Google has recently unveiled some significant updates for the hugely popular and widely used AdWords Editor platform – with the launch of version 12.0. The new look and feel of the interface will no doubt take some getting used to for experienced users, however, it comes with a powerful new feature called “Custom Rules”, which we believe will very helpful for AdWords users to maintain & improve the health of their accounts.

The AdWords Editor platform has long provided users with notifications to alert against potential editorial violations, which may result in ad & keyword disapprovals. The new Custom Rules feature offers AdWords users the ability to use a set of additional new predefined best practice violation notifications – as well as setting up custom alerts to notify against a wider range of user defined campaign set up rules before posting changes.

There’s no doubt that experienced paid search specialists the world over have at a range of individual methodologies that they implement when building any type of new elements within their accounts & campaigns. At Reprise, we have developed a rigorous set of best practice principles that come from years of testing with some of the biggest brands across Australia and our global network. These best practices have been proven to deliver first class performance for our clients’ AdWords accounts.

To date, the successful implementation of best practice principles has predominantly relied on manual checking within AdWords accounts, to ensure that these standards are being consistently applied. This can obviously be very time consuming – especially for large scale enterprise accounts. With the launch of Google’s new AdWords Editor Custom Rules, individual user practices can be applied at different levels of the account in order to provide automated notifications of a violation against these best practice.

Custom rules can be found on left hand side pane of AdWords Editor.


It comes with 16 built in rules, which Google have pre-defined as best practice for AdWords campaigns. Some of these will definitely be immediately useful for all AdWords advertisers. For example, the recommendations for additional ad extensions – as this can help to positively affect ad rank & CTR. Others, however, such as the rules around implementing AdWords conversion tracking & smart bidding, will not be relevant for all advertisers that are using 3rd party campaign management tools.

When creating a new Custom Rule, each rule must consist of the following attributes:

  • Name – the name of the rule
  • Message – the text that displays in the error panel when a violation is detected
  • Applies to section –the type of account elements to which the selected custom rules should apply
  • Severity – ‘Warning’, which just sends a notification / ‘Error’, which prevent posting
  • Violation criteria – specification the exact nature of what the violation rule consists of

The example below shows a Custom Rule that was built to check the final URL of the keywords to ensure that they were directing to the secure (https) version of the advertiser’s website. The Custom Rule was set up to find keywords where the final URL contained the http version instead of the https version of the website and then prevent posting until this critical error was corrected:


Once the rule is set up we just need to click on the “Apply Rule Changes”


Once this has been completed, the rule will alert the user whenever it finds a violation of a keyword which is not set to direct traffic to the secure version of the website in the final URL field:


Spotting errors before posting changes not only helps to improve the quality of an AdWords account but it also saves time required for troubleshooting and fixing errors.
Building Custom Rules within AdWords Editor can help to streamline quality checking within paid search accounts and also reinforce the implementation of best practices.
Reprise is currently working to implement the strict set of best practice that we have developed into AdWords Editor Custom Rules across all of our accounts. If you are looking to find out more about how the Reprise approach to AdWords account set up can take your digital marketing performance to the next level, please don’t hesitate to get in contact today.

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Gergely Deak

Digital Solutions Specialist at Reprise Media
I started my PPC career in 2010 at Mediacom Hungary, where my main focus and responsibility was the manage P&G paid search activity in Central Europe across 9 countries. During the last 7 years I have worked on developing paid search and social strategies for various brand and direct response focused clients in FMCG, Finance & Automotive sectors to name a few. I consider myself highly analytical. My way of thinking and approaching PPC is strongly based on data and consumer behaviour insights.