As of July, Google is introducing a Clickbait Ads policy in order to crack down on misleading or pressurised advertising. It is describing these types of ads as:
“[an] advertisement which uses sensationalist or clickbait text or imagery which intend to drive traffic to the Ad through pressurizing the viewer to take immediate action in order to understand the full context of the Ad”
This is a significant but positive move from Google and could potentially cause a lot of disruption over the next couple of months. The implementation of this policy should lead to a reduction in spammy or misleading ads within search results and an improved user experience for those searching online. However, it will be worth monitoring ad disapprovals closely and consider reworking anything that could potentially be misconstrued as clickbait.
Expect to see less “You Won’t Believe What Happened” and “Click here to find out” titles, a reduction in misleading before and after photos and a reduction in ads that use negative life events (accidents, illness) to prompt actions through guilt or fear.
I believe this is a positive step for a more honest approach to paid advertising, however, we will need to be vigilant to ensure well-meaning ads do not get caught in the crossfire and unexpectedly disapproved.