Google Publishes A Guide To User Generated Content And Tips on How To Avoid A Penalty

author image Written by: Rabije Gashi Corluka           Categories - SEO

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

Rabije Gashi Corluka

How to Optimize Your Responsive Search Ads


It has become clear that the RSAs will become the only ad format that you will be able to use. Like we mentioned in one of our previous blog posts, from July 2022, you won’t be able to add new ETAs or edit and change the current ones. That is why you have to do everything you can to prepare for the RSA era. In addition to “giving Google everything it needs“, here are some tips and tricks on optimizing your RSAs.

Optimizing Your RSAs

Use all Headlines

The more headline variants you use, the better can Google offer your ad to the right person. For the same reason, adding more headlines also increases the number of impressions.

Analyze the Asset Labels

Google shows you which assets are performing well and which you should replace. These labels are based on actual performance, so it’s a good thing to keep an eye on them and make changes according to the results.

Review Combination Reports

A combination report is a magical place in Google Ads where you can check what combinations of ads are served up most often and if Google is showing any ad combinations you don’t want it to show. Here’s where to find it:

  • From the page menu on the left, click Ads & extensions.
  • Click in the bar above the table of results to add a filter.
  • In the drop-down menu that appears, click Attributes, then Ad type.
  • Select the box next to ‘Responsive search ad
  • Click Apply

Smart Bidding Automation

According to Google, Marketers who switched from ETAs to RSAs and used a combination of broad match and smart bidding see about 20 per cent more conversions. So using more RSAs is a great way to take advantage of automation in order to show your ads to more potential customers.

Some might take some time to get over the fact that the way they’re used to doing things is gone. Some might take advantage of the situation and prepare themselves in the best way possible. This transition time could be a perfect time to test your RSAs and learn how to use them in a way that best suits you and your campaigns.

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Expanded Text Ads Drive Off In The Sunset


You may have already heard about how Google is keeping up with trends and introducing automation. You have around eight months to doll up your Google Ads accounts. Google is phasing out ETAs and introducing Responsive search ads as a default for your ad strategy. What does it mean? Don’t panic, we got you.

From July 2022, you won’t be able to add new ETAs. However, you can keep the current ones – meaning you will be able to run them or test them, but you won’t be able to edit them anymore. This means that more of your attention should be brought to creating a bunch of headlines and texts for your RSA which Google will be automatically running and testing for you. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing, but the discrepancy in the control you have now and will have in the future is more than obvious. However, Google’s algorithm should take care of you and offer ads that perform the best. Also, you have the option of pinning the titles you want Google to use more for the RSAs.

How to prepare?

Give Google everything it needs

Use all fifteen headlines and the four descriptions. It will give you the most effective combinations. Use a variation of copies to prevent Google from using repetitive combinations – and you don’t want that, do you?

Know your audience

When writing a copy, customize it for your audience. You can also use Dynamic Location Insertion and Dynamic Keyword Insertion in your headlines which help you by using the location and the keywords that triggered an ad.

In conclusion, there is not much you can do except prepare. Keep your ad accounts organized and updated, check your ETAs before July 2022, do your research –  and hope for the best.

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