top of page

Google Ads: Myths and Strategies

Have you ever encountered whispers about Google's mysterious agenda? Rumors that they're silencing pregnancy centers, making it nearly impossible to thrive on their platform? Why should we even consider funding them if these claims hold true? In this article, we will dive in and dispel the myth  shining a light on the realities of marketing on Google in our current landscape.

Google's Censorship

Let's begin with a discussion about Google's alleged censorship and the contentious issue of financially supporting them. Before we dive in, I'll provide you with some historical context regarding the relationship between Google and pregnancy centers—a realm I've been immersed in for a number of years, watching every development closely. 

Trouble first emerged in June of 2019, with Google implementing a new policy. This policy compelled pregnancy centers to disclose whether they provided abortion services. Those centers declaring they did not offer these services were automatically tagged with a disclaimer on their Google ads, specifically on searches related to abortion. Initially, there was a widespread concern that this would impede the ability of pregnancy centers to effectively use the advertising platform. But, as we observed in the subsequent years, the metrics told a different story. The aggregate data indicated that the total number of contacts and new leads generated from Google for pregnancy centers remained stable, even after the implementation of the disclaimers.

Why did Google introduce such a measure? It was a response to intense criticism from pro-choice groups. This controversy, in a way, highlights Google's pivotal role in connecting pregnancy centers with their audience—if the platform weren't a powerful tool for these centers, it wouldn't have been targeted by the opposition. In an unexpected turn, the disclaimer served a dual purpose: it offered additional protection against claims of deception, as each ad carried this clear notification, and it seemed to alleviate some of the pressure from pro-choice advocates, at least temporarily. This move by Google, perhaps inadvertently, affirmed the significance and influence of the pregnancy centers' presence on the platform.

As we fast-forward to the tumultuous climate of 2022, the landscape shifted dramatically with the reversal of Roe v. Wade, reigniting demands to censor pregnancy centers. Organizations such as the Center for Countering Digital Hate released reports labeling these centers as deceptive and falsely advertised. Despite knowing these claims to be unfounded, they found traction among Democratic politicians, who then called upon Google to intensify its scrutiny over pregnancy centers. Google's response came in August 2022, marking a significant escalation. They implemented two key changes: firstly, they repositioned the disclaimer on their ads to appear above rather than below, elevating its prominence. Secondly, they altered Google Maps functionality, making pregnancy centers disappear from the listings for abortion-related searches by default, only appearing if users actively deselected the pre-ticked 'provides abortions' option.

In the wake of Google's adjustments, what became evident was the resilience of Google Ads; the anticipated decline in traffic for our Pregnancy Center clients who utilized this paid avenue simply didn't materialize. They remained as visible as before. In stark contrast, the stream of organic traffic, particularly from search terms associated with abortion, that used to lead to pregnancy centers via Google Maps listings, suffered a significant downturn. Those centers that had primarily leaned on organic search for visibility were the hardest hit, seeing a notable drop in client traffic. This shift didn't render Search Engine Optimization obsolete. But rather it heightened the importance of strategic, professional SEO to maintain and improve website visibility since one of the previously reliable organic pathways had been effectively closed off. Moreover, it cast a spotlight on the value of investing in Google Ads. With the diminished reliability of organic traffic, the pivot towards bolstering paid traffic through Google Ads became not just a tactical move, but a necessary one to maintain and potentially increase the reach to their audience.

Google's Motivation

To understand why Google made these changes it's crucial to acknowledge Google's fundamental nature as a profit-driven entity. Their ultimate pursuit, like every big corporation, is revenue generation. While we can speculate about potential political motivations, the reality is that financial gain reigns supreme. In the arena of pro-life versus pro-choice, Google's actions will align with what benefits their bottom line. Given that pregnancy centers inject millions into Google's advertising revenue annually, it's not in Google's financial interest at this time to alienate us completely. The only scenario I see in which Google would further censor pregnancy center’s paid ads would be if the cost of controversy outweighed the profit. 

The upheaval following the reversal of Roe v. Wade placed Google in a precarious position, under considerable pressure to curb the visibility of pregnancy centers. Observing Google's response, we saw that they conceded to these external pressures in areas that would not affect their profit—specifically, the organic search results. Centers do not pay to appear in Google Maps listings; these are organically generated by SEO. Therefore, Google's decision to remove centers from these listings incurred no direct financial loss to them but appeased the pro abortion critics.

This strategic move by Google—impacting organic visibility while sparing the paid ads—suggests that while they yielded to some external demands, they did so in a manner that preserved their revenue stream. It's a calculated balance, maintaining their income from advertising while attempting to appease the rising tides of public and political opinion. This is precisely why I believe Google has left the paid advertising via Google Ads intact, while the organic listings have borne the brunt of their censorship measures.

Why Use Google Ads

So why should we continue to spend our money with a company that accepts the demands of the pro-abortion side? Well I like to look back on a story which gave me the inspiration for starting Life Advanced Group in the first place and that is the story of Oscar Schindler from the movie Schindler's List. Schindler was a German Christian businessman living in Nazi Germany during the Holocaust and when he realized what was happening he knew he had to do something to stop it. Schindler then went on to literally purchase the lives of 1200 Jewish people, saving them from the holocaust. Today there are over 9,000 “Schindler Jews” as they're called which are descendants of those that He saved. He spent every last dollar he had buying them from the concentration camps so that they could come and work it as fake factories and be spared from the gas chambers. We know from the study conducted by The Pro-Life Marketing Ethics Council in 2023, that Google is the absolute top source of abortion minded clients for pregnancy centers. So why should we continue giving Google our money? Because it's a worthwhile exchange. We know that the dollars that we spend on Google directly translate into calls and contact forms from abortion-minded women which then lead to lives being saved. Schindler was willing to pay money to literal Nazis in exchange for human life. So why shouldn’t we do the same thing for Google? The answer is that we can and we should. We must utilize the top method of advertising that pregnancy centers have while we still have it. 

For those looking to deepen their understanding and refine their strategies in this complex landscape, consider enrolling in our comprehensive e-courses on digital marketing, effective communications strategies for the modern pregnancy center through the RISE Program. This platform provides in-depth insights, practical tips, and proven strategies to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of our crucial movement. If you want to empower your center to thrive and save lives in the digital age, Life Advancement Group has the tools you need from marketing, to expert training and even communication technologies. Book a discovery call by emailing 


bottom of page