Google AdWords is a powerful tool that can promote your site and offerings to a new audience. Along with that power, however, comes a few restrictions. A recent Briteskies client sold, among other things, what Google classifies as “prohibited content” on their site, but still wanted to leverage Google AdWords to sell their other products. They turned to our team for help.
Google AdWords’ Prohibited Content
Google AdWords restricts the advertising of a handful of items that they consider to be dangerous or inappropriate, and rightfully so. Some of that prohibited content includes counterfeit products and dishonest behavior (think: hacking software or academic cheating services). Another category on this list is dangerous products or services, which includes:
Explosives, or items or instructions used to make explosives
Guns, whether for sport, self-defense, or combat, plus ammunition and ammunition accessories
Other weapons, including knives, brass knuckles, Tasers, and pepper spray
Recreational drugs, products facilitating recreational drug use, and instructional content about recreational drugs
Tobacco, products that facilitate tobacco consumption, and products designed to simulate tobacco smoking
These items can be dangerous, especially when used improperly, but the reality is that there is a market for these items when used in a legal capacity. However, even if one of your items in a catalog of thousands falls under the dangerous products or services umbrella, Google will prohibit your site from using AdWords.
Our client sells a wide variety of outdoor equipment, including apparel, gear, cutlery, and knives. Only a few of those knives fall under the dangerous products category, but their presence on the client’s site restricts them from using Google AdWords to promote their products. However, because of the popularity of those items with customers, the client couldn’t just eliminate them from their site.
While sites that have a prohibited product are barred from Google AdWords, having a link to that site is allowed. So, in order for our client to use Google AdWords to advertise to their customers, we proposed creating a second eCommerce site on a different domain that doesn’t include the handful of prohibited items. This site would fully leverage Google AdWords capabilities and link to the original eCommerce site without penalty. With this solution, a customer could reach the Google-friendly site via an advertisement and when they click on an item from there, they are taken to the original eCommerce site, giving them access to the client’s entire catalog.
Using Magento would make it simple to manage and update these two sites. Magento allows carts and logins to be shared between stores, and updating the catalogs of both sites is an easy process.
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