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Google Warns of 6 Reasons They’ll Ban a Web Story

Google introduced guidelines that warn publishers of six mistakes to avoid to keep their web stories from being blocked.

Image of a woman holding a phone that displays Google's logo

Google Web Stories is a feature that can bring more traffic to a web site. Google shared six reasons why they will disqualify a web story and block the it from appearing in the search results.

Google Web Stories

Web stories is a new kind of content, a new format. The web story format is meant for users who are on the go or killing time. It’s described by Google as snackable content. A typical user might be someone who is waiting for an appointment or on a subway on their way to work.

Google is showing web stories across all the different kinds of search, including news and Google Discover.

Creating a Web Story doesn’t guarantee that Google will show it and send traffic.

The following are six reasons that Google said will cause a web story to be blocked from being shown.

1. Copyrighted Content

Google stated that content that infringes a copyright is prohibited from participating in web stories.

Google says that they “may” remove infringing content and then links to their web page for reporting infringing content.

So it seems like Google is relying on publishers to alert Google when someone infringes on their content.

This is what Google says:

“…we may block it from appearing.”

2. Too Many Words or Too Much Video Content

Google’s guidelines for web stories is that web story pages are limited to 180 words. Google also encourages publishers to use video content that is less than 60 seconds in length.

This is how Google describes it:

“Web Stories may not be eligible if the majority of pages have more than 180 words of text.”

3. Low Quality Images and Video

Google strongly asserts that low quality images and videos are prohibited. Google defines low quality in terms of pixelation and the lack of distortion in the image or video.

4. Lack of Narrative

These are called Web Stories because they  have a narrative, i.e. this happened today, which resulted in that, of which people commented X.

Google explains it like this:

“We don’t allow Web Stories that are missing a binding theme or narrative structure from page to page.”

5. Incomplete Stories

Google prohibits content that requires users to click through to a site to see the entire content. A web story must be complete.

This is the exact requirement:

“We don’t allow Web Stories that are incomplete or that require users to click links to other websites or apps to get essential information.”

6. Overly Commercial Web Story

Affiliate advertising and display ads are allowed in web stories. However if the content of the web story is commercial, like it’s essentially advertising, then that’s will cause Google to not show it as Google states it is “not allowed.”

Related: Google Discover Updated With Web Stories Carousel

New Format – New Web Stories Guidelines

After AdSense was first introduced, web publishers discovered ways to increase clicks and revenues. Some used Pay  Per Click advertising to send ad clicking traffic to their sites. Others created web pages with ads that were indistinguishable from content.

I heard of one guy who partnered with publishers to share in revenue derived from his clickbot that clicked on ads.

Google evolved by creating new rules to prohibit all the ad clicking schemes that kept popping up.

Similarly, Google is creating rules to ensure that the user experience matches what Google had in mind when they created web stories.

Knowing what’s disallowed is useful as it will help prevent being in a situation where Google blocks the web story from appearing.


Web Story Content Policies on Google

Removing Content From Google


Category News
SEJ STAFF Roger Montti Owner - at

I have 25 years hands-on experience in SEO and have kept on  top of the evolution of search every step ...

Google Warns of 6 Reasons They’ll Ban a Web Story

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