Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Google Ads update its Inappropriate content policy, taking aim at keywords around sensitive events, price gouging and more.

On March 31 and effective immediately, the update doesn’t specifically mention coronavirus, but the change is obviously aimed at preventing advertisers from making the attempt to capitalize on the outbreak. Earlier this month, Google banned ads for face masks.

Many online platforms have had issues trying to stay ahead of misinformation and fake claims, as well as price gauging by advertisers who are using the coronavirus outbreak for their own gain. This policy update, although seemingly subtle, gives Google a clearer path to take action against bad actors, preventing advertisers from advertising on coronavirus-related keywords during the pandemic.

The updates includes the language that mentions “public health emergency”: “Content that potentially capitalizes on or lacks reasonable sensitivity towards a natural disaster, conflict, death, public health emergency, or other tragic event.”

The new sensitive events policy.

The examples have also been expanded to include:

  1. Price gouging
  2. The sale of products or services in high demand during a sensitive event
  3. The use of “keywords related to a sensitive event to attempt to gain additional traffic.”

The sensitive events section simply read, “Content that may be deemed as capitalizing on or lacking reasonable sensitivity towards a natural disaster, conflict, death, or other tragic event,” according to a December snapshot.

SourceGinny Marvin