How to Work Within Google’s Drug Term Policies

To begin, you can review Google’s Healthcare and Medicine Advertising Policies HERE. You’ll find they are strict in that they clearly outline the types of products and services that can’t be advertised while at the same time being frustratingly non-exhaustive (meaning Google can add to them as they see fit at any time). Why is that frustrating? Well, in quite a few instances we have tried to run ads for terms that do not appear on Google’s official list of restricted drug terms, yet the ad gets disapproved anyways and Google leaves no room for negotiating.

That said, if you’ve landed on this blog post chances are you’re already familiar with Google’s advertising policies and you’re looking for a way to dodge them. You can try to ‘get around’ Google’s policies but we highly discourage it – they’ll catch-up up to you eventually and you risk your entire account being suspended. Not to mention, Google’s policies are in place for a reason and usually balance what’s best for searchers and advertisers.

Learn About the Certification Process for Your Industry

This article may be referenced by a number of different industries: health insurance, pharmaceutical manufacturers, online pharmcies, non-profits, addiction treatment centers etc. Since this article was first written back in 2018, Google has developed certification programs for most of these verticals. Once you complete the certification process, far more marketing and advertising options will become available to you. Learn more about how to apply for certification HERE.

Targeting Restricted Drug Terms Through Paid Advertising Actually Isn’t That Effective

It’s our experience that targeting drug terms directly is not the most effective way of attracing new patients. Sometimes we are surprised at the level of effort that’s put into strategies designed to target people searching for drug terms specifically. It’s often not an effective strategy because normally searchers who know a drug term well enough to Google search for it aren’t actually the type of patients you are looking to bring through the door. They may be researchers, informational searchers etc. but rarely are they potential patients looking for a solution to their ailment. Potential patients don’t necessarily know what restricted drug terms to search for. We recommend putting some time into researching how to meet your target audience where they’re at. 

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Try Anything Smart

Allow me to highlight a small snippet of Googles Healthcare and Medical advertising policy pertaining to attempts to circumvent their policies:

Circumventing systems

The following is not allowed:

Not allowed Engaging in practices that attempt to circumvent or interfere with Google’s advertising systems and processes

Examples: Cloaking; using dynamic DNS to switch page or ad content; manipulating site content or restricting access to so many of your landing pages that it makes it difficult to meaningfully review your ad, site, or account

Not allowed Manipulating ad text in an attempt to bypass our automated system checks

Examples: Misspelling prohibited words or phrases to avoid ad disapproval; manipulating trademark terms in the ad text to avoid the restrictions associated with the use of that trademark

Here’s a link to a support document that outlines what they’ll do to you if you continually try to outsmart them in their: “What Happens if You Violate Our Policies”.

Balance SEM and SEO (Paid and Organic Search Strategies)

Explore all your marketing channels as some of the our most successful case studies leverage SEO and SEM. Treatment centers and medical practices that publish research articles, blogs, podcasts and video content showcasing their expertise are able to generate interest in their services as well as credibility among their piers through these mixed media formats as well.