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Understand Google's advertising policies, including ad approval status and account suspension
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Information harvesting policy question

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# 1
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How does one comply with the information harvesting policy, without breaking it??


The policy states: Google AdWords doesn't allow websites whose primary purpose is to collect

personal information. This includes but is not limited to websites offering free gifts or other incentives

in exchange for personal information. We refer to this practice as "information harvesting."


All I got out of that was, Google does allows sites that offers free gifts or other incentives to collect personally identifiable information from users as long as this is not the SOLE PRIMARY purpose of the site.


So desperate to understand more of this, I took to Google and searched around to find sites advertising

and found some. After looking at the landing page and the rest of their site, my understanding of the policy



I found sites whose sole purpose is to get a user's email, etc... without any additional content. After finding

those sites, I checked how long these sites been running on Adwords through a tracking service,

and this site has been running for years.

Is it because they have a link to the privacy policy at the bottom or what?

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Information harvesting policy question

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hello JohnR; Welcome;


Well... It is true that the system is not perfect, and there are sites the "break" / violate the policy and "escape under the radar". Smiley Frustrated


Google is constantly improving the system, to "catch" as many violations as possible, using automated tools.

You may read about it, in a recent interview with Google's director of policy engineering:


As for "information harvesting": you are correct! "Collecting personally identifiable information in exchange for a free gifts" is NOT allowed by the Policy. (Regardless if there is "privacy statement" or not.)


You can also report violations  directly to the policy team using this form:





Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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