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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 experiernce: 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 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 amount 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.

Ad copy (title, text, and display URL)

Ads must:

  • Be clear, truthful and accurate: Clearly and accurately demonstrate in your ad how your keywords relate to the product or service you offer.
  • 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.

      Diagram showing a disapproved example of a search ad with the keyword Halloween candy sale leading to a landing page entitled History of Halloween candy; Diagram showing an approved example of a search ad with the keyword Halloween candy sale leading to a landing page entitled Buy Halloween candy.

For information about how to format and create your ads, please see our Ad content and style 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 User safety and privacy 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 Microsoft Advertising policies or submit large numbers of irrelevant keywords.

Landing page and site user experience

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

Landing page behavior may provide a low-value user experience 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.
  • 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 pop-ups that prevent visitors from leaving the site.
    Illustration showing multiple pop-up windows preventing users from leaving a site.
  • Do not open properly or consistently result in a “product not available” message.
  • Redirect site visitors unexpectedly to unrelated domains.
    Low-value user experience:
    Diagram illustrating a search ad leading to an unrelated domain.

    Higher-value user experience:
    Diagram illustrating a search ad leading to a related domain.

Landing page and site content quality

Generally, we consider content to be valuable if it enables 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 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:

  • 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, 'Download TV Shows,' leading to a landing page that features an unexpected headline, 'Stream TV Shows Below'/Illustration of an ad with text, 'Download TV Shows,' leading to a landing page with the headline, 'Download TV Shows Below.'

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

Help icon Help with Microsoft Advertising policies

         Use these links for more help with Microsoft Advertising policies.