Google has passed changes to the way its Rich Results are displayed with the company confirming that it will now consider certain high-risk products as unfit to be featured in the section. The company warned operators and affiliates that their products may be excluded from the Rich Results category if they are “prohibited, regulated or harmful products.”
Google Takes Aim at Rich Results for Harmful Products
Starting in July, the company has said that it would no longer allow advertisers of such products, including recreational drugs, tobacco, vaping, and gambling among others, to mark up their content for Rich Results. The new content policies are brief but they mark the company’s latest efforts to ensure that the results that are displayed through the Google Search Engine cause users no harm.
Google will not necessarily seek to punish advertisers, but simply not display their products, limiting the number of advertisements deemed harmful that consumers may see. The company last updated its advertisement policy in March in anticipation of the gambling launch in Ontario. The Silicon Valley company made amendments to the policy to allow ads from regulated sports betting operators, provided they align with what the province allows in terms of gambling advertisement.
Meanwhile, Google has been named along with Facebook and Apple as the recipient of billions of dollars from online casino chip sales in a lawsuit dating back to November 2021. All three tech giants moved to dismiss the lawsuit under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act at the time.
Back in 2020, Google also made changes to its policies, enabling consumers to restrict their exposure to alcohol, gambling, and other harmful ads on YouTube. This was done in collaboration with the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking. The tech giant’s efforts to minimize harmful content continue.