Operators and affiliates have been alerted to new changes by Google on the listing of ‘high-risk products’ on its search engine.
The Silicon Valley tech leader has updated its content guidelines with regards to how “prohibited, regulated or harmful products” can be displayed to audiences on its search engine.
The changes will impact advertisers’ ability to use ‘Rich Results’ to ‘mark-up’ products deemed high-risk or harmful by the search giant.
Rich Results is a search function that allows advertisers to outline (mark-up) specific product information (price, availability, user rating reviews), that can be instantly displayed on a product’s keyword search results.
Updating its guidelines, Google stated that as of July 2022, advertisers of harmful products such as firearms, weapons, recreational drugs, tobacco, vaping and gambling-related products would no longer be able to mark-up content using Rich Results.
“We don’t allow content that promotes widely prohibited or regulated goods, services, or information that may facilitate serious, immediate, or long-term harm to people,” the company explained.
Google will not issue manual actions in Google Search Console for violation of these guidelines. The search engine will simply will just not show the rich results in Google Search.
The restriction of Rich Result mark-ups will be applied across all jurisdictions regardless of whether Search Engine territories maintain individual laws on gambling advertising.
In the UK, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) updated the terms of the industry’s social responsible marketing code-of-conduct in 2020 to include online advertising provisions.
BGC members announced a raft of new social and digital media safeguards that included operators displaying under-18 and safer gambling messages on their search engine results.