The Google AdWords policy defines how you can and cannot use Google Adwords to drive traffic. The policy covers includes guidelines on the user experience, transparency and privacy, and restricted products and services. It’s very important to be familiar with the policy and keep up to date on any changes. Here are some of the highlights:
- Users must now be given a “skip all” option (on the first offer page) for all ads or offers included in bundled software.
- Browser compatibility must be made clear on the website.
- Advertisers are prohibited from raising misleading alerts (such as those related to privacy or a user’s computer) when promoting software downloads.
- Bundled applications must be clearly disclosed prior to download.
- Your download page is required to include Terms of Service (TOS) or an End User License Agreement (EULA).
- Your site must have a physical mailing address and email or telephone information that’s clearly visible and/or accessible.
- Unproven or misleading endorsements must not be used to confer legitimacy. Icons, awards, badges, or similar qualifications must be clickable and linked to the actual endorsement or award.
- The download page must state clearly that free bundled software or freeware is available for free. For example, when users are being charged for applications or drivers, they must be informed that the applications are available from the manufacturer for free.
- When offering toolbar downloads, you must follow these three requirements:
- Your website must provide a visually accurate representation of what the toolbar looks like prior to download or installation.
- Users must be able to clearly understand the toolbar’s principal and significant functions.
- Toolbars that change user’s settings may only do so in a manner that is compliant with this policy, and these changes may only take place in the host browser.
Advertisers May Not Engage in the Sale of Free Items
For example, you can’t charge users for open source software that’s normally distributed for free. Providing paid support for open source software through donations is, however, acceptable.
Clear Download Buttons
All download buttons must use clear language that communicates that the download will begin (for example, “download,” “install,” or “installation”). Advertisers may not use misleading terms (like “Start Free Scan”) to initiate download clicks. Download links must explicitly indicate that a download will occur.