Ad Content and Style Guidelines

To help ensure that your ads and keywords are approved quickly, follow the guidelines listed here. If your ad or keyword was disapproved, you can update it according to the appropriate guideline and then resubmit it for approval. For details on the policy in Taiwan, please refer to the Taiwan policy.

 

Style guidelines
General ad text guidelines
Capitalization
Grammar
Phone numbers and ad call extensions
Punctuation
Spelling
Symbols and special characters
Word count and character limits

Content guidelines
Duplicate ads
Use of foreign language
URLs and landing pages
Destination URL
Display URL
Landing page
Site behavior and navigation

 

Style

 

General ad text guidelines

Write clear, factual ads that accurately describe what is offered on your website. When writing ad titles and descriptions, keep in mind the following:

  • Always write a short description that accurately describes what site visitors will find at your site. Concisely written ads are more interesting and attractive to prospective customers and give them a better experience and generally better results.
  • Clearly explain how your offer specifically relates to the keywords you have chosen. To improve your click-through rates, include the keyword in your title and description where possible.
  • Use correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
  • Do not include unproven claims or endorsements in your ads or on your landing pages.
  • Do not repeat words or phrases (for example, “Sale, sale, sale…”).
  • Do not use offensive or inappropriate language.
  • Do not include unnecessary symbols to draw attention to ad copy (for example: Ca$h, “¤,”or word art). All characters and symbols should contribute to the ad’s message.
  • Do not include text reference to a group of Microsoft or Yahoo customers to entice them to view the ad as special for them. For example, “Attention Yahoo Users.”
  • Ensure that your ads and landing pages comply with all Editorial Guidelines.
  • If your ad contains competitive claims, make sure that your site, ad title, and ad text all comply with our Intellectual Property Guidelines.

 

Capitalization

  • Ads may not use excessive or random capitalization, such as BIG SALE or AmAzinG.

  • Capitalization must be consistent. For example, use title case, sentence case, or capitalize the first letter of every word.

  • Legitimate acronyms and advertiser brand names that are registered in all capital letters are allowed.

  • Proper nouns should be capitalized where appropriate. For example, "Purchase cheddar cheese imported from England."

 

Grammar

  • Grammar in the ad title and ad text must be correct, unless the incorrect grammar is part of the corporate or product branding.

  • Make sure that dynamic text, such as that used for {keyword}, {param2}, and {param3}, does not cause incorrect grammar in your ad title or ad text.

 

Phone numbers and ad call extensions

  • Valid phone number: The phone number must be in the correct format for the market in which the ad is displayed, including a valid area code. For example, the correct format for the United States is: (425) 555-0177.
    • International calls are not allowed.
    • The phone number must be all numbers.
    • No letters are permitted.
  • Disallowed characters in phone number: The phone number cannot contain special characters with the exception of parentheses and a dash.
  • Fees: Phone charges in excess of standard fees must be clearly identified before the call is placed, including disclaimers in ad copy. At times, we reserve the right to block certain premium rate phone numbers (such as "900" numbers in the U.S.)
  • Call recording: In addition to complying with all applicable legal requirements, a clear notification of the fact that a phone communication is being recorded is required before recording begins.

 

Punctuation

One exclamation point or question mark is allowed per sentence in ad text.

 

Spelling

  • Spelling in the ad title and ad text must be correct, unless the incorrect spelling is part of the corporate or product branding.
  • Spelling of dynamic text, such as that used for {keyword}, {param2}, and {param3}, must be correct.
    • Best practice: If you bid on misspelled keywords, do not use them in ad groups that contain {keyword} dynamic text.

 

Symbols, special characters, and abbreviations

  • Use numbers, letters, and symbols in a way that reflects normal speech.
  • Consecutive, non-alphanumeric characters are not allowed. For example, "TV - Only $5.95/Mo!!!"
  • Use of italic, bold, superscript, subscript or other enhanced or resized fonts is not allowed.
  • Use of the trademark symbol ™ or copyright symbol ® in the ad title or ad text is not allowed, unless the trademark is already registered or in the process of application. For more information, please see the Intellectual Property Guidelines.
  • Symbols not used as part of the language of the ad are not allowed in ad copy. For example, the following types of symbols and characters are not allowed in the ad title, ad text or keyword list:
    • Wingdings, dingbats, arrows, bullets or other symbols used to draw attention to an ad
    • Mathematical symbols such as <, >, =
    • Emoticons
    • Block elements such as  ▉ or ▃
    • Accents or characters specific to languages other than those enabled for the market(s) the ad targets. For example ~, ^, or ç would not be allowed in the US market.
    • Unnecessary symbols such as @, }{, ][, ¤, § ‗  
  • Abbreviated or shortened versions of words may be used if they reflect common usage and are in direct context of the advertised product or service. For example:

    • Month may be written as mo or mo. (with period).

    • Pic, pics, or pix may be used instead of pictures.

    • An ampersand (&) may be used in place of "and."

    • A number sign (#) may be used in place of "number" or "pounds."

    • A percent sign (%) may be used in place of "percent."

    • An X or x may be used in place of "times" or "by"—"5X faster" or "4x4 truck," for example.

    • A plus sign (+) may be used in place of "plus."

    • An asterisk (*) may be used to denote travel category stars—"4* hotel," for example.

 

Word count and character limits

Search ads

  • Minimum word count. A combined total of at least 3 words is required in your title and descriptive text.
  • Character limitations. If your ad title, ad text, or destination URL exceeds certain character limitations, you will receive an error message. Character limits are calculated with dynamic text included in the calculation. The limitations:
    • Ad title: 25 characters, including spaces.
    • Ad text: 71 characters, including spaces.
    • Display URL: 35 characters. (The display URL (the Internet address that customers see in an ad following the ad text) is the last line of your ad.)
    • Destination URL: 1,024 characters. (The destination URL (the Internet address of the webpage a customer is taken to after clicking an ad link, or display URL) is not displayed in your ad, but it is used for your landing page.)

Mobile ads

  • Minimum word count: A combined total of at least three words is required in the ad title and ad text. Ads with two or fewer words are not allowed.

 

Content guidelines

 

Duplicate ads

To provide the best possible user experience, Microsoft reserves the right to disallow specific ads or sites for offering a redundant user experience if the search results are too homogeneous. For example, we may disallow ads that link to websites whose content is too similar.

 

Multiple ads from the same advertiser may be displayed if the target site for each ad has:

  • A separate, distinct brand
  • A unique look and feel
  • Different products or services

To comply with these guidelines:
  • Make sure that your ad does not duplicate any of your other ads.
  • Do not submit multiple ads that link to sites whose content or look and feel is very similar.

 

Use of foreign language

To comply with our Editorial Guidelines:

  • The language used in the ad must be appropriate for the market in which the ad is displayed.
  • As a general rule, landing pages should be in the local language(s) of the market. Case by case decisions may be made based on the general comprehension of the language in a specific market.
  • Foreign language words are allowed where they naturally fall into local language usage. For example, in English-speaking regions, the following foreign words are allowed: résumé, faux, burrito, café, fiancé, cliché, curriculum vitae, Zeitgeist.
  • The ad language must match the search results language.
  • The landing page must be clear and understandable to the average user in the target market.

 

URLs and landing pages

 

Destination URL

The destination URL must work properly and resolve to a single working website. It cannot connect to an email address or a file.

 

Display URL

To comply with our Editorial Guidelines:

  • Choose an ad display URL that accurately reflects the content on your landing page.
  • The display URL should be either the actual destination URL or a shortened version of the destination URL (for example, the top-level domain of the landing page URL).
  • The display URL must contain at least one of these three components:
    • http://
    • www.
    • a file name extension, such as .com, .net, or .co.uk
  • The display URL cannot be used as another line of text or as an email address field, and it cannot include text that violates any of our Editorial Guidelines.
  • Examples of allowed display URLs:
    • http://www.contoso.com/
    • http://contoso.com
    • www.contoso.com
    • contoso.com
    • http://contoso.com/mystore
    • www.contoso.com/mystore
    • contoso.com/mystore 

 

Landing page

  • The landing page must be available and reliably respond even at peak use times.
  • The destination URL must resolve to a single static landing page; it may not take search users to a different page on the site each time the ad is clicked.
  • Use a landing page that you own or control, or that you are authorized to represent or send traffic to.
  • For additional guidelines about landing pages and creating a high-quality landing page experience, see the Relevance and Quality Guidelines.

 

Site behavior and navigation

  • The Back button on the landing page must be functional and allow users to return to the previous webpage.
  • The landing page must not:
    • Generate pop-up or pop-under ads
    • Spawn multiple pop-ups or any pop-up that prevents visitors from leaving the site
    • Open any additional windows
    • Mislead the user with "imitation" dialog boxes or browser windows
    • Be designed to look broken or simulate a non-working webpage in any way
    • Use "fake" close behavior. For example, when a user clicks a "close" button on the page the page should close, and no other behavior should result
    • For additional guidelines about site behavior and navigation, see the Relevance and Quality Guidelines.

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