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Google Ad Grants Program Policy Updates 2018

By May 1, 2018 May 29th, 2018 No Comments

New policy updates have already gone into effect for more than 35,000 non-profits who are participating in the Google Ad Grants program, which provide search advertising grants of up to $10k per month to nonprofits to run Google Adwords campaigns.


Earlier this year, some key changes went into effect that may disrupt or even outright get some non-profit accounts suspended altogether if their digital marketers aren’t paying close attention to all the changes.


One of the biggest changes that Google Ad Grant accounts are facing is the policy change for click-through-rates (CTR) which have been bumped from 1% to 5%. This means, at the end of each month if your account isn’t meeting the minimum requirement of 5% CTR, you’ll face suspension should your accounts fall below that threshold for two consecutive months.


Some additional key policy changes that have gone into effect since January 1st, 2018 include:


  • Prohibited from bidding on branded keywords you do not own
  • Keyword quality scores must be at three or higher.
  • All campaigns must have at least two active ad groups and two active ads
  • Accounts must be utilizing at least two active sitelink extensions
  • Campaigns must have geotargeting
  • No more $2 cost-per-click (CPC) bid caps! But… you must be using “maximize conversions” bidding strategy to let Google take the wheel.


So, what does this all mean? Well, it certainly means that if your accounts aren’t structured specifically in the way that can adhere to the new policy changes, you might find yourself not being able participate in the Google Ad Grants program for much longer.


The good news here is, most all of these changes are great and certainly geared towards improving the effectiveness of nonprofits AdWords accounts. Ensuring that you’re only bidding on high-relevancy keywords, maintaining a high standard for CTR’s, being strategic about audience targeting, and fully utilizing all the features that Google AdWords has to offer are all things any seasoned PPC expert should already be utilizing.


Our team at ESB Advertising are constantly on the forefront of the latest digital trends and PPC updates across all major channels including Google AdWords. If you’re finding yourself overwhelmed about all these changes, or if your marketing manager/agency comes around talking about switching gears to AdWords Express, it might be time to reevaluate who’s managing your PPC efforts and give ESB Advertising a call today!