Adwords Policy change for Dangerous Products and Services

As of September Google is tightening the rules regarding products and services they deem dangerous, meaning that any ads that fail to comply to these rules will be suspended.

Some products that might previously have been classed as sporting goods or hunting and outdoor equipment have now been folded into the broader definitions of dangerous products, including items such as throwing axes or crossbows.

This doesn’t mean that these products will be excluded from Google search results, only that you will not be permitted to use paid-for Google Adwords to promote these products or services.

We have taken the below from Google’s guidelines so you know what to look out for –

Disapproval and suspension reason: “Explosives”

Products that are designed to explode and could cause damage to nearby people or property

  • Examples: Nail bomb, chemical bomb, any fireworks that explode, firecrackers, grenades
    Instructional materials on how to make explosives
  • Example: Bomb-making site

Guns & parts
Disapproval and suspension reason: “Guns & parts”

Functional devices that appear to discharge a projectile at high velocity, whether for sport, self-defence or combat. (Note that we err on the side of caution and apply this policy to sporting or recreational guns that can cause serious harm if misused, or that appear to be real guns.)

  • Examples: Handguns, rifles, shotguns, hunting guns, functioning antique guns, airsoft guns, paintball guns, bb guns

Any part or component that’s necessary to the function of a gun or intended for attachment to a gun

  • Examples: Gun scopes, ammunition, ammunition clips or belts

Dangerous knives
Disapproval and suspension reason: “Dangerous knives”

Knives that are designed or promoted as products that can be used to injure an opponent in sport, self-defence or combat. Any knife design that provides a confrontational advantage (including disguised appearance or assisted-opening mechanism).

  • Examples: Switchblades, tactical knives, fighting knives, sword-canes, balisongs, military knives, push daggers, throwing axes

Other weapons
Disapproval and suspension reason: “Weapons”

Any other product that’s designed to injure an opponent in sport, self-defence or combat

  • Examples: Throwing stars, brass knuckles, crossbows

Recreational drugs & drug-related equipment
Disapproval and suspension reason: “Recreational drugs & drug-related equipment”

Promotion of substances that alter mental state for the purpose of recreation or otherwise induce “highs”

  • Examples: Cocaine, crystal meth, heroin, marijuana, cocaine substitutes, mephedrone, “legal highs”

Products or services marketed as facilitating recreational drug use

  • Examples: Pipes, bongs, cannabis coffee shops

Promotion of instructional content about producing, purchasing or using recreational drugs

  • Examples: Forums to exchange tips or recommendations on drug use

Tobacco products & related equipment
Disapproval and suspension reason: “Tobacco products & related equipment”

Tobacco or any products containing tobacco

  • Examples: Cigarettes, cigars, snus, chewing tobacco, rolling tobacco, pipe tobacco Products that form a component part of a tobacco product, as well as products and services that directly facilitate or promote tobacco consumption
  • Examples: Rolling papers, pipes, tobacco filters, hookah lounges, cigar bars Products designed to simulate tobacco smoking
  • Examples: Herbal cigarettes, electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes

They have also updated their policies with regard to content, effectively making a similar change in paid-for search to the “Panda” update made in organic search, and marginalising what they see as “poor-quality” content solely aimed at gathering ad clicks.

You can find a preview of the new Adwords Policy Centre here.