I’m writing this blog as a warning to everyone using Google Adwords.
The people who “run” adwords are Nazis with no feeling for human beings. If you make a mistake, there is no warning system and no appeals process.
3 weeks ago I set up a campaign promoting a page on my blog in Adwords.
When I wrote the ad it got flagged for a trademark violation (which is super common in Adwords) so I “requested an exception”.
The next day my account didn’t have any impressions in it.
I contacted google to see what was wrong with my account.
6 days later I heard back from them saying that my account was suspended.
Here’s the email I got back:
Thank you for your patience. I’ve consulted your account with our
specialist team and it has come to our attention that your Google AdWords
account does not comply with our terms of service and advertising
policies. You have repeatedly submitted ads that violated our copyright
policies in a related account. As a result, your account has been
suspended and your ads will no longer run on Google.
As noted in our Terms and Conditions, Google reserves the right to
terminate advertisements for any reason. To view our Terms and Conditions,
please visit https://adwords.google.com/select/tsandcsfinder.
We appreciate your cooperation.
The Google AdWords Team
Needless to say I was shocked.
At first I thought this must be a temporary suspension, I hadn’t done anything wrong. I mean…I hadn’t done anything to hurt Google. I hadn’t done anything that I knew of that violated any of their rules. I used their own process to “request” an exception. I didn’t demand anything. I didn’t do anything malicious. My account was in good standing.
In my mind, this must just be temporary…after all, I had been spending over $20,000/month on Adwords (which, obviously isn’t a lot of money to Google, but 2 days prior I had gotten an email saying “since you’re one of our top advertisers, we’re now offering you phone support.”).
I was wrong.
I contacted them through both live chat and phone (Google phone number: 1-866-2google) and was assured that the suspension wasn’t temporary and wasn’t an accident. It was permanent.
I was also told that the “specialist” team had made the decision and they assured me there was nothing they could do about it, and that there was nobody else I could talk to.
Apparently Google has some magical “specialist” team that doesn’t have to answer to customers, and acts as an excuse for the people who do answer to customers so they can just say “I’m sorry, I know this must be frustrating, but I can assure you there’s nothing anyone can do. The specialist team made this decision and their decisions are final….no, there’s no way you can speak to them….no, there’s no way you can contact them or make any explanations to them….no, there’s no way to appeal their decision, their decisions are final.”
So then of course I started flipping out. This is how I make a living, and I was just told that because I made a simple, honest mistake, I’m not allowed to ever show any ads on google again ever for any reason…forever…permanently.
A simple mistake for which I received no warning, and there is no way to appeal the process.
Murderers don’t get that kind of treatment.
Rapists don’t get treated like that.
(yes, yes, I understand that google is a business and they can do anything they want…blah, blah, blah. Whatever happened to “Don’t be evil”? I’ll tell you, It went out the door on August 19, 2004 just like wall street said it would.)
So, I started trying to contact someone. Surely there must be a way to contact the specialist team and explain to them that this was an honest mistake.
I wrote a very nice email explaining my situation and sent it to a few email addresses inside google that I thought might get some attention (one of them, btw, is firstname.lastname@example.org. You might want to try it too…although it didn’t get me anywhere).
The email I got back was:
Thank you for your email. I understand your concern regarding the
suspension of your account. However, as mentioned in our previous email,
your Google AdWords account has been suspended due to multiple Copyright
disapprovals. We are unable to revoke your account suspension, and we will
not accept advertisements from you in the future.
Please note that our support team is unable to help you with this issue,
and we ask that you do not contact them about this matter. If you need
more information about our content policy guidelines, please visit
standard google email garbage
We look forward to providing you with the most effective advertising
The Google AdWords Team
I thought the “look forward to providing” part was funny.
I then tried to contact 2 different people inside of google directly through linkedin, both of whom declined the invitation to be introduced (not surprised).
At this point, I’ve given up on trying to get my account re-instated. They don’t care that I’m a human who made a mistake. They’re not going to repeal their decision (how could they possibly have been wrong in the first place…right?)
I don’t have an adwords account now. It has been a good 3 weeks of becoming more intimately accustomed to the way yahoo and msn do their ppc. They’ve made a LOT of improvements.
In the end, this will probably end up being a blessing to me. It’s an excuse to start everything from the beginning. New business. New address. New name. New credit card. New websites. New computer. New IP address.
Again, I’m writing this as a warning!. Please don’t rely solely on Google for your online advertising (fortunately I hadn’t…and I had other streams of income). If you do, you might make a mistake someday and find that you’ve been slammed to the floor and kicked while you are down, like I was.
Please feel free to blog about this and spread the word. More people need to know that they’re not allowed to “request an exception”.