For a long time, getting an Adwords account ban meant the kiss of death from Google. When it happened there was really nothing you could do about it but cry your eyes out and then try to find a new source of traffic for your site.
Google was notorious for ignoring advertisers’ questions, pleas, etc. after a ban. Most of the time you couldn’t even get a straight answer from them about why your account got banned in the first place.
That gave Google and AdWords a bit of a bad rep. Here’s this big bad company that comes along and shuts down the accounts of small business owners for no good reason and, frankly, didn’t a give damn who was affected or whether the ban was warranted or not.
But things have changed and it’s important to give kudos where kudos are due. Google has improved dramatically when it comes to how they handle account bans.
I was recently brought in to consult with a local business whose AdWords account was banned by Google. The account and website had been managed by an outside marketing firm that was either ethically challenged and/or didn’t have a good understanding of Google’s advertising guidelines and policies.
That company is now out of the picture and I was brought in to try to clean up the mess.
I was curious to see what would happen if I used Google’s standard support phone number (as opposed to leveraging any special connections to try to fix the problem).
So I called the number, talked to a very pleasant Googler named Matt who looked into the issue for me. While he couldn’t give me a reason for the ban, he did elevate the issue to the Policy team at AdWords and told me he’d get back to me within 24 hours.
I didn’t hear from him so I called back and spoke to another very pleasant Googler named Kate. She looked into the issue and told me that, after my call to Matt and a review of the account, the Policy team had unsuspended the campaign and it was now live again.
I pressed her a bit to see what the exact issue was that led to the account being banned in the first place. Her answer was a little surprising to me…they didn’t access to the exact reason for the ban any longer.
Not sure I buy that one, but the end result was that, in less than 24 hours, the account was unsuspended and I have one VERY happy new client.
From what I hear in the AdWords community, this experience is becoming more common. Google seems more than willing to listen to reason and review accounts that have been suspended. I’ve heard it take anywhere from under 24 hours to 2-3 months, but as long as you have fixed the issue that got you banned in the first place, you have a chance of getting your account back in good standing (though if you’re an affiliate marketer, you chances of success are much lower).
While I wouldn’t suggest pushing the limits of Google’s ad policies, if you do somehow run afoul of Google and have your AdWords account suspended…
Don’t panic. Contact them. Find out what caused the suspension. Fix it. Resubmit your account for review.
And, hopefully, you’ll have as much success as I did in getting the account back in good standing.
Oh, and if you have hired, or are planning to hire, a company to manage your AdWords campaign for you, keep an on top of things to make sure nothing fishy is going on. It’s your business that’s on the line more than theirs.