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Understand Google's advertising policies, including ad approval status and account suspension
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Free Sample Ebook Promotions - Site Suspended Help

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi there,


I'm looking for some answers with regards to my website which has recently been suspended. The reason I am being told now is that you are not allowed to promote any free services on google adwords, even if this free service is part of a further paid product.


In short, my promotion and business model is to offer users a free sample download of a full ebook product and then promote the full paid version of the book later. 


My issue is every time I get a reply from adwords support regarding what needs to be changed, I make the changes and then my site is disapproved is a new reason. I keep getting told to make 'one last change' but then there is always something else. I have after spending nearly a month of making changes and complying been told that google does not allow promotion of free products at all.


So my question is threefold:

1) Is there really such a policy that Google will not allow advertising of any free services, even if it is part of a further paid product and this is made clear? It seems this is a popular business model and many people do it also..


2) If there is such a policy that free services are not allowed, is there any other way I can continue to advertise my product - for example just offer the full paid product and send people straight to sales page. I thought google was against this also?


3) Is there any way to escalate the claim/review to another adwords team for a second opinion? I find the communication very hard and it seems like I keep being told one thing and then next email something different. I'm in Malaysia currently but from the UK -not sure if this has an effect on things


FYI Here is a brief summary of my communication and actions taken from speaking to support, to hopefully clarify the matter:

  • November 27th: Site suspended for misleading promotions. Read policies and made changes to comply such as removing unrealistic claims and adding clear disclaimer testimonials. Submitted for re-review
  • December 2nd: Informed by support that site was suspended for information harvesting. Told if I want to promote a free sample in exchange for email addresses I must state clearly what the information will be used for in a visible disclaimer which I then added to the site. 
  • December 5th: Now after sending site again for review told that I need to also mention the full price of the end product, and clearly state that the free ebook is a sample of the full product on the landing page. I then added this to the site
  • December 7th: Received the following reply. Made the changes as requested

    "As you said, to comply with the policies you can mention that: 

    • The free gift is a part of another product which is a paid product, not exclusively a free gift.
    • The email address will be used to a) send the download and b) be used for promotion of the further paid products and services."
  • December 12th: Received a very unclear phone call from someone in the team.This person said that we are not allowed to have any word guarantee on the website. The website only has the words "satisfaction guaranteed" and "money back guarantee"  When I asked for clarification the call cut out and I could not call back. Sent an email requesting to keep the thread in email for easy reference and for clarification of what was told on call
  • December 13th: Told that the changes made made would comply with the policies and the site will be submitted for review
  • December 17th: Told the site had not passed the review and that a 'specialist' needed to be consulted with. Advised to wait
  • December 18th: Now told "No free book is allowed and you need to sell it with a checkout cart and a detailed price." I asked for clarification about the 'free items' policy
  • December 19th: Sent a screenshot (see here) of the policies explaining why we cannot advertise a free service and also told "Google Adwords will not allow any free services, it has no exception. I am sorry to say this."



Thanks in advance for your help

Re: Free Sample Ebook Promotions - Site Suspended Help

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 2
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
You most probably give your visitors misleading information. And they think that whole book is free. And you break this policie:
You should made really clear distinction from paying part and free part.
I had similar problem with one of my customer site (there was an autoh of book "Cure for all deseases" mentioned on site) and whole site was banned from advertising.
When we removed name of the Book, everything was fine.
My 2 cents.
Marked as Best Answer.
Accepted by topic author Jual R
September 2015

Re: Free Sample Ebook Promotions - Site Suspended Help

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Posting solution:
Site now enabled. Cannot offer a free download anymore in exchange for email addresses. Users are advised to send traffic straight to sales page with clear information and a clear checkout. You cannot use an email opt in followed by a follow up sequence that sells the main product