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Understand Google's advertising policies, including ad approval status and account suspension
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Q&A help for tech support companies with adwords account suspended

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# 1
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Why is Google attacking the Tech Support industry and suspending their AdWords accounts?


I’ve been seeing all the posts in the Google AdWords community from many of the various different tech support companies freakin’-out because they’re all starting to get their Google AdWords accounts suspended one-by-one and they don’t understand why and they just don’t know what to do.


The big questions I keep seeing over and over is:


- Why is Google punishing me?


- I'm not doing anything wrong. I'm not violating any of Google's AdWords advertising policies... Why are they picking on me?


- Why is my account suspended? Is it because we are a smaller company and do not pay as much as the bigger advertisers?


- Why is Google targeting India companies?


- How do I fix this problem so my account will no longer be suspended?


These questions are not new as I’ve seen this happen many times before since the summer of 2009. Every few months, Google will go out and sweep through a particular vertical, niche and industry that they feel is ‘high-risk’ and could cause harm to either their Google searchers... OR... to their Google Brand.


Some of the industries I’ve personally seen get hit in the past 4 years include large industries such as:


- Affiliate marketers (Make Money Online)
- Health and Fitness (Weight Loss)
- Vitamins / Supplements
- Loan industry
- Anti-Virus software companies
- Plastic Surgery
- The list goes on and on and on.


Most times, I’ve found that the industries that get targeted are industries that are almost borderline compliant or borderline legal. Maybe not always based on the products or services being sold... but a lot of times, it’s considered borderline because of the way that those products or services are being promoted and marketed to the public that could cause harm or damage to the Google searchers... (or the Google Brand).


When Google sees that a particular industry has a poor reputation and gets a lot of complaints from consumers... Google tags those industries as ‘High-Risk’. High-risk industries can lead to heavy fines from agencies like the FTC... or because many searchers find companies in high-risk industries through Google... the users starts to blame Google for allowing such companies with poor reputations to promote their products and services on their search engine. And when that happens... it gives Google a bad name. And once an industry hits a certain threshold where Google says enough is enough... and it’s no longer worth it to us to allow these kinds of companies to advertise on our AdWords networks because of the backlash... that’s when they cut-off an industry.


And the tech support industry just happens to be the latest industry to fall into this category and has now gotten whacked. Adwords Accounts are being suspended left and right all over the place... and most of these advertisers have no idea what to do.


The good news is... there ARE solutions to the problem. I just don’t see a lot of people talking about them here in the forum as I’ve gone through many of the posts already posted in the community and I still haven’t seen any real long-term solutions being discussed.


Yes, I’ve seen many people on these boards talk about trying to ‘game-the-system’ and having some success getting back on Google by starting from scratch using a new ip address, new computer, new mac address, new domain, new hosting, new website, paying with internet banking info. Some people have even talked about buying new Google AdWords accounts setup by someone else in order to get back on.


Many of those strategies are considered ‘black-hat’ and I can almost always guarantee you that those strategies simply won’t last because they don’t address the fundamental issue which is the Google AdWords advertising policies that are being repeatedly broken over and over again.


If you want to get unsuspended by Google and get your Google AdWords traffic back... and more importantly... stay on Google AdWords for the long-term... it’s going to take more than just ‘tricking’ Google to get back on.


You’re going to have to shift your mindset.
You’re going to have to shift your thinking.
You’re going to have to shift how you market your products, your services, and your business.

Sometimes you may even have to change your business model in order to make it into a business model that Google will approve and be proud to let you advertise on their AdWords network.


But for most people... that’s not what most business owners want to hear. They want the quick fix. They think all they have to do is add a phone # here, or a physical address there, or add a link to their privacy policy and terms and conditions, or adding more relevant content to their site.


In the hundreds of cases I’ve personally seen over the last 4-years... it’s usually going to take a lot more than just that... and that can many times be a hard pill to swallow for advertisers who just don't want to change... and they insist on continuing to promote their products and services they way they've always done. Because that's the only way they've ever known how.


Listen, I have a lot of experience and background working with many different advertisers in a variety of different markets, niches, and industries that have been suspended by Google since the summer of 2009... I have a lot of experience figuring out what Google’s advertising policies are really trying to say... and I’ve managed to help a lot of them fix their violations so they can get approved by Google and get their accounts unsuspended and back on AdWords.


That’s why I can tell you confidently from experience that even though many of the industries that got dinged in the past may seem totally different and unrelated to each other... in most cases... there were usually a lot of things in common that they were all doing to violate many of Google’s advertising policies. And that’s why they got their AdWords accounts suspended.


And I can see the same thing happening in the Tech Support space as well starting back in late September and early October.


The 2 biggest violations I’m seeing that are plaguing the Tech Support industry are:


Trademark violations
User Safety


Many of the tech support companies I’ve seen try to hide the fact that they are based out of India. I’ve heard many people even say to me that Google does not like or allow companies from India... I can tell you that this simply is not true!


And yet, many of the tech support companies try to use U.S. addresses to pretend like they are based out of the U.S. in order to ‘trick’ Google or even ‘trick’ the searcher because they think that’s how they can get approved by Google and allowed to advertise.


But think about it... if you’re based out of India... but you make your websites look like you are based out of the U.S.... isn’t that practice a little dishonest? Doesn’t that seem a little untrustworthy to you? Aren't you deceiving the searcher? So in the eyes of Google... doesn’t that propose a threat to the safety of the user? In other words... doesn’t that violate Google’s ‘User Safety’ advertising policy?


What if you’re promoting yourself as Facebook is a trademarked term. I know many of you are just trying to have more relevance in your ads, get more clicks, and higher conversions by using the word Facebook in your domain. And yes, even though, technically, Google will allow you to use the term Facebook in your domain name... if you look at it from a ‘User Safety’ stand point... aren’t you trying to trick the searcher to think that you are associated with Facebook? When in reality, you are not Facebook nor are you even associated with Facebook. But the principle of calling your domain proposes a threat to the safety of the searcher. So that’s another reason why you may be getting dinged by Google.


I could go on and on and on with cases like this to show you all the different ways why you got your account Suspended by Google... but I don’t want to write a whole novel here on this single post. What I’d like to do is help out as many people I can here that are in the Tech Support industry and unfortunately got their AdWords account suspended by Google but still don’t know why.


So if you’re willing to share with me your biggest questions, challenges, or concerns that you have about your Google AdWords account suspensions (specifically relating to tech support companies) here on this thread... I’ll do my best to answer them for you over the next several days and weeks.


If we start to get more questions than I know how to handle... and if I just can’t answer them all here on this blog one-by-one... then maybe what we can do is setup a Google hang-out sometime in the future so that we can answer all of the questions all at one time. But let’s just play it by ear first as we go along and see what kind of questions you may have... and then we’ll go from there.


So if you have any major questions, problems, or urgent issues you'd like to have me address... fire away.


Let me know what I can do to help... and I'll do my best to review all the questions within the next few days and see if we can help give you some clarity on what you may be doing wrong... and what you may need to fix to get your accounts back up and running.


I look forward to helping all of you that have been negatively affected with these unfortunate AdWords account suspensions in the tech support industry. So send me your questions and let's get this Q&A help session started.


— Dathen Fairley


Follow me on Google+

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Q&A help for tech support companies with adwords account suspe

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hey Dathen,

Funny Story...

At one point, I was trying to help a number of users with suspensions etc...this naturally lead to many thread subscription emails hitting my Gmail inbox. Based on the context of my inbox...I've been seeing your ads everyday for years now.

Good Luck with your endeavors here - the Tech Support situation is certainly a hot topic around here.

Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’

Re: Q&A help for tech support companies with adwords account suspe

Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 3
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Thanks Tommy,


Yes... I heard something like 48,000 companies in the tech support industry got wiped off Google. Now I can't confirm whether or not this number is accurate or not... but I do know I've been getting a ton of e-mails and phones from people in the tech support space that are having issues with their AdWords accounts getting suspended.


Another issue that I've seen most tech support companies having a hard time with is another angle of the User Safety policy which is the Sale of Free items.


Here's what the policy says...


Google AdWords doesn't allow the sale of items or services that are otherwise available for free.


I have clients that got dinged several years ago in the government services space because they were trying to sell services that were already readily available for free by the U.S. government.


This was a no-no in Google's eyes and was one of the main reasons why their AdWords accounts got suspended. Now this policy doesn't just apply to government services... it also applies here to the tech support industry.


If you're a tech support company trying to sell Windows support, Facebook support, Password support, HP support... if you're selling any type of support like that... this is a major problem.


If I'm Google looking at the Tech Support industry... I've got to ask myself... are these guys selling things that are normally available for free? If I were in Google's shoes... the answer would obviously be a resounding YES!

One of the biggest offenders I've seen in the tech support space was selling 'Gmail Password Help' services which is a very flagrant violation of the Sale of Free items policy.


Gmail Password Help is definitely available for free. All you have to do is fill-out a form, or you can talk to Google, or get reminders from the Gmail system for your password. Yet, some tech support companies out there are trying to sell this 'Gmail Password Help' support for $200 dollars when it's already readily available for free.

WOW... if I'm in Google's shoes and I see that... that's a pretty egregious violation. In Google's eyes... this can do a lot of harm to a searcher and is a major issue of 'User Safety'. Not only that... this can pose as a very big threat to the reputation of Google's brand.


So this is only one product I've seen being sold by tech support companies... and there are a lot of other services being sold by tech support companies that are readily available for free. There's very few tech support companies out there that don't violate this policy... but for the majority of companies getting suspended... this is one of the main reason why you are getting suspended.


Follow this thread and I'll post more about this later.


I'm also working on a series of videos to talk more about why if you are in the tech support industry you are getting suspended by Google... and so hopefully this should help give you some answers so that you can go out and fix some of the the problems.


If you guys have any specific questions you'd like to ask me that you want some help on... fire away.


-- Dathen Fairley

Re: Q&A help for tech support companies with adwords account suspe

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hello Dathen,

I think you are right, everybody is only concern about running their ad ASAP by doing quick fix, i went through a lot of threads on this community and did not find any long term solution.

I hope we can discuss about it and fix this solution in legitimate way and build a Long term relationship with Google without violating any policy of Google.

Nitin Vashist

Re: Q&A help for tech support companies with adwords account suspe

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 5
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Interesting Read....


Here I dont agree with everything that you have said....


Our company was based out of India and it was clearly mentioned on the website and just to make sure that the customers are also aware of this fact the domain was a ".in" domain.


No where on the website we had mentioned an 3rd party brand name just to make sure that there is no trademark issue.. and yes we had mentione our name in every AD that we created.


No 3rd party Image or banner was there on the website. all the banners were just simple wallpapers and we wrote a non affiliation disclaimer on all of them.


We also mentained a section for free support on the website so that customers can find a free solution and in case they fail to find a free solution then they can call us.


rest of the guidelines like a physical address, disclaimer, TnC, Privacy policies, pricing etc were there on the website... clearly mentioned.


Plus no past record of tricking google.


I got so frustrated with the support that I even shut down the website. 


So there is more to the story than what you had expained here... Not blaming you though.. as I know you are not google or working for them.

Re: Q&A help for tech support companies with adwords account suspe

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hello Syed,

Sorry for your loss, however we are facing the same issue and not able to figure out the solution because whatever you do, does not bring any results and still Google suspend the account, this is a very unprofessional behavior from Google because if they are not accepting any Technical support Account, than they can simply do the official announcement on official page or media and shut down all the accounts at once. there is not point of shutting down the account one by one. what they are looking in the account one by one or they are just checking the company one by one, and deciding that "this is a small company so shut it down" and all other big names are still running with Trademark terms and logos on the website with the trademark names...i have latest screen shots of those ads.

This is very unfortunate that Google is now behaving like a hypocrite and doing partiality with the advertisers.


Re: Q&A help for tech support companies with adwords account suspe

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 7
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I understand your concern bro as i share the same feeling... most surprisingly before all this drama... they reviewed my account thrice and later on approved it... i even have the approval email from them... and later on in a flesh they suspended it when I was ready to run the campaign and put more money after calling all the agents to work...

Anyway, I am done with this... and have started to consider this business model as an obsolete way of working... who wants to pay loads to them anyway... I've taken it to a different level Alhamdulillah... I've made all the necessary preparation in last 2 and a half month and will start tech support with the new model in a couple of days In Sha Allah.... and surprisingly I am acquiring new people too who are listening to the idea and are getting impressed in just listening it to once...

pray for me... and I pray for you that either you get a solution from google or you figure out how to take it to the next level.

Re: Q&A help for tech support companies with adwords account suspe

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 8
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Hello Dathen

I have been involved as a Pay Per Click Professional with the remote tech support industry catering to users in USA and Canada with operations set up in India. It might sound funny but I always knew that this bubble would explode one day or the other and through multiple innuendos I tried to convey the same to people I worked for.

It was always frustrating to see an incomprehensible haste businesses in this industry dawned from the very beginning. Be it making non sensical websites, lack of transparency in every aspect of the business ( there were loopholes even at the operation's end) etc. The lure of "easy dollars" was too enticing for businesses to work on aspects which needed urgent attention. It might come to one's mind about my role as a marketing adviser when I was aware of what was going wrong.

My advises were most often than not put aside citing "industry practices" followed by almost every other player in the industry and thus in no mood to be dragged down to similar level of foolishness as the person other side,I carried on with similar practices though wary of the fact that it was not right. Using unauthorized trademarks in ads (Google allowed it though),making false promises reaped benefits for the companies after all and if I had stuck to my morals someone else would have done the same thing anyways!

Apart from the current fiasco,the thing which perturbs me is google's role in the status quo. I often wonder if google as a business partner to all tech support companies could have done more in educating advertisers about stuff which could be improved and personalized advice and corrections to execute. It surely has a comprehensive list of advertising policies for all to go through before advertising but when it itself approves ads and keywords in the first place, advertisers are bound to feel safe and correct about their practices, right or wrong.

There were some OEM and technology companies which had filed complaints with google to not allow companies like "tech support" to use their trademarks and thus the tech support companies were not able to run ads containing those terms until explicit authorization from the parent company.

There were times when some ads with those trademarks were given "approved limited" status when by no means they were eligible for the "re-seller and information site policy". Most of the times such ads were disapproved if submitted with the trademark term of the plaintiff company.

The companies which had not filed similar complaints with google saw their trademarks used in ads by tech support companies after a clear approval by google. There were times when an approved ad with a unauthorized trademark was disapproved later on may be because of a new guideline by the trademark's parent company.

If google was so vocal about not using unauthorized trademarks in ads why did it approve such ads in the first place. By no means I am justifying the practices of tech support companies,all I am talking about is taking equal responsibility in a business partnership.

The same stands about the websites. Yes,they were crappy but were allowed. As a platform you allow something and it is enough evidence of agreement. It makes the job a bit tricky for people like me to explain the right thing to do to after they see everything approved by google in their accounts even if technically it ain't right! It might not be a good idea to just set thresholds for verticals and subvert them on transgression of the set thresholds.

What was wrong on the industry's part was to find ways to circumvent review systems by using text manipulation in text ads. I am not even speaking about the scams which were carried on the pretext of giving support to users. It can easily be a case of breach of trust with google citing numerous user complaints. Consider a case of every aspect of one's advertising partnership with google perfectly fine but huge scamming of innocent people on phone calls received via google ,the same would be a violation of user safety as well for google once it takes into cognizance the user complaints about such or similar businesses.

Had the ads been disapproved right way with a warning mail sent to the advertisers about possible actions he would not have dared to resort to similar practices in future.
But I guess these things don't matter now. We all have witnessed enough blame game already. But of all the malpractices which the tech support industry indulged in I would say choosing google as their business partner was not one of them! One is solely responsible for his/her actions. To those who feel they are swept of their feet with this tide, "One dirty fish spoils the whole pond"!

Re: Q&A help for tech support companies with adwords account suspe

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭


I was running my Tech support business for a very long time and according to my understanding never used any thing that any one could term copyright or trademark infringement still my account was suspended can you help me and tell me how to go about it because as far as resources are concerned I have all the resources required here in India as well as can get any thing that you need in USA but I want to restart it I have office and can hire people anytime.

Re: Q&A help for tech support companies with adwords account suspe

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hello Dathen,

I am looking to setup a client in the Tech Support industry, was wondering how you would suggestion going about it?