Moderation in Yandex.Direct and Google Ads is a pain for advertisers. And it’s not even about delaying the launch of ads and rewriting ads. Blocking an account with money in the account is a reason to run for a sedative.
It is especially frustrating to see competitors’ ads on search and affiliate sites and realize that you have been refused (and banned in addition) to place similar ads.
But there is nowhere to go from moderation. We tell you how to survive it with minimal losses.
What is ad moderation and why is it needed
Moderation is a check of ads for compliance with the requirements of the advertising system and the laws of the target countries. Its goal is to exclude illegal topics, fraudulent sites from display, and improve the quality and relevance of advertising.
All ad elements are moderated:
- extensions (quick links, clarifications, phone numbers, etc.);
In addition, keywords, landing pages and sites in general are checked.
Ad systems reject ads for four groups of reasons:
- Forbidden topics. These topics are not moderated regardless of the country where the ad is placed. Among such topics are fakes, military weapons, drugs, password databases, unlicensed software, etc.
- Prohibited activity. This includes deceptive techniques on the part of advertisers. For example, unauthorized collection of personal data, installation of software on users’ devices without their knowledge, misrepresentation.
- Subjects with restrictions. In some countries, these topics are prohibited, in others they are restricted according to local advertising laws. This includes, for example, medications, dietary supplements, online games, financial services, casinos.
- Inconsistency of ads with editorial/technical requirements. For example, ads are rejected due to spelling errors, spelling or capital letters, meaningless content, keyword overspam.
In Yandex.Direct and Google Ads, the moderation rules are broadly similar. But there are distinctive features. Let’s consider them in detail.
How ads are moderated in advertising systems
Moderation of ads in Yandex.Direct
Ads in Yandex.Direct are checked manually. The moderation service works every day without days off and holidays from 9 am to 10 pm Moscow time. Ads are not checked at night.
The check usually takes several hours. But in some cases it is delayed. What are these cases:
- within one campaign, you immediately sent more than 100 ads (if you have a lot of ads, it is better to send them in “packages” of up to 100 pieces each);
- you sent ads for verification at night – after 00:00 (there will be no one to check them until morning);
- moderation of contact information is possible only during the working hours specified by you (for example, if you send ads on Friday evening, and ahead of the weekend, they will be checked on Monday);
- banner moderation on the Yandex home page may take longer than other advertising formats;
- the moderation service is heavily loaded (for example, on the eve of New Year’s sales).
In some cases, automatic moderation of ads is possible. If they are allowed to be shown, they immediately begin to be broadcast. But all the same, within three days they will undergo a manual check. If the rules are violated, impressions will stop.
All Yandex requirements for ads and sites are collected in the Rules . It is advisable to study them before setting up a campaign.
Since February 2022, Yandex has improved the moderation rules for retargeting campaigns. Now you can show ads in networks based on the conditions of retargeting, audience selection and behavioral targeting for topics: romantic gifts, underwear, opening locks and some others. The full list of topics is here .
How to send ads for moderation
In the Yandex.Direct interface, advertisers must confirm that ads have been submitted for moderation.
Create a campaign, ad group and ads, choose a display strategy, add keywords.
There are two ways to send a campaign for moderation in the new Yandex.Direct interface: by clicking on the link in the Status column or by selecting the appropriate item from the Actions drop-down menu.
After that, the status of campaigns sent for review will change from Draft to Moderation. After checking the status, you will see if the ads are accepted or rejected.
If you change an active ad, it must be moderated again. While it is being tested, the old announcement will be broadcast. After a successful check, the old ad is replaced by the new one.
In some cases (for example, when advertising medical or financial services), in order to pass moderation, you must submit the following documents:
- copies of licenses, certificates or other permits and a letter of guarantee;
- only copies of permits;
- only a letter of guarantee.
The essence of the letter of guarantee is that you confirm in writing the legality of the origin of the product and relieve Yandex of responsibility.
Fragment of a letter of guarantee from a legal entity
Formatting rules are here .
To send documents, find your field of activity in the list of topics and go to its page. If the sphere is not prohibited from displaying, you will see a list of required documents and restrictions for different countries.
After preparing the documents, click on the link “How and where to send the documents.” A form will open – fill it out, attach copies of documents and send.
Documents are submitted at any time after sending ads for moderation. If ads are rejected due to missing documents, submit the documents and then resubmit the ads for re-verification.
Moderation of ads in Google Ads
Unlike Direct, ads in Google Ads are sent for moderation automatically immediately after they are created. It takes from several hours to one business day to check. If the ad is being reviewed for more than two working days, write to technical support using the special form .
To view the status of moderation, log into your account in the “Ads and extensions” section.
If the ad is rejected, hover over the ad status for a transcript. After correcting the violations in the same pop-up window, click “Submit a request for re-inspection”.
As for the rules for passing moderation, they are almost identical to the rules of Yandex.Direct. There are topics that under no circumstances can be advertised (although in practice this is not the case – we will talk about this below). There are topics with restrictions, as well as technical and editorial requirements. For a complete list, see the Google Ads Policies.
If your industry has legal restrictions in terms of advertising, get certified by Google before submitting ads. Otherwise, they will be rejected. For example, this applies to medicine and pharmaceuticals, gambling, ticket sales for events, and financial services. For a complete list of areas, see the Advertising Rules in the Restricted Content and Features section.
In Google, as in Direct, you need to select your area in the Rules, read the information and find a link to the data submission form. Each case will have its own list of questions and required documents.
After sending the documents, wait for notification of successful certification. Only then does it make sense to create ads.
Common reasons for ad rejection
1. Advertising of prohibited and “gray” topics
Everything is clear with topics that are prohibited for display – here the highest probability is not only of rejecting ads, but also of banning an account with funds in the account.
With “gray” topics like dietary supplements or financial services, for which there are legislative restrictions in a particular country, also be careful. Create a separate account for each campaign and replenish the balance by a small amount. This way you minimize losses in case of blocking.
Another option is to use special services to run ads in Direct and Google Ads. So you will work from an account created by the service and will not lose money.
2. Problems with supporting documents
The reasons for the rejection are different:
- expired licenses/certificates;
- incomplete set of documents;
- certificates were sent for the wrong products;
- poorly visible photocopies;
- traces of forged names/dates in documents.
Do everything according to the requirements of advertising systems, check the relevance of documents before sending, and everything will be in order.
3. Logical inconsistencies between ad elements
All ad elements — landing page, headlines, text, extensions, images, keywords — must be associated with the same advertised object (product, service, product group, brand, etc.). Any inconsistencies are not allowed.
Examples of inconsistencies:
- An advertisement for the installation of PVC windows leads to a page with aluminum doors. That is, by clicking on the link, the user will see a product that is not in the ad. But if the link led to the main page or a general catalog of services, then this would not be a violation (but from the point of view of conversion, this is an unsuccessful decision).
- The ad group for the sale of door handles on the bar has been assigned keys for the sale of entrance doors. In this case, the ad does not match the search query. Advertising systems usually do not allow such ads.
- In a media ad for the sale of PVC windows, an image of interior doors was used. Images, like other elements (including videos), should be relevant to the content, landing page, and keywords.
- Clarifications about construction services have been assigned to the ad group for the installation of plastic windows. Such clarifications do not characterize the product and may be rejected. If the ad passes moderation, then the rejected clarifications will not be shown with it.
4. Using different domains in the same ad group
Within the same ad group, all links must lead to the same domain. There cannot be a situation where two different ads from the same group lead to different sites. Or when the link in the ad leads to one site, and sitelinks to another.
Different sites are considered not only different domains, but also subdomains (for example, msk.site.com and spb.site.com).
5. Use of superlatives
Advertisers love words like “best”, “only”, “most”, “No. 1”, “TOP-1” (“No. 1 brand”, “largest store”, “only brand”, etc.). With their help, they emphasize a certain uniqueness of the proposal.
But advertising systems consider these formulations misleading users. Therefore, such ads are not skipped.
The exception is if the brand or product is truly “the best” of its kind. But this must be confirmed by an authoritative rating, award or expert opinion.
6. Draw too much attention to the ad
There are different ways to make your ad visually stand out. Among them:
- writing letters CAPSLOCK;
- writing in a row with a row – with spaces between letters;
- the use of hearts ❤, arrows ➫, emoticons ㋛ and other pictograms in the ad text;
- misuse of punctuation marks!!!!!!!!!!;
- repetition of the letters
These methods are against the rules of advertising systems, and ads are rejected for their use.
If you want to make your ad more attractive, focus on its content and adding extensions, in particular sitelinks.
7. Pointless or Too Short Ad Text
From the title and text of the ad, the user must understand where he will go and what he will see. Don’t use vague terms that don’t directly refer to your product or service.
Also avoid too short text. Even if short ads pass moderation, they will be ineffective.
8. Indication of a phone number in the text of the ad
In an attempt to attract customers without clicking on the ad (and therefore costs), advertisers prescribe a phone number in the ad text. It is forbidden.
Google Ads has a special extension and ad format for the phone number, while in Yandex.Direct, the phone number is indicated when filling in the address and other contact information.
9. Keyword Spamming
To increase the relevance of ads to search queries, it is recommended to add keywords to the title and / or text of the ad. And this is a good recommendation. If a person searches for “leather corner sofa” and sees an ad with such a phrase in the title, then he is highly likely to click on it.
But sometimes advertisers get carried away and “stuff” ads with keywords. For this they may be rejected. But even if the ads are moderated, it will not add value to them.
Try to avoid the errors discussed, and your ads will be moderated without delays and blocking.
How to bypass moderation in Yandex.Direct and Google Ads (and is it possible)?
I would like to say no. But when you look at the results of search results for “gray” queries, you understand that the moderation system of advertising systems, despite the strict rules, is not ideal.
Important! We do not recommend running ads for prohibited topics, as this will most likely lead to account blocking.
Both Yandex.Direct and Google Ads rarely, but come across ads for prohibited topics (weapons, drugs, online casinos, and others). How long do these ads live – the question. But the fact is there.
Now as for bypassing moderation. You can’t bypass it completely. All the same, the ad will pass automatic and/or manual verification. But it is realistic to mitigate its negative consequences in the form of a campaign launch delay and account blocking. Let’s look at examples.
Example 1: Launching a Black Friday Sale
You have an offer for Black Friday and you want to run ads at 00.00 exactly for a day. But how long it will take to moderate the ad – an hour or two days – is unknown.
- Send ads for moderation in advance and specify the start and end date in the campaign settings. The downside is that launch date settings only work at the campaign level. That is, for Black Friday advertising, you will have to create a separate campaign.
- Send ads for moderation in advance and immediately pause them (so that they do not start after verification). Paused ads are checked in the same way as active ads. In this case, you will be able to create a Black Friday ad set within the current campaign.
If you create a new page for the holiday offer, then it must be available for moderators to check. But users should not see it until the start of the sale. What to do:
- create a page and host it on the server;
- make sure that there are no links to the new page in other sections of the site or on other sites (otherwise, users and search robots can navigate through it);
- temporarily hide the new page from indexing in the robots.txt file.
Thus, at the time of the start of the sale, all your ads will be moderated, the landing page will be ready. It remains to run ads.
Example 2. Advertising of pills for baldness
Such tablets are dietary supplements. Their advertising is not prohibited in the Russian Federation, but there are so many restrictions on dietary supplements in the Law “On Advertising” that you can find fault with almost any ad.
The passage of moderation will depend on two factors:
- Perfection of automatic moderation (will the system filter your ad).
- The human factor (whether the moderator considers a violation of the wording in the ad or on the landing page).
In the case of dietary supplements, moderation is similar to roulette (lucky / unlucky). For such topics (gaming, pharmaceuticals, financial services, etc.), it is safer to use third-party advertising platforms – for example, the PPC module from PromoPult.