Google Grant Suspended? Here’s what you need to do…


Surprise. Surprise. Surprise!

At the end of last year, Google Ad Grant account holders received a nice holiday present – the $2 cap on the Maximize Conversions bidding strategy had been lifted. Woo hoo! Great news.

But – that surprise present came with new terms and conditions and a lot of conditions. Some non-profits saw their Google Grant Suspended for non-compliance with the new policies.

So what should you do if your Google Grant was suspended?

First, you need to know Google’s new Ad Grant policies:

  • If your click-through rate falls below 5% for two consecutive months, it will be suspended.
  • With a few exceptions, single word keywords are banned.
  • Keywords must reflect your mission – don’t try to use every keyword just to drive traffic.
  • Geotargeting is mandatory.
  • Poor quality scores are bad
  • Each campaign must have at least two ad groups.
  • Your account needs at least two sitelinks.

If you receive notice or warnings at the top of your Adwords account, fix things ASAP or you will have your Google grant suspended.

Google’s focus has always been on ad quality. Google wants people to find things with as little trouble as possible. When you use your Adwords grant to help the right people find you, Google is happy.
In June 2017 the Ad Grants team implemented a quality filter. If your quality was low, you probably lost impressions. If your quality score was high, you probably saw an increase in CTR. If your website was poorly designed and had lots of broken links, you probably saw a drop in traffic.

Everyone received notification but – it takes time to read all your emails and often times it is pretty easy to skip an email. Many Grant holders are still unaware that their Google grant was suspended.  If you need help, give us a call.

Google grants compliance

If you don’t want to call us, here are a few tips that should help you fix your Google Grant suspension.

If you use Adwords Express…
Relax, these new rules don’t apply to you. The Ad Grants team stated that their aim is not to push nonprofits into using Adwords Express, but it’s a viable option if you don’t have the capacity to run a full Adwords account.

The 5% CTR
If you don’t have a 5% CTR, you should be worried. Luckily, this applies to your account as a whole, not individual campaigns or keywords. You are allowed to fall below 5% for one month, but not two consecutive months. Here are some practical tips:


  • Your first task should be to identify those keywords getting a lot of impressions but a low CTR and delete them.
  • Cut, cut, cut keywords that are not performing. The further away from 5%, the more you should cut.
  • Put your top performing keywords into single keyword groups.  Ads in those groups must contain the exact same keyword in the ad text.
  • Focus on your quality score. Is the wording of your ads similar to the keywords that trigger them? If not, you are likely to get a low CTR, and also a low Quality Score which makes it less likely your ads will get shown.
  • Create an ad group tightly focused on your brand, with your branded keywords including the name of your organization. This competes with organic search but it will generate a high CTR.
  • Focus. Don’t throw every keyword at the wall, build your campaigns slowly and match the language they use in searches.
  • Kill any keyword with a low quality score.


Do you struggle to get impressions because your organization works in a competitive field where other advertisers can afford to bid much more? You are no longer limited to the Manual bidding strategy, where you specify a bid amount of $2. You can now use the Maximize Conversions bidding strategy, and the good news is that if Adwords thinks you’re worthy enough, your keywords can automatically bid well above $2. From my personal experience, approximately 8% of keywords bid over $2—enough to make it worthwhile.


If your Google Grant was suspended, get in touch. For advice on how to comply with the new rules, give us a call.



Contact us today for a free Google Grant evaluation and let’s talk about what we can do for your 501(c)(3).

Ready to talk? Let’s do it! Contact us below.