Automated Search Ad Approval Process

A search engine manually checking ads to be served with search results, or on web pages could be a pretty labor intensive proposition. What’s the best way to automate such a process?

And what about followup checks on the advertisments, and the landing pages that they may point to?

A new patent application from Google, published today, describes how such an automated system might work.

Advertisement approval
Inventors: Gregory Joseph Badros, Robert J. Stets, and Lucy Zhang
US Patent Application 20060149623
Published July 6, 2006
Filed: December 30, 2004


An advertisement for use with an online ad serving system may be automatically checked for compliance with one or more policies of the online ad serving system. If the advertisement is approved, then it is allowed by be served by the ad serving system. Follow up checks of the advertisement may be scheduled. One follow up check may be to test a landing page of the advertisement for compliance with policies. If the advertisement is not approved, hints for making the ad comply with one or more violated policies may be provided to an advertiser associated with the ad, and/or an ad serving system customer service representative. Determining whether or not to approve the advertisement may include determining violations of one or more policies by the advertisement, and, for each of the violations, determining whether or not to exempt the violation.

The patent application lists some of the policies that its system might check for, involving:

  • Superlatives,
  • Repeated words,
  • Repeated phrases,
  • Trademarks,
  • Vulgar language,
  • Ad landing pages that generate pop-up ads,
  • Ad landing pages that disable a browser “back” function,
  • Inappropriate capitalization,
  • Landing pages that cannot be viewed in a standard browser,
  • Multiple exclamation points,
  • Text that is too long,
  • Landing page URL that does not match the visible URL spelling, and;
  • Counterfeit design goods.

The process described may also include the use of a whitelist in the exemption of some of these violations, which could be applied on a:

  • Per language basis,
  • Per advertiser basis,
  • Per ad group basis, and/or;
  • Per ad campaign basis.

This automated system may also provide some hints to advertisers on gaining approval after a violation or violations have been uncovered.

There’s a much longer list further down in the document that spells out some of the disapproval reasons, such as “Identify Affiliate Status”, “Offer not reflected within 1-2 clicks of landing page”, “Clarify Prescription Requirement”, “Keywords don’t reflect adult content”, and more.

There’s also some interesting language in the document on the use and creation of “Trust Scores” for advertisers based upon previous advertments and advertising campaigns.

If you are interested in how such an automated system might work, and might affect the approval of paid advertisements, you may want to dig deeper into the patent application.

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