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