Google’s ever-increasing regulations related to display ads make it difficult for advertisers to keep track of what’s permitted and what’s not. Lately, Google disallowed one major type of advertiser from promoting their services online.
We are, of course, referring to Google’s latest policies about tech companies not being allowed to run display ads on their platforms. Surprise! Surprise! Well, not really. Those in the industry anticipated this for a while now.
But why did Google decide to cut off such a major advertiser (and a major source of revenue) from using its platforms? Let’s find out.
What the Policy is All About
Google has quite a comprehensive list of ad policies that restrict some types of businesses from advertising online using its platforms. These policies restrict display ads from some parties you’d expect and some you wouldn’t.
For instance, it’s not unexpected for Google to restrict ads from those asking for donations online. It also disallows ads from businesses offering users free desktop software.
Again, this isn’t entirely unexpected considering how many people get scammed by such ads online. But, not many (outside the industry) would expect Google to ban ads for tech support.
Google now explicitly bans all ads from third-party companies claiming to offer tech support to consumers. This ban extends to companies offering tech support products and services.
The list is non-exhaustive and includes ads for security, internet connectivity, troubleshooting, virus removal, and more. In other words, it includes ads from companies offering to remedy the most common technical issues consumers face online.
Ads for help related to online accounts aren’t allowed either. For instance, if a company offers login assistance or password resetting services, they can’t advertise for the same using Google Ads.
Another kind of tech support ad that Google bans is ads for hardware repair and support. Note, however, that the regulations relate to ads for tech support from companies offering these products and services for free.
So, if you’re a company wishing to sell consumer tech online using Google Ads, you can do so. Google recognizes that companies offering such products and services for money might well be genuine.
But, bear in mind that these ads should lead to a landing page having navigational features for tech support products or services. So, in other words, Google isn’t taking any chances here.
It only wants to accept ads from companies it knows can be trusted.
Why Google Is implementing This Policy
With Google’s bombshell announcement, the question inevitably arises: why is it implementing this policy in the first place? Why would it willingly cut off a major revenue source?
The answer is simple: the increasing scams related to tech support ads. These ads often lead unsuspecting consumers right into the hands of scammers and fraudsters.
In its announcement, Google addressed how there’s a rise in misleading ad experiences from third-party tech support companies or providers. It reasons that the steps it has taken to curb these ads from surfacing on its many platforms.
Lately, consumers are seeing various ads online on common tech support issues like a failed login in their online accounts. Scammers often take these opportunities to promote their tech support software online.
These ads would then instruct users to download malicious software. These ‘remote control’ type scams allowed scammers to take control of user systems.
It would then give them access to private information. This information often included the financial details of users. Allowing scammers to get a hold of such confidential information is a dangerous move.
Consumers lost money by trusting those floating ads for free tech support online. But how did so many consumers fall for such a basic scam? It’s simple, they believed they were receiving tech support from genuine experts.
The ads would often feature taglines and CTAs related to how users would be getting in touch with Microsoft reps if they clicked on the ads. Those unfamiliar with the devious (and admittedly effective) ways of online fraudsters would fall for this.
Those unfortunate enough to click on the ads found themselves losing a grip on their computer systems eventually. Loss of personal and financial information was sure to follow.
What Tech Support Companies Can Do
Not every tech support provider online is a fraudster or scammer. Sure, there are bad apples in every basket, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t fresh, juicy ones too!
In other words, there are genuine tech support companies online wishing to offer their services and products to users. Also, Google announced that the ban on tech support ads is temporary.
In its announcement, it mentioned how it’s working on a verification program to weed out the fake tech support companies from the real ones. Tech support companies might find themselves feeling skeptical about whether or not Google will stick to its word.
If you’re one of these companies, you needn’t fear. This isn’t the first time Google has banned ads from companies in a certain industry. Whenever it did before, it ensured its verification processes were promptly developed in the months following the ban.
Every time Google saw a certain industry defrauding users, it sought to remedy it right away. These policies will benefit tech companies in the long run because consumers will learn to trust genuine tech support providers.
If you fear losing ad-based revenue throughout the ban, there’s a solution to that too. You can turn to other search engines that offer services that are similar to Google’s.
After all, Google may be a tech giant but it’s not the only fish in the sea. If you’re running a tech support company, remember to keep your options open until Google develops a verification process.