4.2K members online now
4.2K members online now
Understand Google's advertising policies, including ad approval status and account suspension
Guide Me

Account suspension: "Unwanted software", but no exact reason

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭



Is it a common practice to suspend AdWords account with reason "Unwanted software" without giving any hint on what exactly is the problem (URL, file name etc)?


It looks like this: we've been reported you have got a problem; now we wish you to waste much time checking everything and trying to guess what was wrong.


Whom the account owner should contact to learn the exact reason (as mentioned - software/file name, URL etc), to handle the problem properly? Without knowing what was the trigger to suspension, it's kind of useless to send site to be reviewed again.


Thank you for any proper piece of advice.

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Account suspension: "Unwanted software", but no exact re

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi @Konstantin B,


Welcome to AdWords Community.


I can understand how you must be feeling at the moment. But it is sometimes difficult for Google to tell the exact reason for the violation. I guess there must be hundreds of account getting suspended for some violation or the other everyday.  I am sure you are with me on this. 


Never mind, we will try to help you this. 


Could you share your website URL in question here?


Ratan Jha

About Me: Community Profile | Ratan Jha INC. | Splashsys Webtech
If this or any other post solved your question, do not hesitate to accept it as the solution.

Re: Account suspension: "Unwanted software", but no exact re

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
We are having the exact same problem with our site - It was suspended last week, apparently for "Unwanted Software", we hired someone to do a MalWare check and there is no MalWare on the site.

I don't understand why more details cannot be shared. At some point a human or software program decided a site was in violation, why can't more details of the violation be made available?

Anyways, we would also appreciate some help. The only thing I can think of is there is no EULA on the site, we will add that. If it is not that we are completely baffled what the issue could be.

Re: Account suspension: "Unwanted software", but no exact re

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I am having the same exact issue as mentioned above.

On March 6, our account was suspended for "Policy violation: Unwanted software."


We have been a client since 2001 and have never had any issues with Google AdWords.

Furthermore, on 1/21/2010, I was contacted by a Google AdWords Strategist.  

She was extremely helpful and never mentioned any policy violations.


From Google AdWords' own website

Step 1. Understand why your account was suspended

We cannot get any answer as to why SPECIFICALLY our account was suspended.


E-mailing and calling, we keep getting the same response: ""[T]he site is suspended for multiple violations of our policy about software." What violations?  I need specifics. This is an endless circle.


If AdWords told me the issue, I would gladly fix the issue.

No one can tell me the problem, and therefore, I cannot fix it.


I just need a straight answer, once and for all, such that I can resolve my suspension and get my Google AdWords up-and-running.


In my 14+ years of working with Google AdWords, I have never been so disappointed.


Any suggestions would be helpful.

Re: Account suspension: "Unwanted software", but no exact re

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭



Re: Account suspension: "Unwanted software", but no exact re

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

TangibleDave wrote:

The real problem here is that Google should first be contacting us to inform us of the problem, instead of shutting down our ads first without any giving us any specifics.


If Google had contacted us before shutting down our ads, we would have had the changes implemented within hours - now we are losing days of business (we depend quite heavily on AdWords).

It seems like this is a widespread issue (i.e. vague responses and ostracizing loyal clients):

I have Terms of Use and have added Uninstall at their request.

Technically we already had a Move & Backup software page, but that was not "specific" enough.  I have just added an EULA, which we also have when the user installs the software and has to agree to at that time.


I completely agree with your statements.  Treat us like customers.  That being said, whenever I call Google AdWords, they are pleasant but unable to assist beyond "we will look into it for you."


I received an e-mail message today: "While reviewing your account, our specialists identified suspicious behavior in the payment activity of this or your other AdWords accounts. To help prevent any unauthorized activity, we suspended your AdWords accounts."  After calling, they said they have no record of this email.  There seems to be a lot of disconnection between AdWords teams (e.g. Policy Review, Appeals, Suspension, Support).


Honestly, I have been pro-Google for quite a long time, but this whole ordeal has left quite a bad taste in my mouth.  For the amount of money we spend on Google AdWords, I expect great service; however, because of their market position, we do not have a choice. Google AdWords is starting to feel a bit like Comcast.

TangibleDave, I appreciate the feedback.

You can request an appeal to your suspension here.

Fingers crossed. Smiley Frustrated


Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Re: Account suspension: "Unwanted software", but no exact re

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
I have had a similar problem this week and after 13 years of advertising with Google my account is now suspended, I have been accused of distributing malware and unwanted software and I have now given up. I have had 6 phone calls and a couple of emails to the support team and it seems as though they have made a decision and are now groping around for excuses to justify it. I even completed the appeals form only to get a phone call from the same person I had been speaking to saying that I can't appeal. I want to be able to take the complaint higher up within the organisation in the same way that I would with any other major, high budget supplier.

The various replies that I have had include that my website is "unclear", "difficult to navigate", "lacking transparency", "does not describe the product" and a recurring theme that it "cannot be understood by any user". Reading between the lines it seems that whoever is assessing the site is too lazy to read it and doesn't understand the specialised nature of the software and have banned the site and are now getting their colleagues to back them up.

After reading the Software Principles and Unwanted Software Policy I can't understand how they can seriously claim that I am supplying unwanted software. We all know the type of software that offends because we have all installed something that has taken control of the browser and added a toolbar, changed the default search settings, etc. and then been difficult to remove. I am not distributing anything that could fall into that category in anybody's wildest imagination. The only possible infringement I can see is that I have always considered mentioning that an installer putting an uninstaller in the Start Menu covers the subject of uninstalling. I would not insult my users' intelligence by having to explain how to operate an uninstaller from the Start Menu.

I have been wondering recently whether Google Adwords are still useful, especially since the Display Network was reorganised and became unusable, but this is a decision I would like to take myself. As others have said, I would like to be treated as a customer, rather than a potential criminal.

Re: Account suspension: "Unwanted software", but no exact re

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

@Simon C Sorry you're going through the same issues.
@MosheTLV asked me to post in only one thread, so feel free to follow my in-depth updates here.
Should be the last, detailed, bullet-by-bullet explanation by me (UB-04 S).

Re: Account suspension: "Unwanted software", but no exact re

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hello Ratan Jha,

Thanks for kind words. The issue with mentioned account (it wasn't mine, by the way) has been finally solved:
- inquiry has been sent to AdWords support
- actual reason for ads shut down/site suspended in account has been named, and it has nothing to do with "Unwanted software" - it was EULA link missing from software download page

The overall Google approach looks very inadequate. Google staff always knows why the ads/site are suspended (so please don't tell that about "difficult to tell" - the exact reason is *always* known, since there's always someone who triggered the complaint and put ads down)

Instead of approaching site owners first and giving short interval to put wrongs to right, Google
- freezes ads, without telling actual reason
- replies (not too quickly, I must add) to inquiry
- checks (again, not too quickly) and unfreezes the ads

The problem could be solved in half an hour, if account owner were warned and given time to correct the problem. Instead... put all down and let account owner see all the hues of holy hell to have everything back.

Any valid reason why Google treats like that those who pay to it?