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Site Suspended - Policy Not Clear - Free Sample Ebook

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 and a half 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."
  • January 6th: Re submitted website after carefully reviewing the ad policy and making it clear to users that this is not information harvesting, and it is a free sample of the further product.
  • January 7th: Told site is still not compliant.

 

 

Thanks in advance for your help

3 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Site Suspended - Policy Not Clear - Free Sample Ebook

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi Jual,

 

All the suggestions given already to you are as per the policy, and you are supposed to abide by them. I know you have already done changes as requested. But, to allow us suggest you updates in the business model or the website if possible to be compliant with the policies, could you please share your website URL here? 

 

I would also like to ping an expert of such scenarios here-  @MosheTLV 

 

Thanks
Ratan

Join me on Google+

 

Re: Site Suspended - Policy Not Clear - Free Sample Ebook

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I have read the 'misrepresentation of self' policy that I keep getting sent links to but I cannot see any mention of not allowing a free download. The issue also is that in one email I was told
""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."

To which I made the changes as requested, and was then later told: "Google Adwords will not allow any free services, it has no exception. I am sorry to say this."

It seems that the policy is not clear? Or am I not fully understanding it?..

Re: Site Suspended - Policy Not Clear - Free Sample Ebook

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
Hi Jual,

I don't understand the language on the site. A translation of the disclaimer below the download button (as per Google translate) states

'Your information will be used only to send free ebooks and other information related to Diet 3 Step only. I had never share your email address with anyone else , and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please see our privacy policy for more information .'

Where do you mention 'The free gift is a part of another product which is a paid product, not exclusively a free gift.'?

Deepak

Re: Site Suspended - Policy Not Clear - Free Sample Ebook

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

It is mentioned in the following places on the webpage. A complete page translation should bring up the  correct language


This is what I don't understand the policy regarding free samples..

Re: Site Suspended - Policy Not Clear - Free Sample Ebook

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor
Hi jual,

There were specific information in the Adwords policy center about the type of site you are using, before the recent revamp (I can't find that information now) which stated.

"Google AdWords doesn't allow websites whose primary purpose is to collect personal information. This includes, but is not limited to, websites offering free gifts or other incentives in exchange for personal information. We refer to this practice as "information harvesting".

Re: Site Suspended - Policy Not Clear - Free Sample Ebook

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi yes I also read about this in the old policies, but cannot see it mentioned in the new one.

The only thing is the sole use of our website is not to gather personal information but to sell a book. One of our strategies is to offer users a free sample of the book and then if they like they can purchase the full book.

Re: Site Suspended - Policy Not Clear - Free Sample Ebook

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor

Hi Jual,

 

Thanks for sharing the website URL. 

 

According to me, this business model cannot be advertised with AdWords. It clearly violates the policies. 

https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/6020956?hl=en

https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/6020955?hl=en

 

It's like misleading the customer to part with their personal information to get a free ebook, which indeed is a paid one. 

 

To me, revising your business model can work. For instance, describe your main ebook with its complete price on the landing page, and then offer a free sample for download. Everything about the policy would remain the same. 

 

This way, it would be clear to people, they are downloading a sample and for the complete book, they will need to pay. 

 

About Google's policy related to information harvesting, the new policy center seems to have removed it, but it does say something similar -

 

We want users to trust that information about them will be respected and handled with appropriate care. As such, our advertising partners should not misuse this information, nor collect it for unclear purposes or without appropriate security measures.

 

Thanks
Ratan

Join me on Google+

Re: Site Suspended - Policy Not Clear - Free Sample Ebook

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 9
Top Contributor

As @Ratan-Jha  and @Deepak_V mentioned you are violating a number  of Policy sections: advertiser claims, information harvesting (See the links Ratan provided)

I don't think your business model can be promoted on Google.

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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September 2015

Re: Site Suspended - Policy Not Clear - Free Sample Ebook

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Posting solution:
Site now enabled.
You can no longer 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 as this will result in the site being disabled. It does not explicitly say this in the policies however their support team was insistent on it.