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

Rabije always enjoyed finding different angles to a story, so it’s not surprising her curiosity influenced a move to a new continent, widening her perspective. She enjoys hearing people's stories and learning about different cultures and places - but most of all, she loves putting her thoughts on a piece of paper. Her love for writing led to her studying Journalism and PR, but she actually became a storyteller during her radio-hosting era. Now, she uses her skills, experience, and love for writing to help your brand stand out.

Google’s Effort Against Financial Fraud


Google is expanding its verification program for finance ads. This is a part of their effort in fighting against financial fraud. Advertisers proving they’re authorized to promote financial services will soon be a must.

By adding verification, Google is adding an extra layer of protection. That way, the search engine ensures fewer scams happen, meaning fewer people will get hurt by financial ads.

After the UK, Google is expanding the verification program to Australia, Singapore, and Taiwan.

Read More: Google Ads Announces Top 3 Priorities for 2022

What Will Change For Advertisers?

After August 30th, advertisers will have to go through two extra steps before running ads promoting financial services:

  • Prove that they’re authorized by a financial services regulator
  • Complete Google’s advertiser verification program

Since the policy has more than two months to go into effect, advertisers can start applying for verification at the end of this June.

Read More: Google Announces ‘My Ad Center’

Google’s Advertiser Verification Program

This program consists of multiple requirements, and each has its set of steps to complete. After starting the process, you have 30 days to complete it.

In this verification process, advertisers will have to provide basic information about themselves and their business. No worries, when you’re selected for the Advertiser verification program, you’ll get an email and an in-account notification says Google.

You will have to:

  • Answer a series of questions about your business – such as if your business is using a marketing agency, who’s paying for the ads, etc.
  • Verify your identity – this will have to be done by an admin of the Google Ads account, an authorized representative
  • Verify details about your business operations – based on previous answers, google might ask you about your business model, registration information, types of services, etc.

Find the selection criteria and more information about the verification process here.

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Google Adds New Features For Hotels


Google announced three new features for hotels that want to list their rates or provide booking links through Google. With new features, hotels will be able to manage and change their rates much easier. Just in time for some post-pandemic travelling!

Google’s new updates are supposed to help advertisers and hotels manage their lists, stay ahead of the competition, offer real-time prices, and change rates directly on their Google Business Profiles.

So, what’s new?

Industry Standard Protocols

Some rules and protocols help hotels be consistent with booking, make changes and adjust rates. Google will support these protocols.

No More Spreadsheets

Google will no longer require hotels to upload annoying spreadsheets and files to add rates to their Google Business Profile. Instead, users can put their rates into their profiles directly. This way, hotels can keep up with demand and adjust their rates more quickly, without depending on technology providers or partners.

Eligible hotels will be able to directly input their rates through Google Business Profile and participate in free hotel booking links.

Photo Source: Google Ads Help
Read More: Google Unveils Its New Travel Search Features

Open Access to Hotel Ads

Hotels will no longer need a Hotel Center account to run campaigns. That way, any Google advertiser can search and run campaigns for any hotel. When creating a campaign, advertisers can specify “I do not have a Hotel Center account.”. This will let the advertiser search for and choose hotels of interest. Google will automatically select the highest-quality feed for hotels where Google has available rates.

Performance Max For Hotels

This update will allow hotels to use PMax for promoting their properties across Google, including property-specific queries on Search. It is supposed to arrive in the second half of the year.

With it, you will be able to easily set up ad campaigns with pre-populated asset groups for each property, with automatically generated images, descriptions, and videos you can edit. You will also be able to target property-specific searches on Google, by promoting your hotel across Google’s advertising channels within Performance Max.

Photo Source: Google Ads Help

There are no specifics about the launch date, but you can read the whole announcement here.

Read More: Google Performance Max Getting 7 New Updates
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