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Understand Google's advertising policies, including ad approval status and account suspension
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Adwords given mandate to suspend certain advertisers (in compliance)?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi All,

 

So recently a company I consult for did a large site build out for a business that is primarily going to be based around Adwords and Bing Ads as it's core marketing plan. This is a remote tech support company which would be a child company of a large company that has been in the tech support and technology space for over 15 years. Very established mother company that is well known in the LA area.

 

Obviously Google holds far more search market share than Bing / Yahoo so Adwords was a major part of the business plan. We had already noticed that some large competitors in the space had been marketing pretty heavily in Adwords so there was really no reason to think twice about that, as we had every intention of fully complying with policy and best practices.

 

Finally site is ready and as the head of marketing I set up the campaign in Google and off we go. First day goes great, we get tons of traffic and phones are ringing off the hook. We figure, 'Great, everything is working out as planned'. Second day comes around and a email shows up from someone at Adwords saying "We wanted to alert you that one of your sites violates our advertising policies." (I'm sure you know the rest).

 

We immediately have a meeting to discuss internally. We can't believe we had violated any advertising policy as we made a solid effort not to when building out the site. Specifically referenced was "User Safety" section but nothing specific beyond that. After getting off the phone with an Adwords rep, he was unable to give me ANY information about it. The phone call was just a series of apologies from the rep saying he couldn't help me or tell me what the specific issue was that we needed to change. So that same day we knock out a plan to over haul the site again to make sure there was nothing possible at all that could be in violation. We really had to dig on this.

 

So that same day we get the new over haul plan off  to the developers for the build out, our plan is to basically have the same disclosures and check out process / transparency as our largest competitor (which SEM Rush suggests is spending from $30,000 to $40,000 per day in Adwords currently).

 

Day two, we get an email from Adwords again saying that our ACCOUNT has now been suspended for repeated violations of Adwords policy.... 'Say what?'.... We haven't even so much as touched the account in any way since the first email when the website was suspended. We had created no new campaigns or  messed with any current ones. Our plan was to leave everything alone until we had the changes complete.

 

Day three, we get another email from Adwords, this one basically saying the same thing as yesterdays email but having some sort of ticket number in the subject line of the email but more or less delivering the same message that the account is now suspended and click this link if you feel it's an error and want to appeal. Well our team are all surprised this has happened like this so quickly and vaguely. We are all pretty stressed out but what can we do? We figure, let's complete the build out and then just resubmit, everything should be fine.

 

A little over two weeks later, everything is finally complete (we made a lot of changes and spent a lot of time and money). At this point we've even had Adwords experts / consultants pouring over the site and getting the green light that we're 100% in compliance without any doubt whatsoever. We have had attorneys re-writing our disclaimers and ToS to make sure it exceeds consumer protections over our competitors and covers all possible concerns Google would have. We are confident our site is now ready for the re-review and should pass with flying colors.

 

Bang, I fill out the form and submit, we're in the re-review que. Two days go by and I finally get an email from 'Shawshank' at 'The Google Adwords Team'. This email looks like a complete pre-made template with no real personalization or input from someone beyond what the creator of the original template put: "Our specialists have re-reviewed the account 'XXX-XXX-XXXX' and confirmed that it is in violation of our AdWords policies. Since this decision is final, the account will not be reinstated. Please avoid creating additional AdWords accounts, as they will be subjected to the same suspension. Our support team will not be able to give you any more specifics on the suspension."

 

Obviously our team is in a state of shock and disbelief at this point. We've had experts (former Adwords analyists and a 10 year veteran Adwords consultant) pouring over our site and helping us make absolute certain we were in compliance. How could this be... well my first response is to try to call Google and get some answers. I call the 1-800-2-Google number. As you might of guessed, I get zero help and zero answers and simply told there's nothing that can be done and no one I can be referred to.

 

Well, I just can't believe a company like Google could operate like this. It seems very unprofessional, almost shady. Everyone I speak with doesn't 'get it' either. No one can give me an explanation as to why this would have happened.

 

This leads me to begin searching online. I put in a search like "tech support through adwords" just looking for people with similar problems and how they got past them. I was shocked to see a wall of legitimate companies just like me being basically given the 'finger' by Google and shoved out the door with no real explanation or no means for appeal.

 

As I continue my search, I find this: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2154501/google-under-antitrust-investigation-in-india-over-adwords.ht...

 

Wow, can it really be that Google is basically denying competition and monopolizing industries with their search engine that they compete in? I can't believe they would open themselves up to such a legal tangle. It would seem that the only people in this industry that currently advertise in Google are either grandfathered in advertisers or people that have threatened to sue Google over it and have legitimate cause to which were re-enabled as a result of litigation.

 

Any help is appreciated. I'd really like to know if there is anyone I can get in contact with at Adwords other than the support team which I suspect has just been given a mandate to deny all new advertisers in this niche automatically regardless of if any real violation has taken place. Or if the only option here is to send this to our legal team and begin the process of forcing Google to explain things.

 

Thanks for reading.

2 Expert replyverified_user
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Accepted by Theresa_Zook (Top Contributor Alumni)
September 2015

Re: Adwords given mandate to suspend certain advertisers (in complianc

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hello;
Here is Google's official reply about tech support suspended cases:


"We have longstanding policies against ads, websites, and businesses that appear to be generally deceptive or misleading to our users. The primary concern of this space is our user’s safety. Per the User Safety Policy, we do not allow businesses that we feel may pose a harm to our users.

We take many factors into consideration when assessing User Safety compliance. Our review is extensive and we cover a number of areas to ensure we are reaching an accurate conclusion. In many cases these issues are not fixable, as the fundamentals of the business itself is the primary concern. As always, you can contact support via email or submit a suspension appeal."

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Adwords given mandate to suspend certain advertisers (in complianc

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
MosheTLV,

I did see that as well and we made absolutely sure in many ways that we were in full compliance. We are a known and established company / brand, US based.

That statement Google made encompasses quite a general and vague landscape and could be also used as more of a cop out if someone where to say.. not want competitors in the space because they have their own product they're trying to promote?

I think I can make a great case that it would be impossible to say we pose any more of a risk to user safety than Google poses or any of the current advertisers pose that are advertising in this space.

I also think if this was a true concern and Google was making any attempt to have you really fix some issue, they would actually tell you what needed to be fixed and not auto ban you a day later while giving you ZERO usable or actionable information. That, to me, seems more like the only goal here was to perma-suspend your account through some arbitrary process just to remove a competitor from the space.

I think the article from PCworld has some meat on it, based on my recent personal experience.

Re: Adwords given mandate to suspend certain advertisers (in complianc

Top Contributor Alumni
# 4
Top Contributor Alumni

Good morning.

 

In my opinion (and experience), the last thing Google wants to do is to limit the number of legitimate advertisers competing for ad space and they certainly would not do so just to "favor" one advertiser.

 

When the company decides that some kind of advertising is not producing a satisfactory and safe experience for users of the Google search engine, then the company will start eliminating that kind of advertising.

 

They do not share the technical and policy details with us (they are not required to) but I have a firm belief that they don't make this kind of decision without a lot of data and a lot of consideration. After all, eliminating advertisers means eliminating the revenue from those campaigns.


Theresa
Google AdWords Top Contributor
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Re: Adwords given mandate to suspend certain advertisers (in complianc

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Theresa,

It feels like you made this reply with almost no regard for my case at all (or the current antitrust case against Google for that matter for the exact thing that happened to me). You just simply explained some basic logic that doesn't break down any of the complex arguments that I've made. Doesn't seem like you have an open mind to anything but Google is perfect and innocent and wouldn't favor anyone (even though they're known to favor themselves when they're the advertiser).

Anyway, these sort of replies are not helpful because it doesn't really do anything except pronounce your undying love for Google and how infallible they are in your eyes. I am looking for someone that can help me figure out how to resolve this, assuming everything I've said is true and accurate.

Re: Adwords given mandate to suspend certain advertisers (in complianc

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
So are the only vocal or helpful users just part of the Adwords fan club here or is it possible to get some real useful / actionable information from someone that's neutral on the issue and is willing to absorb/digest all of the facts in to their reply?

Re: Adwords given mandate to suspend certain advertisers (in complianc

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor
Can you share your website URL?
Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Adwords given mandate to suspend certain advertisers (in complianc

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
I'm not going to post it publicly without my clients permission but I don't think it would be an issue to share it privately. If you're interested in that I can send over that information.

Re: Adwords given mandate to suspend certain advertisers (in complianc

Top Contributor
# 9
Top Contributor

The goal of this community is collaboration, sharing experience and knowledge about Adwords, among current advertisers and those who search about the same issue in the future.
All content is shared publicly. We do not offer offline help.

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

Re: Adwords given mandate to suspend certain advertisers (in complianc

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Ah, I see. So if you can't accomplish all of those goals at the same time, it's not worth doing because there's no brownie points in it and one user is not worth helping. Seems legit.

As I said previously, I wouldn't share a clients domain unless they expressly wanted me to do so in public. I respect privacy especially when I am voicing my own concerns and not necessarily the clients. What I asked for is help assuming what I stated is true and accurate so I fail to see the necessity of the domain unless you would simply be trying to poke holes in my original post anyway.

I also don't understand how you speak for everyone here saying 'we' do not offer offline help. I'm sure certain things are private for some people and I'm also sure some people don't mind offering those people help while not revealing that private information.

I suggest you speak for yourself when you're not busy cutting and pasting vague Adwords policies and collecting brownie points.