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Understand Google's advertising policies, including ad approval status and account suspension
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Ad Approval Statuses Changed Spontaneously - Change to Review Process?

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# 1
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I market a service for which my ads receive the Non-Family Safe rating. This if fine with me and an appropriate rating. In my experience over the last 14 years with Adwords, once an ad receives a rating, that rating sticks and is not re-reviewed unless the ad  or something else is edited.


Now, over the last month I see that something has changed in the way Adwords approvals work. Ads that have received this Non-Family Safe ad are randomly, (at least it appears random to me), being switched to Adult. With no changes to my ad, adgroup, or landing page, suddenly an ad will have it's rating changed. And usually it is not all ads in the adgroup, it is most often just one out of say, 4 ads.

In many cases the ad is nearly identical to the others in the adgroup / campaign, and try as I might to figure out what is different about these ads that are suddenly being re-reviewed, I cannot figure out what the trigger is. 

The adult rating stops my ads dead because when people search for my service they do not use adult-rated keywords. And my landing pages contain no adult keywords or images.

So what do I do? I resubmit the ads over and over. Sometimes they are given their Non-Family Safe rating back, and sometimes they are not. The history of my long running ads is obliterated, and I am back to an old cycle of fear I used to have about making any changed whatsover to my account, for fear of triggering more unexplained re-reviews.

So, my question here isn't actually about whether my ads deserve an Adult rating or not. My questions is: What changes has Adwords made the system of ad reviews that would appear to spontaneous change the rating of ads, in the absence of any edits. 

It does appear to be algorithm driven, because like I said, one ad in an adgroup will be affected and the rest left alone. I try to identify the trigger so that I can avoid whatever it is they don't like about a particular ad, but can find no rhyme or reason.

Anyone have a clue? Anyone else experiencing this? I have yet to find anyone else reporting this behaviour.

2 Expert replyverified_user

Ad Approval Statuses Changed Spontaneously - Change to Review Process?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Correct; It's mostly an algorithm driven and the algorithm is not perfect, The best is to ask a manual review for sensitive ads.

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Ad Approval Statuses Changed Spontaneously - Change to Review Process?

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# 3
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But is this something new? As I said, in 14 years of advertising, I have never had an ad's rating change spontaneously until the last month or so.

I cannot see any information about such a change being implemented, or what would trigger a re-review. Does that algo just look through ads that have already been reviewed and see if any of them should have their rating changed? And if so, what is it looking for?

This new development is wrecking havoc on my account lately. 

Ad Approval Statuses Changed Spontaneously - Change to Review Process?

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# 4
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Anyone else experiencing this? Anyone have an explanation for ads that spontaneously change their policy status without any edits? Never happened over 14 years, but now happening on the regular.

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Accepted by MosheTLV (Top Contributor)

Ad Approval Statuses Changed Spontaneously - Change to Review Process?

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

generally, google is constantly reviewing feedback from users,
on-line trends, industry practices, norms, and regulations,
analysis of advertisers attempting to circumvent policies, etc. --
these evaluations may make their way back to changes being
made to google's automated policy detection systems or policy
teams that review ads, websites, businesses, and accounts.

triggers for re-reviews may include -- any change to an ad,
any change to a landing-page or site, feedback from users,
any internal change to google's automated systems, etc.

for shopping-ads, any resubmit of inventory data may also trigger a review.

whenever google finds content that violates any policy,
the ad, account, website, or business, may be flagged,
at any time.


as was indicated, if a (non-family-safe) flag seems to have been applied
inadvertently or improperly, the best likely course would be to contact
google directly and simply ask for a more thorough manual re-review.

see also