Google announced last week that they would soon update their Adwords policies for software principles, arbitrage, advertiser claims, as well as relevance, clarity and accuracy. Let's take a closer look as the changes are expected to go into effect on October 15, 2012.
Relevance, clarity, and accuracy: Ads using keyword insertion must be "grammatically and logically" correct and result in a meaningful ad for the user. Ads that lead to a search results page must "clearly indicate" that the landing page will provide a search experience. This change will affect advertisers in all countries.
Advertiser claims: In another effort to reign in some over-zealous advertisers, a policy change on advertiser claims will be put in place in mid-October. Specifically, Google is clarifying that users must be able to perform an ad's call to action (if the ad includes one) on teh site within one or two clicks of the landing page.
Arbitrage: In its ongoing quest to quell the arbitrage issue (seems like it's been going on for years now), Google made numerous changes to its advertising policies related to arbitrage. In this update, the network is focusing on the "behaviors" that are often associated with prohibited arbitrage sites - those designed with the sole purpose of showing ads, featured scraped and "gibberish" content, "pre-generated" websites, offer deceptive navigation, have indistinguishable ads or are misleading, malicious or frustrating. If you have to ask, then you're likely not in violation of any of Google's arbitrage policies.
Perhaps the most interesting update related to arbitrage is associated with interstitial ads - the unexpected pages that appear when users navigate from one page to the next.
Software principles: In a (smart) move to protect its users from malware and the like, Google has updated its policy related to the software advertising. The guidelines for advertisers are lengthy and may need some explanation, but here are some highlights:
-- Users must understand the functions of software prior to installation or download, and must be given an opportunity to review all proposed installation options and system changes prior to doing so.
-- Google also indicated that it must be easy to disable or delete the software and that apps that change computer setting must make it clear what the changes are, why they are necessary and how they can be undone.
-- Finally, and likely the most noteworthy update to Adwords policies, Applications must not collect or transmit personally identifiable information from users with disclosure/consent.
"Today’s changes make the guidance clearer for everyone and tighten the rules and enforcement needed to keep the online advertising ecosystem clear, consistent, and useful for consumers," said Mansi Goel, Global Advertising Policy Lead. "The bottom line is that these revised policies and increased enforcement will help provide everyone with a safer, more trustworthy experience online."