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Google adwords unfair weapons policy

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

We have an archery website and we sell other items such as clothes. We removed all bows from advertising.  We did not advertise anything other than the clothes but Google suspended our web site then our adwords account. They said we could not advertise any product for our website as long as we continue to sell archery bows(compound bows, recurve bows and crossbows). They said we could remove all bows from our website then  they would reconsider. Well that's like a hot dog stand that cant sell hot dogs. We are an archery website. We also ask about creating a new landing page that would not feature the bows but they replied that there is no way around the policy, as long as we sell bows on our website  we can not advertise anything from our website with google.

Google has pretty much put us out of business!  What bothers me more than anything is that Cabela's, Bass pro, gander mountain and even wal mart can still advertise with google and they all sell archery bows on their websites so why don't the big box stores have to follow the same rules with google?   Our web site is http://www.QualityArcheryBows.com

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Accepted by MosheTLV (Top Contributor)
September 2015

Re: Google adwords unfair weapons policy

Google Employee
# 13
Google Employee

Hi Deborah,

 

Cody J's response up above is spot on.  The new "Dangerous Products" policy states, "Note that if your site is largely dedicated to weapons or similar content, you won't be able to advertise with us."  Your site is clearly dedicated to weapons, so I don't see any way around this policy for you without fundamentally changing the nature of your site.

 

Other big catalog retailers and sporting goods stores who happen to sell some bows or other weapons can advertise on AdWords because that's not the main focus of their site.  You can click on a landing page for, say, a tent ad and be taken to a page that's about tents, with no weapons content.  Amazon is a good example.  If I go to their Camping page, I see tons of tents and other camping gear.  They sell bows too, but I have to go out of my way to get to them from the non-bow-related landing page.  (I made up an Amazon example just because I'm familiar with their site.  I have no idea how they use AdWords or whether they actually use it to advertise their camping gear.)

 

On your site, the bows and crossbows are inescapable. For example, if I go to your Women's Clothing section, I still see tons of weapons-related content: four of the six tabs across the top, the first three sections in the navigation pane on the left, a crossbow and compound bow under Featured Products on the right, and last but not least the qualityarcherybows.com domain name itself.  The weapons are everywhere, making the site clearly "largely dedicated to weapons" and thus in violation of the AdWords policy.

 

I'm not going to get into arguing about why the policy was changed, because I don't think it's productive.  (I also don't really know the reasons for the changes to and reorganization of the Dangerous Products policies.)  At this point the policy changes aren't going to get reverted.  The only way forward is to try to find a way to make your site comply with the policies or to stop using AdWords and switch to some other form of advertising.

 

I know that's probably not the answer you wanted to hear.  Unfortunately, I think it's the only realistic one you're likely to get.  If you want to continue using AdWords, I think you're going to get creative and find a way to make a compliant site.

 

Off the top of my head, one approach would be to separate your web presence into two parts.  You could create a new, "clean" site that contains only the clothing and other accessories that AdWords allows, with no prohibited content and perhaps even a new domain name. Your AdWords ads would point to that new site. Your current site could stay the way it is, with all the weapons, but you wouldn't be able to use it with AdWords. People looking for those products could still find you through the organic search results or through ads on other networks.

 

There may be other approaches too, but I'm having trouble coming up with any more this late at night. Perhaps someone else here will have ideas.

 

Laura

AdWords review engineer

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Re: Google adwords unfair weapons policy

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
You are correct; This should not happen; Case is escalated to Google;
Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Google adwords unfair weapons policy

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
I'm not sure what that means "Case is escalated to Google" but thanks for responding.

Re: Google adwords unfair weapons policy

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hello again;

Archery bows are banned.

However, you claim that other businesses do  promote "archery bows" on Google;

Could provide screenshots and URLs of 3-4 competitors?

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Google adwords unfair weapons policy

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
I will have my husband do some screen shots for you this weekend. Keep in mind its not only that Google wont let us advertise bows...they will not allow us to advertise even clothes or boots or anything from our website because we sell bows. So if Wal Mart for example sells bows on their website (which they do) they should also not be allowed to advertise anything else because they sell bows. (that's assuming they have to follow the same restrictions that we have been put under.) You can go to Google shopping and type in compound bows, youth bows, or crossbows and I promise you there are sites still out there that are selling.

Re: Google adwords unfair weapons policy

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

Thank you for your assistance in the processes of  investigating the issue,
The screenshots you will  provide are intended to help  Google determine why  competitors which appear to   violate the policy, have not been triggered.

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Google adwords unfair weapons policy

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Deborah,

I can understand what you mean, I am having a similar issue for a suspended ecommerce website due to the recently updated weapon policy.

According to https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/6014299?hl=en (scrolling down to "What can you do" part) it seems that even if you are not running any ads to promote what is now a considered "dangerous product", if your site is largely dedicated to such listed products or similar content, you won't be able to advertise your website, no matter if you are advertising "safe" products or not.
That's why big players are still allowed to advertise all other products while offering in their big website any of the dangeruos products.

Unfortunately in this way they are smashing small competitors, their small part of "dangerous products" could not be much in comparison to their full product offering but is probably even larger than the whole - no more advertised - small competitor site.

Glad you needed to advertise one website only. If not enough if I loosed the whole adwords account for a website hard to keep compliant to new policy, I would loose lifetime possibility to advertise my all other non-related 100% compliant websites needed in order to run my business.

Re: Google adwords unfair weapons policy

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Deborah,

Was your issue sorted out by google?

Is you adwords account still suspended?

Re: Google adwords unfair weapons policy

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
After talking to two Google reps they both concluded that I must remove all bows from my archery site and resubmit the site for ad approval. Since I can not remove bows and still be an archery site I had no options. I did not need to advertise the bows only the clothes and other items that are not bows, but Google said I could not advertise anything from the site as long as I sell bows (even though out of 7022 items only a couple hundred are bows) they said my site was geared primarily to dangerous weapons. When I ask for the money back that was in the adwords account they said I had to close the account before I could get the money back...Im still waiting to get that money back. Google has lost me more sales than I can count by not allowing me to advertise anything on my site. This is archery season and Christmas season as well !!


Re: Google adwords unfair weapons policy

Top Contributor
# 10
Top Contributor
Pls upload the screenshots Google has asked
Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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