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Understand Google's advertising policies, including ad approval status and account suspension
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Competitor Double Serving - Between 3 - 6 ads

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I have been using Adwords for sometime. I noticed that a particular competitor has been double serving from at least November 2014. 


*I have verbally complained about this several times to various Adwords support staff. 

*I have also sent the complaint directly via the relevant form.

*I have chased this issue without any feedback or update for 2 months. Still Nothing apart from empty promises from Google support staff. 


Currently on all keywords related to the niche this customer has dominated upto 6 ads (See my attachment url below) in PPC and many in SEO for the same domains. We are talking about over 50 keywords! 


I don't want to add specifics here about my competitor here because if they find this complaint, they will attack us even more aggressively via proxy / click fraud methods and hacking attempts. 


The company is blatantly double serving for the same keyword from over 10 accounts. Also for your reference one of their staff who manages PPC is an ex-google employee as stated on their website. 

It feels like because this company spends large comes from various accounts that google is turning a blind eye to this. Yes this is a serious accusation. 


I want to escalate this issue to competent manager ASAP and have ALL of their domains suspended because of the severity of this violation.


I am happy to show many more examples and provide more specifics if someone cares to contact me and do something with this information. 


However this is straight forward. They are advertising for the same keyword using different sites and accounts registered to the same business address. They use a combination of tactics e.g scheduling during peak hours. 

They have dominated every area in UK using this therefore small business must pay much higher cost and then on top of that the competitor aggressively attacks the ads daily until you drop the cpc or completely quit the keyword auction. They also copy your ads exactly to reduce your ad rank and webpage to reduce your quality score. They use premium proxies to click on your ads without detection (I even have to implement click fraud software at an extra cost). I had to cut back on my spend, stopped successful keywords and stopped progressing new campaigns for new customers until I get a reply. It's been over two months and still nothing. Considering my whole business is based on the income generated via Adwords I will soon face bankruptcy and gain a negative impression from my current clients as a consequence of google lack of response and delay on this matter.



I am shocked that we are being treated like this by google. 







2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Competitor Double Serving - Between 3 - 6 ads

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Unfortunately, I don't have a good an answer...."gaining unfair advantage" (formally known as "double serving") has become lately a major issue...


We have discussed this with  Google, communicating  / conveying  advertisers concerns and frustration.


The best advice I could give is to resubmit the form. I would,  though, set / format  the complaint  in a  different format / structure to have the  reviewer  get a perspective of the violation in one glance. (The best way to that is in a table format.)

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Competitor Double Serving - Between 3 - 6 ads

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor
I agree. One thing that I've learned from seeing these the past few months is that the enforcement is nowhere near as simple as I had once thought.

Axiom, I understand this and it must be super frustrating. You've laid it out well but I'd follow the @MosheTLV gave and submit a fresh one. People do read them but I guess they're pretty difficult to manage at scale. That's MO excuse of course. The big problem I see lately is that policy violators getting away with it for so long encourage some people with a "If I can't beat them by playing fair, I should join them in playing unfair". I even had an argument with a customer over this (although not specifically the unfair advantage policy).

Submit again, frontload the important information and hope for the best.

Re: Competitor Double Serving - Between 3 - 6 ads

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks for your reply MosheTLV. I have submitted over 10 forms each with examples according to their requirements. E.g list two Urls and screen shots. I have also wasted time in generating in depth spreadsheets. I am happy to try your suggestion please could you give an example of set format you recommend please?

Re: Competitor Double Serving - Between 3 - 6 ads

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

I have submitted approx another 10 violation examples.

I spoke to Google support, & referred them to all the emails, spreadsheets, this discussion and direct form complaints. This was escalated on request.
They returned a call within 48 Hours as promised and we went through their policy and I expanded on the the specific violations.

On agreement, the Google representative escalated this complaint to the review team that will investigate. In regards to expected outcome, She mentioned most likely the company thats violating, their separate accounts will be linked therefore only one ad can show. She couldn't comment on the suspension however it is clearly stated in the policy that serious violation lead to suspension. In my opinion this is a serious violation that has continued and increased since November 2014. Basically they knew they are getting away with it so they served from even more accounts/domains.

Anyhow, Google will not inform me of the result of their investigation due to their privacy policy.

The result = The outcome which ever it may be, is expected to take affect between 7 days and 1 month.

I personally think it's too long and not acceptable. If Google respects the integrity of it's own policy this is something that should be resolved with immediate affect. I have read so many complaints of the same nature and most without resolution which is really disappointing. Evidentially the whole process needs a review!  


Therefore I will have to monitor all keywords up to 1 month until the double serving drops off. Sort of like watching paint dry without a guarantee it will actually dry, no?

I hope they understand that consequently stopping all our Adwords campaigns & Major Keywords for the above reasons, we have no potential income until resolved and continued business loss. 100% of our leads are generated are via PPC Adwords.

Googles policy: *Domain disabling: We may suspend websites that violate this policy, meaning that the website can no longer be advertised until the problem is fixed.
Account suspension: An account may get suspended if you have several violations or a serious violation. If this happens, all ads in the suspended account will stop running and we may no longer accept advertising from you. Any related accounts may also get permanently suspended and your new accounts may get automatically suspended at setup. Learn more about suspended accounts.

Re: Competitor Double Serving - Between 3 - 6 ads

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Moshe,

Please note I regrettably have to stop my campaigns (i.e my whole business is on pause) until this issue is fully resolved.
I and all my clients are in agreement that this loss is not acceptable. It's very embarrassing to tell all my customers they will no longer receive leads that they reply on, because Google does not manage double serving effectively and does not deal with complaints in a timely manner and even after receiving the complaint they will take 1 month without any guarantee or confirmation.

Moshe please could you escalate this issue to all your contacts and help bring confidence back? Most appreciated.

Re: Competitor Double Serving - Between 3 - 6 ads

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

@Axiom O;


As I mentioned in my initial reply, the general concern and frustration among advertisers of   (other) advertisers violating the "gaining  unfair advantage" section of the Policy, has been brought to the attention of Google,  and has been discussed with Google. 

I am a volunteer here (as all my other colleagues) and we have no control over Google's internal processes.


Having said that, and yet,  without checking the specifics of your case (this is beyond our scope) -  my experience is that "double / triple serving cases" should be submitted only if they are clear cases, they could take time for Google to investigate, and they must be submitted  / presented  to the reviewer (checking the case) in a format  which allows to instantly "grasp" the violation. 


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: Competitor Double Serving - Between 3 - 6 ads

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Since our last discussion I have continued to report my competitor taking advantage by double serving as advised by yourself. I have submitted over 80 forms. I have spoken to 16 staff and 6 managers. They had all agreed its against the policy to double serve (taking unfair advantage). They all confirm via screen shots, spreadsheet and screen sharing sessions that this the company is serving from different accounts for the same keyword.


*No manager called back as promised.
*When I contacted them again (support in India) they said the manager was not available and on occasions they stated the previous conversion was not even logged.
*On many occasions the google staff just hang up on me.
*There is no option to leave feedback after the phone call.
*There is no option to escalate the case.
*If there is something obvious then I should get feedback.

After spending thousands of pounds and hours and hours of wasted time I'm shut down and told the case has been resolved or they can't do anything.
The Indian support team is the worst experience of customer service I have ever experienced in my life! I have 25 years as an IT manager, I thought id seen it all but this is the ultimate cherry on top!!

The competitor has TOP 3 spaces from separate accounts. Each landing page states the company name, address and registration number.

I want to escalate this but I'm trapped and going around in circles. PLEASE HELP!
I need an alternative contact, number or email address so I can address this once and for all.

I have even submitted complaints about the service received, the complaints procedure and the poor customer service. Typically no has replied.


Re: Competitor Double Serving - Between 3 - 6 ads

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
sorry to say, but you are wasting your time. I have a similar issue at the moment.

They will not remove the violations because THEY MAKE MONEY from them and the legal risk is low to them.

They will only remove the violation if they face a legal risk from a large brand or get a complaint from a big advertiser..