News: Google Bans Advertising of Payday Loans

Google Confirms that Decision Affects Ads Globally

Google announced a significant change last month, related to the AdWords policy concerning payday loans. From the 13th of July all ads related to the subject of payday loans will be prohibited in Google. The reception from the public has been both positive and supportive; businesses associated to payday loans are often under scrutiny for apparent unethical practices (targeting vulnerable consumers by offering them immediate cash with high interest rates).

This is the first time that Google has applied a global ban on ads for a financial product. In the past, ads related to illicit activities such as selling guns, tobacco, and explosives haven been banned. The banning of payday loan ads has potentially opened a door for a new topic of discussion; what will this mean for similar businesses in the finance industry? Does this set a precedent for more actions to be taken in the near future?

Why Were These Ads Banned?

Payday loans can be essentially seen as short term loans – with the catch of having high interest rates for consumers to pay back. Some sources cite that this interest can go up as high as 300%.

The move to ban payday loans shows Google’s strength and willingness when it comes to weighing in on delicate policy issues. It’s important to know the reasoning behind the decision, as Google is seen as the gateway for the internet for all people. Facebook is already know for not displaying ads for payday loans on its social networking site. However, other search engines including Yahoo still don’t have any measures set up against ads related to payday loans.

On a monetary level, Google loses out from this decision, as the absence of ads mean no revenue gain. However, the reasoning is most likely a principled stance, and one that sets a standard for other search engines.

It’s important to note that consumers can still find sources for payday lenders from organic search results. The change implemented by Google will only have an effect on the AdWords platform. Not to mention that there will still be television and radio ads for loan companies around the world, some pertaining material related to payday loans.

Read Google’s full public policy change.

No More Dodgy Loans?

Removing the ads for payday loans may be a start in the right direction. However, the whole structure is more complicated. For instance, anybody who enters search terms related to financial distress will often lead to websites that are not actual lenders themselves, but marketing companies who are contracted to collect data and leads. This gives them the ability to ‘auction’ off leads to the lenders.


There may have been various factors which resulted in Google’s decision, but it seems the final move may reduce the level playing field, instead giving more established businesses a chance to regain their authority as the more recognisable lenders in the industry. However, this means they are more regulated than newer entrants, thus resulting in some benefits for the consumer.

As noted previously, it also highlights the importance of having an SEO strategy. Financial keywords in general are highly competitive, and while pay-per-click offers a fast route to search visibility for many businesses, those brands which have looked long term and put an SEO strategy in place look set to benefit here.

If you ever have trouble with finances, a legitimate company like DebtFix is your step to the right direction. Find out more about our services, or give us a call today!