It seems as if Google likes to keep us on our toes. Many important policy changes were announced recently, so in case you missed them, here's a recap:
– One Domain Per Account
The first Google Grants policy update made it so you can only have ads land on one domain name per account. This is a big deal if you have any ads
in your grant going to other domains. For example, I know many nonprofits who use microsites for specific projects or campaigns. If this new policy will affect enough of your ads to make a revenue
impact, you have a couple options to keep those ads in your Google Grant:
- Move the other domains to be a subdomain (example.mainsite.org) or subdirectory (www.mainsite.org/example) of your main site.
- Try to get a secondary Google Grant as a "branch" or "related organization"
account. If your other domain is for a part of your organization that could qualify it as a branch, go ahead and try for another $10,000 grant. Eligibility requirements include:
- Separate domain name (which is already the issue, so check!)
- Separate physical address
- Same EIN number as the main organization
- Also, make sure the branch would be considered a 501(c)(3) (this is likely the case if they have the same EIN number, but it's worth mentioning again)
- If none
of the above options work, you can try setting up an intermediary page, whereby a user clicking on your ad will land on a page on your main site, and then be able to click off to your other domain.
Google can be a little sensitive about intermediary pages, so make sure that the in-between-page doesn't look like spam. It would be wise to include your main site's full header, so there are plenty
of ways the user can click around your main domain's website. The main red alert that Google doesn't want to see is a page where the only thing the user is able to do is click to another website.
If you have any ads in your current Google Grant account that land on other domain names, you'll need to fix that as soon as possible (and definitely before you renew your grant,
which I'll talk about next). In order to comply with the new policies, you'll need to not only pause but delete any ads in your grant account that land on other domain names. It's fine to keep those
campaigns in your account, as long as you delete any offending ads. I personally called to confirm that with Google, but if you ever have questions yourself, Google's customer service reps are very friendly and helpful.
Google Grant Renewals
is also now requiring that Google Grants be renewed each year. If your Grant has been open longer than six months, you'll need to renew it at some point this month. The renewal application itself
isn't hard (you just enter your AdWords customer ID number and a few more things), but you'll need to prep your account to make sure your grant does get renewed:
- Make sure
you are up-to-date with all of Google's policies (both specific to Google Grants and AdWords policies overall). It wouldn't hurt to go back and read all of the eligibility guidelines you knew so well
when you first applied (like all of your ads should be mission-related). This also includes the new one domain per account policy from above, so double-check your ads' destination URLs!
- The deadline for switching your campaigns over to Enhanced Campaigns is tonight (July 22) at midnight, so if you
haven't switched them over, go ahead and do it today. Otherwise, all of your campaigns will be switched over tonight and will get all of the default settings (which won't work for all of your
campaigns, so it's better to be proactive).
- Make sure you have any necessary nonprofit status documentation and that it's all up to date. In the past, the Google for
Nonprofits program (the parent program to Google Grants) has used GuideStar to check into the nonprofit status of new applicants, so it might also be worth it to make sure your GuideStar profile is up to date.
Once you've spruced up your account and made sure you're 100% compliant with all of Google's policies,
go ahead and renew. In order to renew, Google will send you an email with a link and give you three weeks to submit your renewal application. So make sure you check the inbox that receives Google's
emails, and don't miss the deadline!