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Microsoft Advertising Network policies

Relevance and quality

15 August 2023

Ad copy (title, text, and display url)

Ads must:

  • Be clear, truthful, and accurate.
  • Be correctly constructed: Ads should be grammatically correct, not include misspellings, and be formatted correctly.
  • Manage expectations:
    • Ads should not mislead.
    • Ads must be highly relevant to the product, services or information presented on your landing page, or the general content, purpose, and theme of your site.
    • When an ad implies that a product is for sale, the landing page must allow the purchase of that product.

For information about how to format and create your ads, please see our General Ad Requirements policies.

Marketplace exclusion

Sites may be excluded if there is reason to believe that their advertising or business practices are potentially malicious, harmful, or deceptive or they consistently violate Microsoft’s policies. For more information, please see the Legal, Privacy and Security policies.

The following are examples of sites that may be completely excluded from the marketplace:

  • Sites that include viruses, malware, spyware, or other self-installing programs.
  • Business models that attempt to mislead site visitors, or that seem deceptive or fraudulent.
  • Phishing sites that try to trick visitors into sharing personal data for fraudulent purposes, such as stealing one’s identity.
  • Pages that consist entirely of advertising, or whose main purpose is to direct site visitors to advertising.
  • Link farms.
  • Parked domains.
  • Sites operated by advertisers who consistently violate our policies or in the case of Search Ads, submit large numbers of irrelevant keywords.

Landing pages

The functionality of your site should not surprise site visitors or interfere with a user’s ability to navigate, and disruptive or deceptive content is not allowed. Navigation buttons should operate in a standard and predictable manner, and sites and all parts of the page content should load properly.

  • Your landing page must be available and reliably responsive even at peak use times.
  • Your final URL must resolve to a single static landing page; it may not take users to a different page on the site each time the ad is clicked.
  • Use a landing page that you own or control, or that you are authorized to represent or send traffic to.
  • Landing pages that appear as editorial cannot include disclaimers or language such as Breaking News, Shocking Discovery, Special Report, Consumer News, Consumer Alerts, etc., that may make a user believe they are viewing editorial/news content.
  • Ads may not contain fake news reports or refer to fake news containing unsubstantiated, unsourced claims.
  • Ads must link to a landing page with content that matches the headline on the ad -- the user should not have to click again (or multiple times) to get to the content referred to in the ad headline. If there is a photo gallery on the landing page, the exact topic from the ad headline/image must be within the first five slides of the slideshow on the landing page.
  • Content on the corresponding landing page must be accurate, up to date, and of high quality and taste.
  • Advertorial landing pages must be clearly labeled as an Advertisement or Advertorial.  The labeling must be at the top of the page; in the same font size as the main font on the advertorial or larger, and in a font color that stands out from the page background.
  • The landing page must not:
    • Generate any disruptive pop-ups or pop-unders. Please note that functionalities that are part of the site’s expected experience or otherwise non-intrusive or user initiated, such as an age verification or log-in for example, would be acceptable.
    • Spawn multiple pop-ups or any pop-up that prevents visitors from leaving the site.
      Illustration showing multiple pop-up windows preventing users from leaving a site.
    • Open any additional windows.
    • Mislead the user with "fake" dialog boxes or browser windows.
    • Be designed to look broken or simulate a non-working webpage in any way.
    • Use "fake" close behavior. For example, when a user clicks a "close" button on the page, it should close that page, and no other behavior should result:
      Illustration of a pop-up window that appears when a user tries to close a web page.

Landing page and site content quality

Landing pages should enable users to find the products, services, or information they request easily, or assists users by informing or shortening their buying or research process. Your landing page should provide clear, direct access to content that is related to your ads and in the case of Search Ads, keywords and should not obstruct, delay, or confuse users. Landing page and site content should not function primarily to support the display of advertising or attract traffic.

Sites or landing pages may be considered low-quality content if they:

  • Use doorway pages or cloaking.
  • Without the user's consent:
    • Change browser preferences or resetting default home pages.
    • Resize browser windows or disabling browser buttons.
  • Do not open properly or consistently result in a “product not available” message.
  • Redirect site visitors unexpectedly to unrelated domains.
  • Display a high density of advertising above the fold, and/or consist significantly of advertising or links.
Illustration of a landing page featuring a high density of advertisements above the fold.
  • Feature content that functions primarily to support ad monetization.
  • Are built for search engines and feature excessive off-topic keywords or pages that feature hard-to-read text.
  • Consistently feature sparse or limited content, particularly where the user would expect to find a range of offers, products or information on a similar site.
Illustration of an ad that displays 'How to Lose Weight: Learn all you need for weight loss,' yet leads the user to a landing page with limited content.
  • Exist only to redirect to other businesses without adding significant value as an intermediary, e.g., by providing enhanced pricing, product, or merchant information.
  • Misrepresent the origin or intent of their content and as a result are likely to deceive a portion of the target audience.
  • Require the entry of personal data unnecessary for the purposes of providing services or completing a purchase.
Illustration of landing page requesting appropriate user information for a newsletter sign up, such as name, address and email address/Illustration of a landing page requesting unnecessary personal data for a newsletter sign up, such as bank account and social security numbers.

Please note, sites driving users directly to a sign-up or login page must enable the user to link back to the main home page or supporting content describing services and terms of use.

  • Delay or obstruct the user’s access to requested content, products or services by adding steps solely designed to monetize the user.
Illustration of an ad leading to an interim page designed to monetize the user before proceeding to the expected landing page.
  • Employ marketing tactics that might be considered evasive, overly sensational, or potentially confusing.
  • It must be noted in ad copy if access to content or services requires a software download (e.g., toolbars):
Illustration of an ad with text, 'Watch TV Shows,' leading to a landing page that features an unexpected headline, 'Download Player to Watch'/Illustration of an ad with text, 'Watch TV Shows,' leading to a landing page with the headline, 'Stream TV Shows.

The user would expect online content, but it is delivered in an offline format (such as SMS information services).


Relevance and quality policies

Advertisers and consumers both benefit when they have positive experiences with Microsoft Advertising. To achieve this, please follow the policies about relevance and quality on this page. These requirements focus on four core aspects of your campaign that affect user experience: keyword relevancy, ad copy, landing page and site user experience, and landing page and site content quality.

How does this policy affect your ad delivery?
  • Advertisers with more relevant keywords and higher quality ads and landing pages are usually rewarded with more prominent ad positions or a lower cost-per-click (CPC).
  • Less relevant keywords and low-quality ads and landing pages might result in less favorable ad positions or a higher CPC.
  • In some cases, the ad might not appear at all. Please check the Marketplace Exclusion section below for scenarios in which ads or sites may be completely excluded from the marketplace.
System quality

To maintain a quality marketplace, all advertisers are required to complete Advertiser Identity Verification (AIV) and successfully add a payment method. AIV is required for all newly created accounts. Please note that this includes new accounts created within your existing Manager Account if the contact information is different from previously verified data. Accounts that have not completed verification may still serve with the exception of the following scenarios: 

  • Advertisers whose ads will serve in the European Economic Area (EEA) must complete AIV within 30 days of account creation to be eligible to continue serving ads in the EEA.
    • If AIV is not complete within 30 days, eligibility to serve ads in the EEA will be suspended until successful completion of AIV.
  • Advertiser account has been flagged by systematic checks.
    • Ads will not serve globally until successful completion of AIV.
  • Advertisers whose account has been suspended, who have not already completed AIV.
    • Successful completion of AIV will be the first step to appeal the suspension.
In rare instances, and due to suspicious changes detected, Microsoft may place a temporary hold for up to 30 days on accounts to ensure the security of our system and customers. These holds will be removed automatically, no action is required from the advertiser.

To ensure a positive user experience, and maintain ad and network quality, we may deactivate or delete accounts that have been inactive for over 15 months or remove non-performing keywords and ads from our platform. We also reserve the right to limit the number of keywords and ads that you upload or retain at any given time. In addition, we reserve the right to restrict ads serving on keywords in the following categories:


  • Weapons
  • Adult
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Gambling
  • Trademark (this does not apply to trademarks owned by the advertiser)
Keyword relevancy

Using the right techniques in choosing keywords and building ads not only drives user engagement, but it also helps maintain the ROI of the marketplace for all advertisers.

Keywords should be relevant. This means your site should be a satisfactory destination for users, based on a primary user intent of the keyword(s) you select.

Your keywords should relate directly to either:

  • The specific range of products, services, or content on your landing page.
  • The general content, purpose, and theme of your site.

Please note: Extremely popular or trending queries may be subject to a higher standard of relevancy and ads must fully align with the primary user intent of the keywords/queries to participate.


If ads link to a landing page containing paid search ads, the landing page cannot have clickable white space between or around the paid search ads without pre-approval. The only clickable space on a search ad, linking to the advertiser’s landing page, should be on the title, description, URLs, and ad extensions.


If ads link to a landing page containing paid search ads, the landing page cannot have clickable white space between or around the paid search ads without pre-approval. The only clickable space on a search ad, linking to the advertiser’s landing page, should be on the title, description, URLs, and ad extensions.