account, meaning you can no longer advertise on Google.

What is the Misleading Representation policy? This policy prohibits ads or websites that mislead users by omitting important product details or presenting false information about products, services, or businesses.

The Misleading Representation policy was created to crackdown on unacceptable business practices, such as tricking users by hiding or distorting information about the advertiser’s business, product, or service. Other violations include:

  • Phising techniques.
  • Dishonest pricing practices.
  • Clickbait tactics.
  • Misleading ad designs.
  • Making unproven or inaccurate claims.

What is the Unacceptable Business Practices policy? The Google Ads Unacceptable Business Practices policy was created to make online shopping safe. The policy forbids the following:

  • Impersonating other brands.
  • Enticing users to part with money or information through a fictitious business.
  • False advertising of services that could endanger a user’s health, life, or safety.

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What has Google said? A Google spokesperson said in a statement:

  • “We take violations of the Unacceptable Business Practices policy very seriously and consider them egregious.”
  • “If we find violations of this policy, we will suspend your Google Ads accounts upon detection and without prior warning, and you will not be allowed to advertise with us again.”
  • “If you believe there’s been an error, and that you haven’t violated our policy, submit an appeal and explain why.”
  • “We only reinstate accounts in compelling circumstances, and when there is good reason so it’s important that you take the time to be thorough, accurate, and honest.”

Deep dive. Read Google’s Misrepresentation policy update in full for more information.

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About the author

Nicola Agius

Nicola Agius is Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land after joining in 2023. She covers paid search, paid social, retail media and more. Prior to this, she was SEO Director at Jungle Creations (2020-2023), overseeing the company’s editorial strategy for multiple websites. She has over 15 years of experience in journalism and has previously worked at OK! Magazine (2010-2014), Mail Online (2014-2015), Mirror (2015-2017), Digital Spy (2017-2018) and The Sun (2018-2020). She also previously teamed up with SEO agency Blue Array to co-author Amazon bestselling book ‘Mastering In-House SEO’.

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