LegitScript vs. Google Ads Certification – Which Is Best For Your Facility? Part II

There seems to be a lot of confusion regarding what a treatment facility can and cannot do with and without LegitScript. I get questions about this very issue all the time. With that said, I address the three most common misconceptions. The explanation you can find below, on how the leads are generated:

  • The understanding many treatment centers have is that only treatment providers can become LegitScript certified and that Google Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising from approved facilities had to be setup to drive traffic to an actual treatment center website.

This is a big misconception that Google shut down all addiction related PPC advertising.  That would be egregious and arguably illegal.  Google just made it more difficult for non-treatment center operations by limiting the ability to bid on certain keywords.  There are only about 126 keywords that were restricted.  You do not have to be LegitScript approved to run addiction PPC, you only need to be approved to bid on those 126 restricted keywords.  You can imagine how narrow those 126 keywords are, it really isn’t that limiting given the vast amount of other keyword combinations that remain open to marketers to bid on in a compliant way.

  • Facility owners are also curious as to how the branding aspect of their campaign works, how these campaigns are set up to generate traffic using the actual brand of the facility.

Everyone in this space (and every other marketing vertical) is bidding on each other’s keywords.  Coke does it to Pepsi, McDonalds to Burger King…you name it.  If you have a brand, some other guy is using it to bid on and generate traffic.  We utilize our clients brand to help generate traffic on their behalf.  This flows in two ways; 1) the consumer might search and see a branded keyword ad at the top of the page then navigate through a mobile click 2 call ad where the call is then routed.  2) The consumer navigates to the actual directory page where they can either call you directly or call a hotline that routes in through a round robin fashion to our treatment partners.

  • Treatment center owners are very concerned that if this is not done in a complaint way that their brand will get flagged by Google and further restrictions put on them due to the actions of a 3rdparty marketer.

There is no compliance issue with this model because we are not bidding on restricted keywords.  This does not fall within the restrictions that Google has imposed therefore we would not be breaking any rules or operating in a black hat fashion.  We are generating traffic through compliant means to directory style websites where people can either call treatment centers directly or call a hotline.  The calls are routed directly to the facility, we do not qualify the call in any way they are considered raw in that they have no useful information attached to them that might indicated whether they have intention of purchasing a health care service.  The calls are sold on a fixed cost per call basis as a raw lead.



Google definition of LegitScript: LegitScript provides the only certification service for drug and alcohol addiction treatment providers that is relied on by Google and Facebook to vet advertisers for eligibility. Reduce costly interruptions to your Google Ads and Facebook Ads by getting LegitScript-certified.

Google definition of Google Ads certification: The Google Ads certification is a professional accreditation that Google offers to individuals who demonstrate proficiency in basic and advanced aspects of Google Ads. a Google Ads certification allows individuals to demonstrate that Google recognizes them as an expert in online advertising.


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