Google Ad Grants Changes: What You Need to Know

Google updated their Grants program for nonprofits last month, which includes significant changes for participants. The company initially shared these updates with advertisers on Dec. 13, 2017. Review the complete policies list. 

Major changes to Google Grants

  • Advertisers must maintain a 5% click-through rate; failing to meet this two months in a row will result in account suspension
  • The previous $2 maximum bid requirement will be waived in any campaigns using the maximize conversions setting
  • Accounts must have specific geo-targeting implemented relevant to the organization (example: nationally-focused nonprofits can target the entire US; more localized nonprofits must target smaller areas)
  • Accounts must have at least two active ad groups per campaign, each containing a set of closely related keywords and two active text ads
  • Accounts must have at least two sitelink ad extensions
  • Organizations must complete the annual Ad Grants program survey; failure to do so will cancel the account until the survey is completed
  • The following keywords and queries are not permitted:
    • Branded words that you don’t own (e.g.: “youtube,” “google”)
    • Single-word keywords (excluding your own branded words, recognized medical conditions, and a small number of exception keywords)
    • Overly generic keywords like “free videos” or “today’s news,” names of places, names of historical events/people
    • Keywords with a Quality Score of 2 or less

We can’t stress it enough: failing to meet any of the above requirements will result in account suspension.

What impact are we expecting at Seer?

We expect our clients’ Google Grants paid search footprint to decrease, relative to the amount of keywords they have been running. However, the keywords that will run in the future will be of much higher quality and will likely be primary conversion drivers, meaning that advertisers may see more qualified conversions and higher conversion rates.

We expect spending to decrease within these accounts, but it’s difficult to estimate exactly by how much if advertisers plan to implement the maximize conversions setting, which will result in no bid caps. We’re closely monitoring spending changes for our clients this month to get a better idea of actual impact.

Seer made it a priority to update Google Grants accounts to comply with these changes.

We recommend you do the same as soon as you can, or you’ll be at risk of having your account suspended until you comply.


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Ali  Wilson
Ali Wilson
Lead (Channel), Paid Media