How HEC Ads Are Changing in Google Ads


HEC & Google Ads

On August 17, 2020 Google sent an email to advertisers utilizing Google Ads about some big changes to their targeting options within housing, employment, and credit (HEC) categories.

For advertiser using the Facebook Ads Manager, these changes should be familiar as Facebook implemented these new ad rules in Q4 of 2019.

The changes in Google Ads will be very similar to what Facebook implements and are designed to ensure discriminatory targeting practices cannot be used to single out individuals from seeing opportunities in the housing, employment, and credit digital ad landscapes.

HEC & Google Ads, What to Know

All advertisers must be in compliance of the new changes beginning on October 19, 2020.

Here’s the targeting capabilities that will be removed from Google Ads for HEC ads:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Parental status
  • Marital status
  • ZIP code

Here’s a list of what falls under each category:


  • Housing listing sites
  • Individual houses for sale or rental
  • Real estate services


  • Ads for jobs
  • Job recruitment sites
  • Job listing sites


  • Credit cards
  • Loans including home loans
  • Car loans
  • Appliance loans
  • Short-term loans

HEC & Google Ads, What to Do

Google announced these changes in targeting will begin on October 19, 2020 which doesn’t leave much time for advertisers to prepare for the new HEC targeting restrictions.

Here’s a checklist to ensure you’ll be ready for these changes:

  • If you’re running ads in the HEC categories you’ll receive a notification within your Google Ads account
  • You’ll need to acknowledge this notification when it comes in to be able to continue to run ads within that account
  • If you do not accept these changes by the October 19 deadline, you will not be able to create any new ads within that account
  • Review your current ads to see if your ads impacted by the HEC changes to see if you are using targeting options that include gender, age, parental status, marital status, or ZIP codes.
  • If you are using any of those options, you can begin go phase those targeting options out of the current ads to be ready for the October 19 deadline.

Have any questions about your Google Ads or how to be ready for these upcoming changes? We’re ready to help.

Link Resources

List of FAQ’s from Google about the new Personalized advertising policy

How HEC Ads Are Changing in Facebook Ads Manager

Analytics Big Ideas – What You Should Already Be Doing


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