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Understand Google's advertising policies, including ad approval status and account suspension
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Adwords account permanently suspended, I have no idea why!!!

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# 1
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Ok, so here's what happened.  I had an Adwords account that I used a long time ago in 2008 for some very small ads we were running.  I think I must have put about $100 into the account, that's all. They were for a TV service I was running at the time, and totally innocuous. Recently, I decided to start a new e-commerce project and of course Google Adwords should be a huge part of it.  So I logged back into my old account, and got an ad approved to run.  I had noticed a bar  across the top that my billing was not up to date, but I was planning to fix it when I was ready to run the campaign.  So when I got ready to put money on the account, I noticed that there was another "page" to this red bar across the top.  The next page informed me that my account was suspended because my billing information could not be verified.  I then tried to fix the billing problem, but I was unable to navigate to that page due to the account being suspended.  So I filled out the appeal form, assuming that this just must be a kind of mistake.  In two days, (today), i got the reply that they reviewed my account and found that I am in violation of their policies and suspended forever!  With no hope of appeal!  I checked my messages over the years, and I was never informed of a suspension or had any warnings of any kind.  How could this happen? Any advice??

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Re: Adwords account permanently suspended, I have no idea why!!!

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi Jim
Unfortunately, we don't have access to your account here on the community. Only Google AdWords support does so we wont be able to give you any info that you don't already know.
I'd recommend that you contact support by phone or live-chat to see if they can offer any more info.

Be prepared though, when Google say permanently suspended, they mean it. You'll unlikely get the resolution that you're looking for.

Re: Adwords account permanently suspended, I have no idea why!!!

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# 3
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Dave, thanks for your reply. I tried calling, but once I put in my ID number I get a message saying they can't help. I didn't know about the chat, I'll give it a try.

I always felt that Google is a fair organization, and have been a big fan theirs over the years. Adwords is an amazing service. You would think that they would act fairly. Why block my account for life, if I've hardly ever used it? There ought to be a mechanism for fixing such issues. Despite their hip silicon valley image, this is something that seems more like the monopolies of old, where you just encounter a stone wall with no recourse at all. Doesn't Google have the motto "don't be evil?" In my case it would seem that a quick review would reveal an error on their part. It's all very strange!

Re: Adwords account permanently suspended, I have no idea why!!!

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hi @Jim P;

As Dave mentioned, once suspended the chances of reinstating the account are slim.

Having said that, should you decide to appeal, prior to any appeal,  the violation has to be fixed.  In other words: the  2008's website of the TV service you offered, must first be fixed to comply with the Policy. Only then you could submit an appeal.

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Adwords account permanently suspended, I have no idea why!!!

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# 5
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Moshe, thanks for your advice. Actually the only guidance I received from Google is the message on the red bar which states "We've identified suspicious behavior in the payment activity of this or your other AdWords accounts" Since I only paid $100 in 2008, and only have that account, I'm not sure how I could fix it. I was able to go in after the suspension was permanent and update my credit card information. In fact I couldn't find any old billing information there, so I'm not sure what the problem was, if any, in that section.

Regarding the 2008 website, I was employed by the company that owns the site at the time, and my job was to manage the project. Unfortunately I don't have anything to do with them anymore, and I wouldn't be able to fix their issues, even if I knew what they were. (BTW, I checked Google's third party compliance regulations and what I did was completely in line with their rules).

But this was hardly an active account, and I never got so much as a warning from them regarding this campaign or anything else.

I already took Dave's advice and contacted Google again. It seems chat does not work for us suspended accounts, but email was the only option so I sent one.

I'm really baffled by this whole thing but I do appreciate your efforts to try to help me understand it.

Re: Adwords account permanently suspended, I have no idea why!!!

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

@Jim P;

Was this website promoted using YOUR AdWords account?

(Sometimes you get a billing suspension error while the actual cause is a past URL violation.  That reason for this technical "glitch" is not clear.)

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Adwords account permanently suspended, I have no idea why!!!

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# 7
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Yes that was my account that I used...is that a URL violation?

Re: Adwords account permanently suspended, I have no idea why!!!

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor

@Jim P

Yes. Once the URL was promoted using your account this site is linked to this account.  

Abandoning it, selling it or transferring it to someone else does not resolve the violation.

Can you share the URL?  

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Adwords account permanently suspended, I have no idea why!!!

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# 9
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Unfortunately I have no control over what goes on with that URL anymore. But isn't this supposed to be a fair, and reasonable process? All I did was to help promote a completely legitimate service back in 2008. If they have gone on to other questionable practices, why does that impact my own Adwords account? I could understand if bad practices came from my account, but clearly they do not, since there is almost no activity. Does my behavior in this case warrant a lifetime irreversible ban from Adwords? Adwords is the largest and most powerful advertising machine that the world has ever seen. Banning someone for life should only happen in a fair and transparent process. In this case, we can only speculate about the reason for the ban. I was never warned about anything. In fact the reason stated regarded payment activity, not URL violations. I paid my $100 using a standard debit card, where is the terrible violation? I believe you that maybe they somehow misstated the reason. But what does it matter anyway? There is no appeal process, I cannot even speak to anyone at Google to understand this better. I tried contacting them again as Dave suggested, (sending an email is the only option), and received a response within a couple of hours. Unfortunately, it was the exact same letter that I received earlier in the day, explaining that my account is suspended and the decision is final.

I fail to understand how Google's users are better protected by my being banned, since that is their stated goal. I can now see why monopolies are so dangerous. Even well intended corporate practices can go astray without the constant checks and balances of fierce competition.
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Accepted by Mini-CM (Community Manager)
November 2015

Re: Adwords account permanently suspended, I have no idea why!!!

Top Contributor
# 10
Top Contributor

@Jim P;

Fixing a  landing page violation prior to any appeal is a corner stone in Google's appeal process. I understand that you have no control over the URL, but you must find a way to do so. I have seen advertisers buying back a domain just to fix it.... 

However, since this was 7 years ago, if you share the URL, we can check with Google, if the URL is indeed the cause. (As it sounds from the details you provided)

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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