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Google Ads Policy Updates For Malicious Software, Compromised Sites & Unwanted Software

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Google Ad Policies

Google Ads is updating its Malicious or unwanted software policy on May 9, 2023. The policy will be split into three policies, Malicious software, Compromised sites, and Unwanted software.

Here is what Google said is changing:

  • Malicious software: The scope of the Malicious software policy is narrowed to prohibit the intentional distribution of malicious software or “malware” that may harm or gain unauthorized access to a computer, device, or network. This prohibition applies to your ads and any software that your site or app either hosts or links to, regardless of whether the software is promoted through the Google advertising network. A violation of the Malicious software policy will now be considered an egregious violation.
  • Compromised sites: A compromised site refers to a site or destination whose code has been manipulated or hacked to act in ways that benefit a third party without the knowledge of the site or destination’s owner or operator, and often in a way that harms the site’s users. Your ads are not allowed to use destinations which are compromised or hacked. Violations of this policy will not lead to immediate account suspension without prior warning. A warning will be issued, at least 7 days, prior to any suspension of your account.
  • Unwanted software: Ads and destinations that violate Google’s Unwanted Software Policy are not allowed. Violations of this policy will not lead to immediate account suspension without prior warning. A warning will be issued, at least 7 days, prior to any suspension of your account.


Google also is making changes to its financial ads policies. In April 2023, Google will update the Financial products and services policy to clarify the scope and requirements for the advertisement of cryptocurrency related business and services.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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Google Hanukkah Decorations Are Live For 2023

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Google Hanukkah 2023

Hanukkah (aka Chanukah) starts this coming Thursday night, December 7th. Google has added its Hanukkah decorations to the Google Search results interface to celebrate. Google does this every year and I expect to see the same rollout in the coming weeks for Christmas and Kawanzaa but for now, since Chanukah is in the coming days, we have the Hanukkah decorations live at Google Search.

Here is a screenshot of the Chanukah decorations as they look like on the mobile search results.

Google Hanukkah Decorations 2023

You can see it yourself by searching on Google for [chanukah], [hanukkah], but not yet [חֲנוּכָּה‎] or other spelling variations yet but it should soon. It looks better on mobile than it does on desktop results.

To see the past, the 2023 decorations, 2021 decorations, 2020 Chanukah decorations, 2019 Google holiday decorations, the 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and so on.

Happy Chanukah, everyone!

Forum discussion at X.

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Google Pay Accepted Icons In Google Search Results

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Woman Checking Out Store Google Logo

Google seems to be testing a Google Pay Accepted label or icon in the Google search results. This label has the super G logo followed by the words “Pay accepted” words next to search result snippets that support Google Pay and notate such in their structured data.

This was first spotted by Khushal Bherwani who shared some screenshots of this on X – here is one:

G Pay Accepted Google Search

Here are some more screenshots:

Brodie Clark also posted some screenshots after on X:

Google Pay Accepted Google Search

I tried to replicate this but I came up short.

This is not the first time Google had similar icons like this in its search results.

Forum discussion at X.



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Google Discover Showing Older Content Since Follow Feature Arrived

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Dog Astronut Google Logo

Typically, Google Discover shows content that is less than a day old, but it can show content that is weeks, months, or even years old. However, typically, Google will show more recent content in the Discover feed. Well, that may have changed with the new Google follow feature.

Glenn Gabe, who is a very active Google Discover user, noticed that since the Follow feature rolled out, he has been seeing content that is weeks and months old way more often than before the follow feature rolled out. Glenn wrote on X that “this could also be playing a role. i.e. Google isn’t providing as much recent content, but instead, focusing on providing targeted content based on the topics you are following.”

It makes sense that if you follow a specific topic and if Google Discover only shows the most authoritative types of content, it might be hard for Google to find new content on that topic. So it does make sense that Google may show older content more often for that specific topic you follow.

Here are screenshots Glenn shared:

Google Discover Old Stories Follow

Google Discover Old Stories Follow2

Have you noticed this in your Discover feed?

Forum discussion at X.



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