Google Ads to End Ad Targeting Based On Age, Gender, Or Interests of Minors Additional Search Safeguards Also Put in Place For Kids

author image Written by: Nicole McCormick           Categories - In The News, Paid Ads, SEO

With the internet and social media becoming more and more a part of kids’ lives every day, Google Ads is taking steps to ensure minors aren’t being targeted with ads that aren’t appropriate for their age group.

In the next few months, Google Ads will “be expanding safeguards to prevent age-sensitive ad categories from being shown to teens.” This means advertisers will be blocked from using ad targeting based on the age, gender, or interests of people under 18.

Along with expanding its advertising safeguards , Google is also updating its policies  for minors using the search engine.

Here’s What to Expect in the Coming Months

Removing Images From Search For Minors

 While Google won’t be removing age-inappropriate images from search altogether, this new function will prevent them from showing up in image search results.

“Children are at particular risk when it comes to controlling their imagery on the internet. In the coming weeks, we’ll introduce a new policy that enables anyone under the age of 18, or their parent or guardian, to request the removal of their images from Google Image results,” said Mindy Brooks, product and UX director for kids and families at Google, in a recent blog post.

Altering Product Experiences For Minors in YouTube and Google Search

The default upload mode in YouTube will be automatically set to private for kids aged 13-17. SafeSearch will also automatically kick in for anyone under the age of 18, and minors will also not be able to turn on their location history.

This a great step in the right direction for Google, as kids are inevitably spending more time online due to online studies and pandemic lockdown measures.

But what does all this mean for advertisers? Fortunately, most advertisers will not be affected too substantially. However, some advertisers may see some changes when it comes to ad metrics if certain audiences are removed from their targeting.

Nicole McCormick

Nicole is a wordsmith wizard, passionate about the written word and an avid storyteller who uses creatively crafted prose to help bring your brand’s story to the next level. A former journalist with writing credits in both local and national news publications and a few newspaper awards under her belt, Nicole now enjoys telling your stories and finding new and creative ways to create valuable content that resonates with audiences in the digital landscape.

Google Ads Rolling Out An Experiments Page


Google Ads is coming in strong with an updated Experiments page. Now, you no longer have to create a separate campaign draft. Plus, the changes made to the original campaign will be automatically synced to the experiment.

Also, the performance can be monitored from the Experiments page and changes can be applied to the original campaign without any fuss – no copying and pasting anymore.

Before, when you wanted to run an experiment, you would have to create a campaign draft first and then test it separately in an experiment. Now, you select a campaign and create a custom experiment for it in just one step. While setting up the experiment, you can determine how much of the original campaign’s budget and traffic you want to use and for how long the experiment to last.

This option makes the workflow much more effective and saves time.

Automatic Sync

You can test changes to your Search and Display campaigns using custom experiments, which help you measure your results and understand the impact the changes would make before even applying them to a campaign. With Experiment sync, any optimizations you make while your experiment runs will automatically be applied to your trial campaigns.

Screenshot of turning on experiment sync in Google Ads Help

How To Turn It On

  • Follow the instructions to set up a custom experiment.
  • In the “Advanced options”, open the “Experiment sync” section. It will be set to On by default.
  • Click Create experiment. Your trial is completed and ready to run
Things to Keep in Mind
  • Synchronization is turned on by default when you create a new experiment, but it cannot be turned on for trials that you already have going or are scheduled.
  • It might require up to 10 minutes after the trial has started to implement the change
  •  If you have more than one trial scheduled to run, it will update all trials and make sure they’re aligned with the main campaign.
  • Once your trial starts, Experiment sync will report all changes in the change history


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Google Publishes A Guide To User Generated Content


Google has published a new guide to user-generated content (UGC), which is a list of requirements advertisers need to consider for any platform where they run Google Ads.

We know that user comments are a great way to drive engagement, but as it turns out, we have to be careful with it. As Google explained, all of the content on the page (comments included!) where you run your ads, must follow Google’s Publisher Policies. In other words, a publisher is responsible for making sure that the content doesn’t break the Program Policy, and is subject to Google’s Publisher Restriction.

While it may sound like a weird form of censorship, the main reason Google’s doing this is the restriction of ads on certain pages. For example, if you run your ads on a website about guns, drugs, pornography, or something similar, then the ads you can run there will be restricted. Of course, you have the option to remove those websites in your Google Ad setup, but there’s still a chance that the user-generated content published on other pages can cause penalties – which is why Google published a few tips on how to handle this.

What can you do?

If you decide to manage this situation on your own, here are some of Google’s steps that could help you avoid a penalty and save your website from being ‘lost’:

  • Create a content policy explaining to your users what can and can’t be tolerated on your page.
  • Review your pages regularly and check the UGC
  • Add a ‘Report a Violation’ link so your users can report problematic content
  • Ask your community to help you flag inappropriate content
  • Built an automatic content filtering system
  • Ensure that content is submitted by humans
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