10 Reasons Why Your Google Ads are Being Disapproved (and How to Fix Them)


Having your Google Ads campaigns disapproved can be frustrating. If your ads aren’t running, you’re going to get fewer leads and conversions. Worst of all, you could end up having your Google Ads account suspended if you don’t fix your disapprovals.

While Google doesn’t tell you why your ads get disapproved, it can be quite easy to figure it out yourself. We’ve listed the ten most common reasons below and the quick fixes you can make to get your paid advertising campaigns back up and running.

10 common problems and how to fix them

1. Different root domains

If your root domain in your display URL is rabbitsareawesome.com but your destination URL’s root domain is squirrelsareawesome.com, Google will disapprove your ad. Their policy states that the root domains must be the same.

How to fix it: Make sure your root domains are exactly the same in your display and destination URLs.

2. Using all caps

Opening your ad with ‘HUGE SALE’ might grab people’s attention, but it goes against Google’s guidelines. Using words in all caps will get your ad disapproved except when you’re using promotional codes, common abbreviations like ASAP, trademarks, and brand and product names.

How to fix it: Only use sentence or title case in your ad copy unless you have a promotional code or brand name that needs to be capitalised.

3. Mentioning copyrighted content

This sounds obvious, but it can catch people out. If another company has copyright over certain words and phrases, you will be penalised for using them.

How to fix it: Double check your copy for copyright phrases. If you come across any, use synonyms.

4. Using exclamation marks

You might think you’re making your copy exciting and engaging, but using exclamation marks is just setting yourself up for disapproval. Only one exclamation mark is allowed per ad, and it can’t be in your headline. But Google’s rules on punctuation don’t stop there – symbols can’t be used for anything other than their original purpose. For instance, @ is fine in email addressed, but not if you’re saying ‘@ home’ instead of ‘at home’.

How to fix it: Make sure you have a maximum of one exclamation mark in your ad copy, and remove any unnecessary symbols.

5. Low-quality images and videos

When trying to get users to click on your ad, you want to present your best self. While low-quality images and videos won’t achieve this, many still use them, and Google really doesn’t like them. Small, blurry media will get your ad disapproved, along with video that has poor sound quality.

How to fix it: Upload media that is of the highest quality possible. Double check to ensure nothing is blurry, and rewatch your videos to confirm the sound quality.

6. Non-existent landing pages

If you’re building your campaign before your landing page goes live, make sure you don’t start your ads until everything is ready. Google will disapprove your ads if you link to a page that doesn’t exist.

How to fix it: Make sure your landing page is live before you run your campaign.

7. Inappropriate content

Whether it’s your ad copy or your landing page, Google has a very low tolerance for content it deems inappropriate. To be on the safe side, steer clear of anything that has to do with adult-oriented content, gambling and dangerous products like fireworks.

How to fix it: Use non-offensive copy and stay away from themes that Google will consider inappropriate.

8. Too much copy

Google Ads has a character limit – headlines can be up to 25 characters, while descriptions max out at 35. If you go over these, a disapproval won’t be far away. There are exceptions to the rule, though – if your target country’s national language has lengthy words – like Russian and German – you’ll have a little more room.

How to fix it: Stick strictly to the character limits, and keep your ads simple and to the point.

9. Putting your phone number in the copy

Even if you want potential customers to give you a call, you can’t put your phone number in your ad copy. Google will automatically flag your ad for disapproval and you’ll see your leads plummet.

How to fix it: Don’t put your phone number in your ad copy – save it for your landing page.

10. Telling users to ‘click here’

Using a generic call to action such as ‘click here’ will see Google almost immediately disapprove your ad. The search engine giant instead encourages some creativity.

How to fix it: Use a call to action like ‘shop now’ to prevent a Google Ads disapproval.

What to do when your ads are disapproved

If you find an ad getting disapproved by Google, there’s no need to panic. The first thing you need to do is determine the cause and fix it. Once you do this and save your changes, your ad will automatically be resubmitted for review. If the flagged ad is paused, you might be best off just deleting it. But what about when the reason isn’t so clear?

If you think you’ve been flagged incorrectly, or that you qualify for an exception, make sure to request a review. You can also call Google to request reviews, and this can be a great way to get more information on why your ad was disapproved.

Have you had any ads disapproved by Google? What was the cause? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @TeamTillison. In the meantime, contact our PPC specialists today to find out how they can help with your campaigns and check out our Google Ads training courses.

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