There are few things as frustrating in the world of internet marketing as having your Google AdWords account suspended. Many people are surprised when it happens. Google essentially has a policy of no tolerance. If you violate their terms of service, you will not be able to get a new account under the same name, and you will not be able to drive traffic to the same domains through AdWords ever again. The only way to avoid a suspended Google account is prevention. Here are some of the reasons that an AdWords account might get suspended.
If your only goal in using AdWords is to drive traffic to your site so that you can make money off of advertising, Google will not consider your site to be an appropriate landing page. The reasoning behind this is that when a user clicks on an advertisement, they expect to be taken to a site that is selling what the advertisement was about. If they are instead taken to a page whose primary purpose is to advertise, the user will be frustrated. This is the reason why Google implemented the policy. They received a large number of complaints from users about these types of sites.
For those who think that this does not apply to their site, I feel for you. Google can have a very strict policy on the subject. Don’t think that just because your site offers real content, that this excludes it from this policy. Your site does not have to be saturated with ads for the account to be suspended for this reason. If your site is a comparison shopping site, it may fall under the same category. Even if your site is a blog that earns its money from advertising, there is a possibility that it may fall under this category.
Essentially, in order to understand if your account might get suspended for this reason, consider the purpose of your site. If you removed all of the advertisements, as well as any affiliate links, would you still want to use AdWords to drive traffic to the site? If the answer is no, than there is a good chance that Google would consider your account to be a violation of their terms of service.
This is an excellent example of how vague the definitions can be of an inappropriate site. What do you consider to be a “get rich quick” site? Maybe your site offers truly valuable information that is helpful for people who are looking to start running their own business. Maybe the claims about your product are actually fairly modest. Maybe those factors will help you, maybe they won’t. Remember, the primary reason that Google started the policy was in response to complaints from users. If Google feels that your site is likely to get complaints as being a “get rich quick” site, there is a good chance that they will suspend your AdWords account before they ever get the chance to.
Of course, if the entire point of your business is to sell a product that teaches people how to improve their financial situation, you can’t exactly change the product itself. However, if there is anything on your site that looks exaggerated, even if you feel that it is not, Google might consider your site to be in violation of this policy. Never make claims on your website that it is possible to make large amounts of money without either taking risks or putting in a great deal of effort.
This is a fairly obvious reason that your AdWords account would get canceled. If your site installs software on a user’s computer without their agreement, this obviously makes the users unhappy. If there is malware on your website, and you put it there intentionally, I can’t say that I have any sympathy for you! It is perfectly fair for Google to suspend your account for this reason.
On a related note, Google will suspend any account that is discovered to exist primarily for the purpose of collecting user information. This is true even if there is no malware on the site. This is another situation in which the definitions can get somewhat unclear. According to Google’s policy, “sites that offer free items, etc., in order to collect private information” fall under this category. This means that any site that offers something for free and asks for private information might be considered to fall under this category. There are many legitimate reasons that a business might do this, but it is important to realize that this won’t matter if your account gets suspended. Once an account gets suspended, it is notoriously difficult to get it back, if not impossible.
Talk about vague definitions. If Google feels that your content is deceptive, your account can get suspended. It can get suspended for using a superlative, like “best,” to describe the product. It can be suspended for making competitive claims. If your content looks deceptive to an employee of Google, that is all it takes to get an AdWords account suspended. There are some more obvious cases that should be avoided, such as the use of copyrighted material and trademarks without permission, and other more obvious scams. Nevertheless, a website that is not a scam could easily fall under this policy if you aren’t careful.
Google does not list a “hacked website” as a reason that your AdWords account would be suspended. Unfortunately, it can. If your site is hacked so that it redirects to a poor landing page, Google will place your account into suspension. This has happened before and it will happen again. Even trying to explain the situation to Google may not solve the problem. Obviously, this means that site security is extremely important.
Start by contacting Google at 1-866-2-google to see if there is anything that can be done. Often there won’t be. The only option after that is to open a new account under a different name and avoid tying the new account to any old domains or the previous account. Sadly this really is the only way forward if you want to continue doing business with AdWords. You might also consider hiring an AdWords Consultant who will train you to become the next PPC rock-star.
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