Big Google Ad Grants Changes 2018: What You Need to Know


As of 1 January 2018, Google made major adjustments to their Google Ad Grants policies. These huge changes come with the intent of raising the standards of quality for their free advertising grants.

It will affect Google’s AdWords programme for nonprofits, which serves over 35,000 organisations, that have used Google AdWords’ $10,000, no-strings-attached monthly budget.

The Google Ad grants changes are:

  • The $2.00 bid cap on costs-per-click (CPC) in Google AdWords will be lifted for nonprofits that build campaigns using an automated bidding strategy called ‘Maximise Conversions.’ This strategy automatically determines the optimal CPC bid to help get the most conversions for AdWords campaigns, while also making sure that your organisation sufficiently spends its budget. This has been an impediment for those in the Google AdWords programme for nonprofits, due to the prices for keywords snowballing, as businesses have to focus on bolstering their SEO and paid search traffic.
  • Google now necessitates that click-through rates (CTR) must stay above 5%, in order for nonprofits to keep their AdWords grants. If the CTR drops below 5% for two consecutive months, then their Google Ads grants account will be suspended permanently. We can anticipate that this adjustment will cause a number of AdWords accounts to be shut down for a period of time over the next few months.

There are three crucial ways to increase your campaign click-through rates in Google AdWords:

  1. Remove low-quality keywords
  2. Remove keywords that are targeting competitors
  3. Focus on long-tail keywords with high quality scores

The result of these changes should encourage businesses to do extra work to discover high quality keywords that result in bringing in high calibre users to your websites.

There are also other changes that nonprofits should be aware of:

  • It’s imperative that keywords have quality scores of 3 or higher. This change will eliminate single keyword and generic terms.
  • All keyword campaigns need to have at least two ad groups with at least two ads running.
  • Accounts for Google AdWords grants are required to have at least two sitelink extensions.
  • Nonprofits cannot buy branded keywords they don’t own. This means that they cannot bid for keywords such as: ‘Facebook’ and ‘Google.’
  • Nonprofits must have Geotargeting active in their AdWords accounts.

The following AdWords policies were also updated: ‘Terms and Conditions’, ‘Mission-based Campaigns’, ‘Website’, and ‘Account Management’. Legacy GrantsPro policies however, were retired.

Over 35,000 nonprofits take part in the Google Grants programme, and there is a real risk that these organisations could lose their Google AdWords grant, especially if they do not follow these new guidelines and managing their Google Ads grants campaigns efficiently. AdWords grants for non profits are a fantastic resource to have and if you need guidance on managing your Google Ads grants accounts, contact our Specialists below.

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