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Understand Google's advertising policies, including ad approval status and account suspension
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Suspended site / account - please help

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I have been going back and forth with google for almost a month now and I still have no idea why our site (www.xsql.com) was suspended first and later the account was also suspended. Can someone please take a look and give me a clue as to what's going on. I have read the policies over and over and I can't see what we could possibly be violating - it feels as if an evil hand is intentionally trying to hurt us.

 

Here is the chronology of events:

1. about a month ago the godaddy DNS servers for our domain apparently went down so the site was not accessible for a few hours.

2. Next day I noticed that our google ads were not running so I assumed that they were suspended since the ads were pointing to a site that was down and that made sense to me.

3. I contacted google adwords support team and told them what had happened and naively thought that the ads will be unsuspended and all would be ok. Instead, after a month of frustration we ended up with a suspended account.

4. I spent half an hour on the phone today with a representative who was nice enough but useless as he was not able to provide any help with the issue at all.

 

Now, if you look at our site I think you would agree that:

- it's crystal clear what we do 

- there are absolutely no links leading to any external sites

- there is nothing misleading

- our tools do not install anything else and are very easy to remove

We do have a very simple data collection form on the download page but that is OPTIONAL so the user doesn't have to provide any information at all - we explicitly tell them that "they can provide that information if they wish to hear from us..."

 

We have advertised with Google since 2004 and other than continuously updating our tools we haven't made any major changes - we are doing business the same way we have done for 11 years. The only change we have made recently is that we added PayPal as a payment option but I would be very surprised if that was considered a policy violation.

 

I am lost and exasperated with this. If it was any other service in the planet I would have said goodbye, permanently erased the name of that service provider from my memory, and never ever looked back but, the sad reality is that one can't say goodbye to Google, hence I am hoping that someone would be able and willing to enlighten me.

 

PS Ironically, Google is one of our customers - they purchased a 5 user license for our SQL Server comparison tools last September.

 

2 Expert replyverified_user
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by ElizabethP (Community Manager)
September 2015

Re: Suspended site / account - please help

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor


the policies for software have been updated; assuming

that is the underlying issue, below is a summary checklist --

(1) verify the eula/tos is clearly visible -- either entirely, directly, as
text or as a clearly visible link, on all site download/landing pages.

(2) verify install and uninstall instructions are clearly visible --
either directly or as a link, regardless of any integration with
any operating-system's package-handling, or how simple,
intuitive, easy, obvious, or well-known, the tasks may be.

(4) verify the eula/tos, and un/install instructions are easy to locate and
are available within the landing-pages and download-pages on the website,
both before and after any software is purchased or installed.

(5) verify that the authorization-to-distribute form has been
submitted for any free or free-trial software -- even if the
software's authoritative-source and advertiser are identical.
https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/contact/advertise_software_pol

(6) verify a clearly-labeled download-button exists, all download items
are properly code-signed, all download-flows match the expected behavior
of the software's intended-use, any unexpected behavior is prevented,
and all functionality is fully transparent.

(7) verify all significant installation-options and system-changes
can be both reviewed and rejected, by a user, during installation.

(8) verify there is no malware or similar, within
the software, on the site, or linked from the site
or from/within the software.

(9) verify the ad includes the name of the specific software.

(10) verify the software, site, and business-model do not
violate any related policies; verify the business has not
been flagged before.

generally, be certain that there have not been issues
with the kind of software being advertised; the entire
online landscape of related software may be considered.


all rules apply to both the software being offered and
any programs included in any bundled-software offer.

importantly, these are not the only policies related to
software, software-downloads, and software related
ads, and google is the final arbiter of all policies.

see also
https://www.google.com/about/company/unwanted-software-policy.html
https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/6020954

https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/1308246

https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/6025827

https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/6169380

View solution in original post

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by ElizabethP (Community Manager)
September 2015

Re: Suspended site / account - please help

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor


the policies for software have been updated; assuming

that is the underlying issue, below is a summary checklist --

(1) verify the eula/tos is clearly visible -- either entirely, directly, as
text or as a clearly visible link, on all site download/landing pages.

(2) verify install and uninstall instructions are clearly visible --
either directly or as a link, regardless of any integration with
any operating-system's package-handling, or how simple,
intuitive, easy, obvious, or well-known, the tasks may be.

(4) verify the eula/tos, and un/install instructions are easy to locate and
are available within the landing-pages and download-pages on the website,
both before and after any software is purchased or installed.

(5) verify that the authorization-to-distribute form has been
submitted for any free or free-trial software -- even if the
software's authoritative-source and advertiser are identical.
https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/contact/advertise_software_pol

(6) verify a clearly-labeled download-button exists, all download items
are properly code-signed, all download-flows match the expected behavior
of the software's intended-use, any unexpected behavior is prevented,
and all functionality is fully transparent.

(7) verify all significant installation-options and system-changes
can be both reviewed and rejected, by a user, during installation.

(8) verify there is no malware or similar, within
the software, on the site, or linked from the site
or from/within the software.

(9) verify the ad includes the name of the specific software.

(10) verify the software, site, and business-model do not
violate any related policies; verify the business has not
been flagged before.

generally, be certain that there have not been issues
with the kind of software being advertised; the entire
online landscape of related software may be considered.


all rules apply to both the software being offered and
any programs included in any bundled-software offer.

importantly, these are not the only policies related to
software, software-downloads, and software related
ads, and google is the final arbiter of all policies.

see also
https://www.google.com/about/company/unwanted-software-policy.html
https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/6020954

https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/1308246

https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/6025827

https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/6169380

Re: Suspended site / account - please help

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thank you for the detailed reply Celebird - out of the 10 items you have listed #9 would be the only questionable one. I have a "database tools" ad that points to our main page - that can't have a specific product name as it was meant to be and ad for all our tools together. But, even in that case it would make sense to reject the ad itself but not suspend the site or the account!

Re: Suspended site / account - please help

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor


first, you're welcome.

there seems to be free trials of software on the site --
when was the authoritative-distribution-website form
submitted and when was the authorization approved?

there did not seem to be any visible installation instructions.

 

what were the details of the ad suspension and the email detailing

the later account suspension -- minus any personal private details.

 

see also
https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/1704383
https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2375414

Re: Suspended site / account - please help

Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

Hi there ;

@Celebird neatly outlined all requirements;

Since you are saying that you have been advertising for many years with no issue, I suspect that the issue is probably that you offer free downloads / trials - not allowed  any more. (A recent update to the policy. Item # 5 on @Celebird's list)

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: Suspended site / account - please help

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

Ohhh... @Celebird and I typed the same answer simultaneously...  @Celebird is faster... Smiley Surprised

 

Anyway, you have the same answer from 2 sources, Fix the "free downloads"  issue and register as an authorized developer / distributor. 

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’