Google Restrictions around COVID-19

Google has identified “Coronavirus” and related terms such as “Covid-19” as restricted.  Any keywords, ad copy or landing pages that contain content that specifically mentions the virus will be flagged by Google.


Google has classified Coronavirus related terms as follows, it scans keywords, ads and landing pages to make its determination on whether a business’s search practices fall within their accepted guidelines:

  • Restricted products and services cannot be present in your ad or be the primary focus of your website. Such products and services include sensitive events like Covid-19.

Google’s rationale fits into the following:

  • “We restrict certain kinds of businesses from advertising with us to prevent users from being exploited, even if individual businesses appear to comply with our other policies. Based on our own continuous reviews, and feedback from users and consumer protection authorities, we occasionally identify products or services that are prone to abuse. If we feel that certain kinds of businesses pose an unreasonable risk to user safety or user experience, then we may take a conservative position and limit or stop related ads from running.”

Sensitive events

The following are considered Sensitive Events not allowed in Google paid search:

  • Content that potentially capitalizes on or lacks reasonable sensitivity towards a natural disaster, conflict, death, public health emergency, or other tragic event.
  • Examples (non-exhaustive): Appearing to profit from a tragic event with no discernible benefit to users; price gouging or artificially inflating prices that prohibits/limits access to vital supplies; sale of products or services (such as personal protective equipment) which may be insufficient for the demand during a sensitive event; using keywords related to a sensitive event to attempt to gain additional traffic
  • Coronavirus falls into Google Ads’ Sensitive Ads policy, thus all ads related to Coronavirus will be disapproved, and all keywords are unavailable for bidding – including Public health awareness campaigns.
  • Currently, only Government organizations are eligible to apply to show ads.


  • Option 1: Remove the content, articles, ad copy or keywords that contain the restricted language. 
  • Option 2: Remove the specific references in the restricted language and/or replace the words with non-restricted wording