After restricting ads for third-party tech support services to “legitimate” providers, Google hasn’t delivered on its promise of a verification program.
As a result, third-party tech support providers are still not able to run ads.
This issue was brought to my attention by a concerned reader who sent in some information regarding an article I wrote last September.
The article covers changes to Google’s advertising policies which puts restrictions on who can run ads for third-party tech support services.
At the time, Google promised a verification program would be rolling out in “the coming months,” which would allow third-party tech support providers to run ads again
Bradley Penniment, the owner of a phone repair store in Australia, reached out to me saying:
“You wrote, “at least Google hasn’t gone the route of banning ads as it has done for payday loans and bail bonds services.” Well if you read on [in the email] you will see that’s exactly what has happened sadly.”
According to the information he sent me, repair shops around the world are getting their ads disapproved.
I looked into these claims, and sure enough, he was right.
Third-party tech support providers are angry
Nine months have passed and there is still no verification program for third-party tech support providers.
Needless to say, repair shops are angry, and some are saying it’s taking a toll on their livelihood.
A quick search on Twitter will give you a glimpse into their frustrations:
@GoogleAds as a third party tech support shop, we really have bad experience about ads cancellation. If you are late about legitimate verification you can not find any client because we will bankrupt. Please be fair we just need JUSTICE!
— iDoctor Bursa (@iDoctorBursa) May 18, 2019
@GoogleAds Who can I speak with about ads for my 24-year old AUTHORIZED Apple Service, Support, and Repair business being disapproved under a vague "Third-party consumer technical support" clause? This is my livelihood here and we have $40k spent with Google Ads…
— Jeff DeNapoli (@jeffdenapoli) May 16, 2019
It's been EIGHT months since @GoogleAds announced they will set up a verification program to allow those offering legitimate third-party tech support services to advertise again. https://t.co/PlNMaHNduc … How much longer is this going to take?
— TekWizard UK (@TekwizardUK) March 18, 2019
When are you @GoogleAds going to bring your "third-party tech support services" verification program into effect.
It's been a long time since you implemented this dumb over the top policy into effect. 👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎https://t.co/QfeR2IYLfq
— Graham Johnson (@grahamjohnson10) January 2, 2019
The individual who emailed me claims that Google is being particularly harsh with third-party service providers who repair Google devices.
“Data from Adwords accounts show search terms containing “Pixel” keywords have seen reduced visibility since the policy change. Also, ad copy containing “Pixel” terms have been disapproved due to “Third-party consumer technical support” since the policy change.”
If anyone has had a similar experience I would sure be interested in hearing about it.
Google updates its “Other restricted businesses” policy
A policy update Google quietly rolled out last October may indicate that the company doesn’t intend to resolve this issue.
Google’s other restricted businesses policy was updated to prohibit the promotion of technical support by third-party providers for consumer hardware or software products and services.
Also included in that policy are ads for bail bond services, which are banned across the board.
Does that mean ads for third-party tech support services are now banned whether the providers are considered legitimate or not?