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Understand Google's advertising policies, including ad approval status and account suspension
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Proof Of Terrible Inconsistancies With Google Adwords Employees Banning Sites And Accounts

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭



What I'm about to go through, happened to me about a month ago, but for the last month I've been too upset and angry with what seems to be gross incompetence from Adwords staff to post this here, but I think these issues need to be raised (& resolved).


In July 2010, the QS for a website of mine that I had been advertising on Adwords for 4 years with no prior issues was suddenly dropped to 1/10, so the ads weren't displaying - effectively the site was banned/suspended, just not in so many words. I NEVER received an email or any contact from Google about any issues with the site either before or after the penalty.


I tried contacting Google by email asking what the problem was at the time, but never received a response to any of my queries.


I suspect the site was suspended due to either the long form sales letter on the landing page, email optin box, inadequate disclaimers, the testimonials or lack of supporting content in the site. As I was never told though, I can't be sure.


After not getting any response, I decided to re-design the site and focus more on SEO for traffic. Over the next 12 months, the layout of the site was completely changed (no sales letter at all), email optins changed (still there but not so prominent) and a lot more content added.


At this time my Adwords account was still fine, and was able to promote other sites through it, just not that site.


In June 2012, after hearing that Google had actually improved their Adwords support and finding an Australian contact number on the site (which I'm sure wasn't there 2 years earlier), I decided to try to 'set things right' so to speak and right anything that was wrong with the account.


First, I sent off an email asking what the issues were with the site, so I could resolve them, through a contact form in an Adwords Support area...what a surprise, I get an email back saying the message was delivered to an email address that doesn't accept incoming mail and to check the support area for help Smiley Sad.


After that, I rang the Australian contact number, spoke to a very helpful person who said they'd look into it and I shortly received an email outlining the issues with the site - issues (with the new design) were the testimonials (I had no FTC compliant testimonial disclaimer or verifiable proof), I mentioned Google in passing so needed to add something that we weren't affiliated with Google, and lack of earnings disclaimers (though the site doesn't promote a business opp., more a business resource and there is no mention of making money) .


I made the changes to the site and replied to the email saying what I'd done and asking if they'd be able to have another look at it. After several days though, I hadn't heard back and was starting to wonder if Adwords support really had improved.


In the meantime, I received an email from Adwords support (someone else) in response to the email I'd sent through the contact form that wasn't working, apologising for the error. They started looking into the issue of why the site was suspended as well. At this stage, as I still wasn't confident of hearing back from the original support person (due to bad experiences with Google customer support before), I saw no need to stop them, plus I figured if the others were still working on it, they should see that and let me know or not continue with anything.


Within days without any notification, my entire account was suspended, preventing the ads for the other sites that were being advertised in the same account from running at all (there were never any problems with the other sites).


Naturally I was very upset about this - all I had tried to do was the right thing by Adwords, and cooperate with them every step of the way, making the required changes, then to be hit with this was very disheartening. The changes I made to the site since my first contact with Adwords support just over a week earlier had only improved the site...if there weren't any issues bad enough to suspend the account just over a week earlier, then why on earth was the account suspended now after improvements were made???


I immediately rang Adwords support to find out what was happening and spoke to a helpful rep., who had a quick look at the site for me. Though they couldn't tell me exactly why the account had been suspended, they said that they'd pass my query on. Incidentally, I know that the rep. can't make any final assessment on the site, but when they looked at it, they said that they couldn't really see anything wrong with the site.


Shortly after, I received an email from the second customer support person, with a list of problems that they found on the site. They provided totally different reasons for the site being suspended than the first support person.


The second person was the reason why the account was suspended & the issues listed were information harvesting and there was a link on a page of the site that though was still online, wasn't used anymore, to the Super Affiliate Handbook which Google doesn't like. In regards to the information harvesting, the product on the site used to be paid access only, but when I rebuilt the site (in the period between July 2010 and June 2012, so after it was initially suspended), I changed it to free but people had to submit their email address for the access link.


They also stated, 'Additionally, please know that your account has been suspended as of now. The account will be considered for suspension only when all the violation made are removed.' I assume they would have to mean '..unsuspension...'.


I don't have a problem with removing the product link and changing the site back to paid (to remove the information harvesting issue), & in fact I started on making these changes...


...until I received the next email from the first customer support person following up on my las phone call about the account suspension - actually it was listed as the same ticket number, but was a different person.


'This account was suspended for violation of our policy on Artificial Ad Traffic...Please note that this account shall not be unsuspended in any case'




Firstly one customer support person doesn't see a reason to suspend the whole account, but another does.


One customer support person says the issues are Information Harvesting & a link they don't like and the account will be unsuspended once it's fixed, while the other says it's Artificial Ad Traffic and it won't been unsuspended.


This is just ridiculous. Just FYI, the site does not make any income promises at all or say anything about driving traffic to your site, in fact it's a database of wholesalers that business owners can access for their retail business...that's it!


As I said, I was making the changes to the site to get the account unsuspended when I received the last email saying it wouldn't be I don't know what to do & definitely don't trust anyone at Adwords.




2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Proof Of Terrible Inconsistancies With Google Adwords Employees Banning Sites And Accounts

Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
What a headache!

I once heard Larry Page say something about the biggest threat to Google was Google itself (i.e. growing too big and slow and bureucratic).
Maybe this is what he had in mind.

To get our opinion it would help if you posted a link or a screenshot of the site.

Re: Proof Of Terrible Inconsistancies With Google Adwords Employees Banning Sites And Accounts

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

Hello Rachel; welcome ;


As of now- I understand that the site is suspended due to a number of violations. -Am I correct?

Have you fixed the site?

You cannot request the account to be  un-suspended as long as the site does not comply with the Policy

Can you share your URL?



Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Proof Of Terrible Inconsistancies With Google Adwords Employees Banning Sites And Accounts

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thanks for your replies guys - the site is aussiewholesalesuppliers dot com dot au (don't want to put the direct link in).


Moshe, it depends who you want to believe as to why the site has been I outlined above, there's been quite a few different potential issues put forward. This lack of consistency from Google employees is what really concerns me.


Initially it was due to testimonials, lack of disclaimers etc. (this was corrected). Next someone decided that it was due to a link to a site Google didn't like and information harvesting (& supposedly this was why the account was suspended). I was in the process of correcting these 2 issues when I received an email from someone else saying that it was due to artificial ad traffic and couldn't be reinstated.


I know I can't ask for the site to be unsuspended without the changes being made...but my issue is the totally conflicting replies I'm getting from Google employees!!!


If I take the time to correct the issues of the link & info harvesting, will the account be reinstated or not? I don't disagree with those 2 problems, I know what needs to be done to fix it, but am hesitant because this other person says it can't be reinstated (which is totally wrong when all I've been doing is try to fix the site).


I don't agree with the artificial ad traffic excuse (note that one employee says the account's suspended for this and the other for the link and info harvesting). I've done some research on artificial ad traffic already and from the limited info that's available on it, I can't see the site is in anyway in breach of anything related to it.


I'm not really asking for people's opinions on what's wrong with the site and what needs to be done to fix it...I know what needs to be done.


My concerns are:


  1.  The conflicting replies from Google employees.
  2.  If I put the time into fix the site (info harvesting & link), will the account be reinstated?
  3.  Even if the account is reinstated, who's to say it won't get suspended for this strange Artificial Ad Traffic reason in a few weeks time?

After this, I honestly don't have any trust in the competence of any Google employee.





Re: non-compliant web site

Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

Hello again Rachel;

I disagree. In such big companies an error could be made by a customer service Rep. If a customer service Rep makes a mistake, that does not necessarily mean that a non complying will be allowed to advertise.


Try to imagine the "mess" that could arise, if Google allows non-compliant site to be promoted, just because of an honest mistake of a CS Rep.

If you are willing to share here your URL, we can have a look.  If the site looked in compliance with the Policy, we could forward it to a Policy specialist for a last review. The specialist decision is final.



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: Proof Of Terrible Inconsistancies With Google Adwords Employees Banning Sites And Accounts

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 6
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆

Wow, that was a long read!


I do agree with you that the review process of adverts is inconsistent and I have noticed this myself.


I think one thing you have to remember is that manual reviews are done by a human being, meaning an individual (a real person!) sits down and reviews your advert/website on a case by case basis and makes their own decision acting on everything they know about the policies and regulations - and I think that's excellent. Sure, something might slip through now and then because somebody hasn't noticed a violation, but that's just human error - And we all make mistakes :-)


This issue is the same with any other company though as one member of staff may operate slightly differently to another member of staff because they need to make their own interpretations of the policies and rules laid out by the company they are working for. Ideally there should be a "standardisation" across the board, but that just isn't possible unless it's done by computer - And even then there will still be problems with bugs and things not working properly.


Another example is law - One judge or lawyer may interpret the law slightly differently to another lawyer/judge. It's all down to human interpretation of written rules...


Good luck in all your web ventures :-)

Re: non-compliant web site

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



At this stage the site IS in violation of the Information Harvesting policy and I'm NOT disputing that.


...& I'm NOT suggesting that they should let me promote it while it's as it is.


What I am disputing is the numerous different 'responses' from Google employees stating different reasons for:


1. The site being suspended in the first place.

2. The entire account now being suspended & whether or not it can be reinstated.


In hindsight, I feel like I should have just deleted the site & maybe relaunched it on a different domain instead of trying to 'do the right thing' and fix it. By trying to do the right thing, I've been very harshly penalised...what kind of message does that send to others????


I have decided I'll finish making the changes to the site tomorrow morning and will resubmit it to the ones who told me the account could be reinstated and will see what the response is. Will let you know what happens.



Re: non-compliant web site

Explorer ✭ ☆ ☆
# 8
Explorer ✭ ☆ ☆



About Google Support i never had an issue with them.


There were times where different employees gave me different answers but these are humans right ?


Overall though they always come with an answer.... i realy dont believe that you try to communicate with them with the proper way.....i never had that kind of problem with them....even though i am not a fun of the big brother watching us Smiley Happy


Finally i believe that you dont need to be so angry with Google.


You say yourself :


At this stage the site IS in violation of the Information Harvesting policy and I'm NOT disputing that.


...& I'm NOT suggesting that they should let me promote it while it's as it is.


I would suggest to do whatever google says to do....They will not change their policy for you ....I think Smiley Happy


I wish you the best and hope that you will resolve the problem so finaly your site will not violate the Information Harvesting Policy.


And one final thing , i realy believe that this problem of yours is not Googles too.....




George Gemenetzis
Don't forget to Star or credit an answer as an AdWords Accepted Solution if it helped you.

Re: non-compliant web site

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭



If the responses were a little closer, I wouldn't be so annoyed with them....but if you read through all the responses I've received, they are far too different to be acceptable. Yes, people make mistakes, but from my point of view these inconsistancies are just far too 'ridiculous' to tolerate, and Google needs to take a closer look at their employees/training systems.


One thing I should make clear about the info harvesting side of it....


When the site was being advertised on Adwords originally, it was set up as paid access so there were definitely no issues with it (info harvesting) back then. I only changed it to what Google calls 'info harvesting' when it wasn't being advertised on Adwords, after the site was suspended in July 2012 - I had a product that other sites were still charging for and had put a lot of work into myself, so figured if I was going to make it free, it could at least be an email submit


A few months ago (before I recontacted Google), I decided to rebuild the site again, but didn't want to make a start until I had contacted Google, & found out what was wrong. I saw no point in spending hours rebuilding/redesigning the site, then submitting it to Google and needing to completely change it again.


I knew the email submit may be a problem, but as it was going to take a bit of work to change it, I thought I'd see what they said about it first before I spent the time changing the format.


This is why the site now has the 'info harvesting' problem....& why it hurts so much that they have suspended the whole account. The email submit had been on the site for the last 18 months, with the site just sitting there suspended in the Google account, but the entire account was never suspended. Then, when I contact them to try and find out what I had to do to reinstate that site, they effectively 'kill iff' all my other sites too by suspending the whole account.


What worries me the most about the suspension issue though is the 2 differing replies I received from Google employees (which I won't bother going through again as I've mentioned them enough in earlier posts).




Marked as Best Answer.
Accepted by topic author adventra1
September 2015

Re: non-compliant web site

Zee Community Manager
Community Manager
# 10
Zee Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Rachel, 


I'm sorry to hear your experience with the customer service as well as with the online form. I can't speak for a person who dealt with your account. However, I'll pass your issue to the support and they will reach out to you and clarify what infromation is the correct one.