AdWords Disapproves Ads For "Text Manipulation"

Jul 28, 2011 • 8:10 am | comments (5) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google AdWords

Personally, I have never heard of an ad being disapproved by Google AdWords for "text manipulation."

I spotted a thread at the Google AdWords Help forums which has Laura, a Google AdWords review engineer, defining what "text manipulation" is.

Text manipulation is what we call it when people use text from multiple languages or Unicode blocks to try to game the system and sneak ads past our automated filters. A trivial example is someone using the Cyrillic letter that looks like a 'P' in order to advertise iPod without getting caught by trademark filters.

The most recent case of this that we reported was with Regus AdWords sitelinks. Here is a picture from then, I currently do not see it anymore.

AdWords Sitelinks Text Manipulation

What if you are using them for real purposes, like for currencies or languages? Laura said you can ask for an exception:

If you think those characters are legitimate in your ad and you weren't trying to game the system or just make the ad look distinctive by using weird looking ones, feel free to ask AdWords support to re-review the ad. The link below has information on how to contact them -- make sure you've logged into your account before clicking it. You might see a phone number (I can't remember if we have phone support in Asia or Australia) and there will be a link to a contact form as well.

Forum discussion at Google AdWords Help.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: July 27, 2011


Toni Voutilainen

07/28/2011 12:36 pm

Seen that happen more and more recently. A Google rep told me they didn't really have the needed tools to monitor ad sitelinks before, but now that they do, it makes it seem they're getting more strict about them. Before you could have all kinds of symbols and characters in them...

Alistair Lattimore

07/28/2011 01:17 pm

An accommodation holiday company in Australia currently has special characters showing. They aren't trying to game the system to slide letters through, but they are making their ads stand out. Check out a search for [sunlover gold coast], 

Toni Voutilainen

07/28/2011 08:24 pm

Oh, those guys should've rather used the SUN ☼, right? I've been testing that with a travel agency client's ad sitelinks  - yes, boosts CTRs.


07/30/2011 12:48 pm

I have previously seen and used symbols in site links and about a year or so ago there was no issue in using these and then Google announced that they were going to use an approval process for site links. It is manual due to the manner in which we insert site links into the Adwords UI but this is a key reason they are cracking down on site links use or mis-use. Google recommended to me not to use symbols in site links due to the potential for the ad to be taken down or at least the site links disapproved. There are a few other policies which Google are also upholding for disapproving site links and I have written about it here - - hope this is useful for you!

Dennis M. Francis

07/31/2011 03:40 am

Please explain a little more about the way advertisers are using text manipulation. As an Adsense publisher I try to keep up with what is going on but sometimes the flood of changes makes it tough to manage. Google's latest changes seem to be driving a lot of folks crazy.

blog comments powered by Disqus