My Google AdWords Account Got Banned

Posted by | February 20, 2010 | General | 23 Comments

I promised to talk about how Google banned my AdWords account and almost forgot about it. Just to get the record straight and remind myself never to depend on Google, I decided to write it finally.

So the word “ban” usually implies that I did something terribly wrong, right? Well actually, I really don’t understand exactly what I did, even till today. Let’s go back to that stupid anonymous email I got from Google AdWords:

Dear advertiser,

We are writing to let you know that your Google AdWords account has been disabled due to one or more serious violations of our advertising policies related to Landing Page and Site Quality.  As a result, your ads will no longer run through the Google AdWords system and we are unable to accept advertising from you in the future.  Please note that future accounts you open will also be disabled.

As part of our commitment to making the AdWords experience safe and effective for our users and our advertisers, we routinely review the landing pages that our advertisers promote through our search and content networks.  If we find that an advertiser has submitted a landing page that egregiously violates our policies, we reserve the right to take immediate account-level action.

Landing pages advertised via AdWords must have relevant, original content, and must be transparent about the nature of the business being promoted. Further, advertising certain types of sites will lead to immediate account disabling.  These types of sites include, but are not limited to:

  1. Sites that charge users or collect personal information in exchange for a product that is never delivered
  2. Sites that charge for “free” software
  3. Sites that trick users into paying for fake or poor-quality content
  4. Sites that charge users for information that makes unrealistic promises of financial or personal gain
  5. Sites that install malware software on a visitor’s computer

Please note that this action is related to sites that have recently been advertised through your account.  In a review of your account history, we found that your account had submitted a least one site that egregiously violated our advertising policies.  Although you may have removed these sites since our latest review, advertisers that have a history of promoting these types of sites are still subject to account-level disabling.

So that was it. After six bloody years using AdWords and trying to keep up with all their ever changing Terms and Conditions, and never getting ANY campaigned banned or slapped, I was just cut loose.

Banned for life. Email didn’t even contain my name.

The thing is, I wasn’t even promoting any affiliate stuff, just three of my own sites: Death of a Blogger, Host Commando and PLR WP Videos.

The “Death of a Blogger” site was getting a good 28% optin conversion from AdWords traffic. The PLR Videos site was getting a good overall sales conversion of 3%++ and it was very profitable too.

My ads were all getting good CTR, my landing page scores was between 7 to 10. I never got any ads disabled or any warning from Google previously, for six years.

So basically even though I wrote good ads and promoted stuff people wanted, with results to prove it, Google thinks otherwise.

Did I go against some of their terms and conditions? Well I don’t know because they are so vague and subjective.

And the worst part, they selectively applied their bans. Any product I was promoting when I got banned, you’ll still see a lot of people promoting similar ones via AdWords.

After trying to get in touch with a human being (with a name) and failing, I finally decided I’m done with AdWords. In fact I’m done with any Google product that required me to be in business with them. That’s why although I got approved for the Google Affiliate Network, I completely ignored it.

Won’t they just do the same thing to me later? Ban me for life, treat me like a rabid unwanted dog? All three responses I got from them were the same vague, canned answers that never really told me exactly what they found so offensive with my ads that they had to slap a lifetime ban.

Actually I’m not alone. Apparently more than 15,000 direct marketers got similar emails, all of them banned for life. If you’re not banned by AdWords yet, it’s probably just a matter of time.

Well, if Google prefers to treat human beings like machines with no human touch at all, sooner or later they will only be doing business with machines. Right now, I hate them.

Ok, rant is over. Life moves on. Screw Google.

23 Comments

  • Fernando says:

    I also got suspended from Adwords. The more said thing is that when I write e-mails to them, the only answers that I get are automatic responses sent as if they were human made.

  • [...] Or issuing arbitrary lifetime bans for AdWords advertisers without right to [...]

  • Sajal says:

    Same happened to me, and most astonishing part is that the day I activated the account, my account got banned permanently just after few hours. I wrote ad and it was showing eligible. I checked the status, it said the ad is OK.

    But after that I got email about the suspended account. They are tilling me that my landing site is not suitable. I said OK, I removed the ad, and I will not advertise on that site. But they are still insisting me to get that site suitable, only then they will activate my account again. What’s this! I don’t wanna use a site and they are enforcing me to use that site. I wrote a feedback and sent to them. But no result.

    I think google has some stupid and absurd terms & conditions. Its really frustrating for newbie.

  • Sohail says:

    Google closed my account after spending thousands.

    I then set up a new account and spent $4,000,000. I am not lieing!

    It was fairly easy to do too!

  • I got suspended from Adwords last year without any warning. I tried Facebook Ads, however, It did not work in my niche. I had no choice than open a new Adwords account, which was not easy.

  • [...] You can read further first-hand stories about Google Adwords bans here and here [...]

  • belanja says:

    I got banned too, maybe I’ll try facebook ads

  • [...] fish. They don’t need, or want, someone like me. Perhaps this feeling was in part to the way they brutally banned my AdWords account with no valid reason or [...]

  • Gobala, you have my sympathies, but this the way Google runs. Easy come and easy go. Yes, Google = big money. But it can disappear at any time too.

    I just wanna point out something….The biggest money makers in this world are also the biggest thieves and crooks. Look at the banksters, wall street vultures, and big corp for starters. Then look at big pharma and the media/entertainment industry…and then some…etc. That’s the nature of it. There is much more I can say, but I’ll leave it at this. Good luck. :)

  • Sapitt says:

    Update: Here>> http://www.hostcommando.net/clientarea.php

    Kawasan client area, antivirus saya detect ia sebagai virus.. check it out :)

    Harap ini membantu kamu..

  • Sapitt says:

    Hai Gobala… baru tadi saya lawat website http://www.hostcommando.com/
    dan anti virus saya block website tersebut kerana detect sebagai ia virus.
    Namun malam ini ia sudah kembali ok.

    Mungkin ini yg menyebabkan Google bertindak demikian rupa…

  • Pete Fong says:

    I feel your pain, man. BTW its good to be cautious to stay in the game.

  • Pete Fong says:

    Hi Gobala.

    Perhaps I could enlighten you on this. Ive just visited your websites.

    The FTC ( Federal Trade Commission ) had made some changes in regards to sales pitches done online on Dec 1st 2009. I guess google was trying to stay in compliance with the new FTC ruling by shutting out sites that go against it.

    You can no longer can use testimonials or make claims that you cannot substantiate and that they are not reflective to typical results. (eg. be cautious with words like guarantee,etc ). Disclaimers with `results not typical’ are no longer valid.

    You guys can download the “Text of Revised Endorserment and Testimonial Guides” here at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/10/endortest.shtm

    Hope that helps

    • @ Pete – Unless you’re working at Google AdWords, your explanation is just a speculation. There has been a lot of different speculation. I’m well aware of the FTC ruling. My problem is not with the reason, my problem is with the careless way it was done. Lifetime ban, no appeal, no prior warning. As I mentioned, even people who did not use testimonials etc on their sites got the lifetime ban.

      Besides, if what you said was true and Google was reacting to FTC regulations, do a search on Google and you will see tons of advertisers who are still not compliant with FTC regulations. Like I said, it seemed selective, or random, whichever you prefer. Again, if Google themselves don;t bother giving you an explanation, speculations don’t matter, at least for me.

  • Matthew Liow says:

    Hi Gobola,

    Sound very frightening, isn’t it, when I am about to step into Google’s life.

    I wonder if you are going to use Google’s service, have you read Google’s terms and conditions?

    And I was made to understand that Google’s support centre will listen to you if you explain your situation. If you are nice to them, I am sure they will also nice to you.

    • Yeah right, where did you heard that from. They have the worst customer support in history, don’t even include their names in the support emails, and 90% of it is canned replies which doesn’t really answer your question.

  • comBlogger says:

    Hi Gobala

    I understand your feelings. It is an unfortunate thing that their customer support sucks, no matter whether it is adwords or adsense. They never give a proper reason why they are taking such actions. After working so many years with them you are getting a life time ban on fine day without any proper reason!!! How unprofessional it is?

    I really wish they would get a good competitor in the field but not seeing any hope in the future.

    Thanks
    AB

  • [...] and send out canned email responses. Sure you may be thinking I’m just saying this after my AdWords account got banned. But do take a look at this ad which I’m sure many of you may have come across if you’re in [...]

  • [...] don’t mean to pick on this dude – he’s simply one example of many I’ve [...]

  • Michael Lee says:

    Gobala, don’t give up yet, as the leader of the pack, consider trying all possible avenues again to regain your Adwords account, though I think you have pretty much given up on Adwords long term. Your experiences may help the other local bloggers who are in a similar bind. If your blog can get into their bad books, who else pushing the envelope is safe. Thanks for your heads up.

  • George E says:

    Hi

    I got banned too !!

    15,000 only ?
    What I hear from the big boys is that about 200,000 got banned…..

    Forget about Google ….. find out how the CPA hotshots are making
    tons of money WITHOUT Google …..paying as low as 1 cent per ad !!

    I have used this alternative ad sources on the cheap for the past
    2 months …..and it really works …… BETTER & CHEAPER than big G ….

    Read more at my blog. Cheers

  • Gary says:

    Hi Gobala,

    I feel the pain. Mine was banned few months back. Like others, I didn’t know exactly what I did wrong and I have been using that particular account for more than 2 years.

    And to be frank, I did not promote any google cash kind of products that violate their terms and conditions. I also hate their replies which are so vague!

  • Ammar Zahar says:

    I leave adwords for almost 1 year now. I started using Facebook ads since then because cheaper clicks and good conversions.

    Bye-bye Google, Welcome Facebook. ;)

    -Ammar

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