Pay per click

The touchy SEA topics…
that are great for your SEO!

Online gaming, tobacco, cryptocurrencies… With Google Ads and Microsoft, your ad can be refused. But what if this was good news for your natural search (SEO)? 

Do you regularly publish paid ads using search engines? Then you may well have already had one of your ads refused as it doesn’t meet their advertising regulations.  

That’s right, search engines like Google impose unnegotiable restrictions to ensure the ads are as Google and family friendly as possible. 

You can’t advertise drugs or guns (what a surprise), tobacco (including prevention), but also clinics and, more surprisingly, IT repair services.  

However often you call trying to fight your cause, to no avail. Rules are rules. So, you have to give up on your ad. But why not transform your frustration into an SEO win?  

Let me explain. If you can’t publish an ad that defies the rules, nor can your competitors. On the other hand, nothing stops you from writing exceptional articles about the banned topics, which could be a big SEO hit, helping reach the top spot on the results page.

Remember that, whereas usually the first four Google spots are occupied by adverts, in this case, there won’t be any sponsored results. Unpaid organic search can come into its own. For a whole array of topics, SEO is still very much king, regardless of what you may have heard.  

So, now you’ve understood the idea, let’s look at some examples.


Since June 2018, you can no longer publish adverts for cryptocurrencies and related content. This means your carefully researched and written bitcoin feature published in line with SEO best practices has every chance of being seen.


Ads relating to clinics and hospitals are banned? Great, you can work on your SEO for a multitude of topics from cosmetic surgery and addictology to contraception and paternity tests.

Vehicle registration licences, visas and other vignettes

Do you know that you don’t have the right to resell items issued by the government for a profit? For example, in France, this includes Crit’air air quality vignettes, vehicle registration licences and visas. Lots of websites offer a complete pack for your vehicle registration licence including filing the paperwork at prefecture and having the documents sent to you.  

Sites like this aren’t allowed to buy Google Ads, as the companies considered to be selling an item for a profit that could be obtained directly from the government. But nothing stops you from flexing your SEO skills.

Computer and phone repairs

Until very recently, these services could freely invest in SEA. But, this year, Google Ads decided to classify them as “restricted”, which has provoked anger from companies suddenly deprived of a vital source of income. 

In the US and Canada, locksmiths and services for garage doors now have to fill in a “advanced verification” form before being able to advertise on the search engine. 

What can I say, long live blogging!

Products subject to restrictions or certificates

Alcohol is a sensitive topic that is deeply cultural in many countries. Opting to be pragmatic, Google has decided to go with the flow… but not in all countries and certainly not to promote its benefits. 

Activities that require certificates

  • Online gaming: casinos and other kinds of gambling 
  • Politics, particularly during electoral campaigns 
  • Selling tickets for events and shows 
  • Some financial products

To sum up, there are still lots of SEO niches that offer you opportunities to stay ahead of the competition. All the more reason to create fresh, well-written content a key part of your SEO strategy.


Remember to regularly check any updates to the advertising rules applied by Google Ads and Microsoft Ads to stay informed and hunt out those SEO gold mines.

Don’t forget…



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