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Understand Google's advertising policies, including ad approval status and account suspension
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This Could Be THE Most Stupid Thing I Have Ever Heard In My LIfe!

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# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

My Google Adwords account was suspended a couple of years ago for accidentally linking to a third party website that does not comply with Google's growing plethora of Ad Policies (See https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/topic/1626336). 

 

I immediately removed the ads as soon as I became aware of this, but my account had already been suspend. I couldn't bothered to contest it at the time as their are many other ad platforms out there such as Bing, Yahoo, Facebook etc, I just moved over to them and have been using them happily ever since.

 

My YouTube channel has become quite popular, so I want to create some YouTube ads, only to discover I need my Adwords account, which is still suspended.

 

That was a long time ago I thought. Surely as a user of Google since it started with all my other Google accounts in good standing, they will reactivate it for me, especially I immediately removed the offending ads as soon as I realised they did not comply with Google's ad policies, and as the site I linked to does not belong to me, nor do I have any access to it.

 

hahaha not a chance! And here's the stupid part. I was told the only way to have my account considered for reactivation was to change the website I had linked to in my ad to comply with their ad policies. Even though I had mentioned a hundred times before, I politely reminded the Google representative that I do not own or have access to the website in question. I have even tried to contact the website owner but never get any reply. It was impossible for me to get the website changed. You might as well ask me to fly to the moon and back.

 

Google's reply: 'That is the only option I'm afraid' <Sound of head banging against a wall>

 

So I am currently practicing jumping off my roof, as I think it will be easier to fly to the moon and back than get anything resembling common sense from Google.

 

It's a punishment plain and simple. I just thank God our justice system isn't run by Google. One strike and you're out! There is nothing I can do to change the website. I know it. Even the Google representative I have been speaking to know's it (I could tell even he was embarrassed telling me for the third time it was the only option when it was clearly not an option at all!). But the Google doctrine he is forced to recite time and time again doesn't allow him to switch his brain on, use some common sense and actually sort the problem out.

 

I wonder if Google is even aware that they are losing one loyal customer at a time? They probably do, but obviously couldn't care less.

 

Peter Skuse

 

P.S. If anyone has a solution for me that involves doing something I can actually do, I am all ears Smiley Happy

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: This Could Be THE Most Stupid Thing I Have Ever Heard In My LIfe!

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

I am afraid there no other solution.  If you run a search for the community, you'll find many affiliate sites, which were promoted on Google (using Adwords),  followed by an account suspension,   and users unable to reinstate the account, unless the site is fixed.

 

This is a firm Policy by Google. 

The conclusion: Do not advertise a site which you have no control over the content.

Sorry!

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: This Could Be THE Most Stupid Thing I Have Ever Heard In My LIfe!

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
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Thanks for your insightful conclusion. You must work for Google!

And how exactly is someone meant to fix the site if it doesn't belong to them? <Sound of head banging on wall again>

It's not a case of there being no other solution. There is NO solution if you have no access to the website that needs to be remedied.

Give me a slap on the wrist so I learn my lesson. Banning me forever for one stupid mistake seems a little severe or is it just me?

Permanently suspending someone and never giving them the opportunity to remedy their mistake is simply ridiculous. I can't think of any other instance where that would happen. Everyone is given a chance to remedy their mistakes. And telling someone to change a website that doesn't belong to them is no chance at all.

The conclusion: Stop saying 'sorry' and hiding behind unworkable policies, and work out a solution to this genuine problem for loyal, lifetime users of your products.

Re: This Could Be THE Most Stupid Thing I Have Ever Heard In My LIfe!

Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
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Peter,

I totally understand your frustration because I've kinda been there. Wanted to run YT ads but had the account suspended years ago. I did get the account back though but only because I had control over the website it was suspended because of.

It caught my attention that you mentioned "punishment" and I wanted to see that it can be seen from another perspective as well. But before going into that, are you absolutely sure there is no way to get to the website's owner? Even by looking up his Whois info or so?

This suggestion might not make any sense to you, but I'd consider even attempting to buy the website from him depending on how much big of a website it is and how much you value your Adwords account.

As for the "punishment" part, Google actually receives thousands if not tens of thousands of ads from "affiliates" who practically advertise the exact same merchant website using affiliate links without adding any kind of value in the process. Since the scale at which this happens is very high, Google enforced the policy where you have to fix your website. This, in my opinion, does two major things: 1) highly discourage anyone to run websites they do not own or control. 2) Be very sure that the account holder in violation has completely understood why the account was suspended and has proven so by "fixing" the website.

Some people just go "I've deleted all ads and campaigns regarding that website can we just start over?" and then Google would deny the request. What's to stop that person from trying any other "affiliate website"? What proves that they've understood the violation?

So with a company of Google's scale, it just made more sense to force you to fix the website in order to get back. From our perspective this may seem unfair but from theirs, it seems like the a logical decision to keep themselves from going mad over people who promote the same websites through different links.

Let me end this post by saying something optimistic though. I was suspended 3 years ago and was told via all support channels that this is final. Fast forward 3 years later and they've reinstated the account. So things change, hopefully they will for you too.

Re: This Could Be THE Most Stupid Thing I Have Ever Heard In My LIfe!

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Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
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Thanks for your reply Akkari. I've tried everything to contact the website owner, but get no response. I recently noticed he has added a note on the affiliate page stating not to use Google Ads and provides a list of other ad companies to use who obviously don't have the same problem with the website as Google does. The list includes Bing & Yahoo who obviously aren't as fussy as Google! Buying it would cost a fortune as it is a very popular site and I don't value my Adwords account that much! Smiley Wink

I hear what you're saying about Google perspective. They are a big company. But then so are utility companies and phone companies and banks, but they would never act in this way. Any good company talks to their customers and sorts out the problem. That's how you create customer loyalty.

As for a solution, how about using the tried & tested system of 'three strikes and you're out!'? I honestly didn't know I couldn't link to this website. Who really reads all the 'Terms & Conditions' of anything before they agree to it? Hardly anyone. As soon as I was told the site was not acceptable, I immediately removed the ads. I had made a genuine mistake, and you can be sure I wouldn't do it again if I knew my account would be suspended if I did. ONE strike and you're out? That is just ridiculous. No other word for it.

It's been a couple of years since my Adwords account was suspended, so unless the owner of the website suddenly decides to comply with Google's policies, or Google changes their policies, my account will remain suspended.

I won't hold my breath though. I'll keep practicing with my moon flight as it seems more possible! Smiley Happy

Re: This Could Be THE Most Stupid Thing I Have Ever Heard In My LIfe!

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Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
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I would love a response from an official Google representative explaining how I can change the contents of a website that I do not own or have access to.

Not the usual automated response of "This is our policy blah blah blah...", but someone with a brain in their head and a modicum of common sense to leave a reply that shows they have listened to their customer and then worked to find a solution to the problem.

That's what good companies do right?

Or even someone from Google saying "Tough luck mate. I know it doesn't make any sense what we are asking you to do. I know you can't do it & I know it isn't fair, but that's just the way it is!" would actually be better than the usual drivel I get.

Re: This Could Be THE Most Stupid Thing I Have Ever Heard In My LIfe!

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Peter,

I do understand your frustration. Unfortunately, if you don't have the access to the content - you should not advertise it. Period.

Question is - What should you do?

Well, you may have some options -

1. Find the website and change the content. Yep, I assume it would be tough, but you got to try. According to Google - you were the advertiser, and you are the responsible.

2. Keep moaning about Google isn't bla bla bla, and Google's support doesn't bla bla bla, and if they had brain bla bla bla... but as you probably understand - that won't fix your problem. It would probably reduce other's desire to help you.

3. Find another advertising engine, move your movies to their platform and start a new way with them...

To be honest, and it's only according to my opinion, Google has many many advertisers, and many many website in their GDN (Adsense). They will be happy with anyone who join, but they prefer to remove one or two or few hundreds (or more), in order to keep their advertiser happy.
Bottom line - You need them, so you must line by their policy.

Re: This Could Be THE Most Stupid Thing I Have Ever Heard In My LIfe!

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
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Everyone seems to understand my frustration Yaniv, but no one seems able to come up with a workable solution Smiley Happy

"..if you don't have the access to the content - you should not advertise it. Period.." That is known as closing the gate AFTER the horse has bolted, so about as much use to me as a chocolate radiator Smiley Happy

"..Find the website and change the content. Yep, I assume it would be tough, but you got to try.." It's not tough, it's IMPOSSIBLE!! Why is everyone having a problem understanding this? It CAN'T be done! Geddit?

"..Google's support doesn't bla bla bla.." Yes they do. All the time. I've got dozens of emails from Google Support to prove it Smiley Happy

"..Find another advertising engine, move your movies to their platform and start a new way with them.." Can't be done as I want to advertise in YouTube (I did say this in my original post).

I understand Google is BIG. I get that. I'm just asking them to tell me to do something to fix this ONE-OFF isolated incident that I can actually do. To keep telling me to change the website that I don't own or have access to or where the owner will not respond to emails is stupid. Plain & simple. There is no other word for it. If anyone else acted to me in that manner, I would think they were mentally retarded.

It actually reminds me of a sketch from a big comedy show we had here in the UK a few years back called Little Britain. The sketch always involved a dim-witted bank teller who would ask an applicant for a bank loan or mortgage etc. what their name was. The person would give her their name, and the bank teller would type it into her computer. They would be a beep from her computer. She would look up at the person who told her their name and say 'Computer says no!' 'Well, that is my name' laughs the applicant. Bank teller types it in again, and her computer beeps again. 'Computer says no!' <cough>

That is what it feels like talking to Google Support Smiley Happy

Re: This Could Be THE Most Stupid Thing I Have Ever Heard In My LIfe!

Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
Peter,

I think Moshe's reply, as well as the replies of others were basically the equivalent of

"Tough luck mate. I know it doesn't make any sense what we are asking you to do. I know you can't do it & I know it isn't fair, but that's just the way it is!"

The policy is there, for now they choose to keep it. You're not alone, hundreds if not thousands of similar cases exist and Google is aware. They choose, for a reason, (which may be, from bird's eye view of all the data, that the good that comes from this policy surpasses the bad) or otherwise.

The important point is that they are aware, and they keep it. For now it stays. Everyone "understands your frustration" because - they do understand your frustration and they also acknowledge that there's unfortunately nothing that could be done for now.

Re: This Could Be THE Most Stupid Thing I Have Ever Heard In My LIfe!

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
hahaha I know it was Akkari, but I just want to hear Google say it Smiley Happy

If they understand, they sure do have a funny way of showing it! Continuously telling me to do something that is obviously impossible is not my definition of understanding Smiley Happy

And I don't accept that there's nothing that can be done, because we all know that there obviously is something very simple that can be done about it, but they choose not to.

I guess I'm just collateral damage and need to stop moaning. You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs right?