Advertising for financial services is tough. The industry has some of the most expensive keywords on Google Ads (hitting nearly $50 per click). Even more, it has higher CPCs and CPAs than almost any other industry on Google.

contextual display costs

Even beyond these costs, financers are becoming increasingly familiar with new regulations and policies in their industry from all sides—and Google is no stranger to this, either. Last week, Google announced an update to these restrictions. Starting in November, that it will no longer serve ads for credit repair services. At the same time, advertisers who wish to serve ads for debt settlement or debt management services will need to be certified by Google, as well as the governing bodies of where they look to serve ads.

Although these policies are for all advertisers globally, only certain countries will be able to seek certification through Google. These policies affect anyone looking to serve ads for these terms, regardless of whether they provide debt services directly, are lead generators, or those who connect consumers with third-party services.

Why is Google making this change?

As rising debts soar to new heights, so do myriad debt relief and credit repair scams. Unfortunately, these scams too often target those most vulnerable or need help most.

Google search ad for tax relief

When searchers turn to Google, it’s vital that they’re protected from scams or services that will only make their problems worse. In introducing new restrictions and certifications for these advertisers, Google hopes to fight back against bad actors in the space.

How do I get certified to run Google Ads for debt services?

In advance of these policies going into effect in November, Google announced that advertisers could apply for certification in the coming weeks. However, Google will only allow advertisers in select countries to seek certification. At launch, Google will allow certified debt management servicers to serve ads in the following countries:

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Australia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Japan
  • Spain

In addition to these regional restrictions, advertisers must satisfy other eligibility criteria in their country. For instance, in the United States, Google will only allow ads promoting debt services if the advertiser and provider of these services is an approved non-profit budget and credit counseling agency, as defined by 11 U.S. Code § 111.

Googles policy for US

A full list of requirements for each country is available here.

What’s next?

Google hasn’t released more details, but we’re watching out for what’s to come. WordStream customers who might be affected can, as always, reach out to their rep with any questions about this transition. This post will also be updated once Google’s certification for debt services ads is publicly available.