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Content network problems this week?

 2:18 pm on Feb 13, 2009 (gmt 0)


This week the content network seems to have gone entirely dead for several accounts we manage. Not just for one adgroup or one campaign - but for the entire accounts. These accounts had previously been working fine for months or years in some cases. Now they've received zero impressions for the last several days. No emails from Google or anything posted in the accounts themselves to the effect that anything's wrong.

Anyone else experiencing anything like this? AWA - do you know about any potential Google technical issues this week?




 3:46 pm on Feb 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yep, 0 impressions on content starting Tuesday for me. My content impressions have actually been way down since about mid January. I notified support of it back when it started but they gave me the usual run around about fluctuations on the content network. They really can be useless at times. Anyway I haven't bothered to contact them this time.



 5:04 pm on Feb 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

Very weird. I never saw anything like this. I wonder if only some advertisers are being affected. I had read somewhere that the ad serving system for google is partitioned, meaning that if it is a technical glitch, it could affect some advertisers but not others...


 7:59 pm on Feb 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

Searching on Google's own Adwords Help Forum (type "content network" into the search box) brings up another 3 separate users with the exact same problem. All of them indicate the problem started on the same day - Tuesday, Feb 10.

AWA - do you know anything about this/can you find out? Thanks!


 2:12 pm on Feb 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

Any luck with this? I'm still sitting at 0 myself.


 12:28 am on Feb 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

This does not ring a bell with me - but I will certainly look into it if I can clear a bit of time today or tomorrow, and post again if I can learn more.

I don't mean to underplay it, but on WebmasterWorld if a lot of folks are experiencing something similiar, I would expect to see quite a few more "Same thing for me" posts.

Anyone else besides bryson and IM_Mike?



 10:32 am on Feb 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yes, Same for me - although I have noticed an increase in my search network results - may just be coincidence but maybe reporting incorrectly?


 10:33 am on Feb 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

In fact - I just noticed after posting, some new ads are generating impressions on the content network, but old established and previously high impression ads seem stuck at 0 impressions.


 6:14 pm on Feb 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yeah, it's looking like an isolated incident AWA. Only a few advertisers affected. I'm sure there would be more noise on here if that weren't the case.

Unfortunately I feel like there is nothing I can do. I'd contact support again but I'm afraid of the headache they'll give me again. I can't hear "normal fluctuations" and then get directed to the optimizing for content help section again without going crazy. Ugh! Ok, sorry, had to vent a little there. :)

Anyway, if there is any info you could dig up that could be helpful it would be MUCH appreciated.



 3:43 pm on Feb 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

Today the content network has sprung back into life for me.


 4:03 pm on Feb 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

Same here. Kicked in last night and hasn't stopped. I feel normal again although it's still very unsettling that something like this can just happen out of nowhere...



 5:36 pm on Feb 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

Completely agree - although it is somewhat frustrating to know when you report these things direct to support via email you'll get a reply pointing you to a page on the support site which doesn't reflect the symptoms!


 6:43 pm on Feb 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

Don't get me started about support... I'm trying to keep the good karma rolling. ;)


 8:07 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have gotten calls from two people who have had their content campaigns shut down in the last two weeks. Both fell under Google's new policy specifically targeted towards weight loss sites but in the second case, it was a network marketing site and not related to weight loss at all.

I understand why both were turned off. The first had some unrealistic weight loss statements and probably had a bogus before/after picture and blog. In their case, the quality score went to 1 and minimum bids went to $10. But it was obvious that a switch had been flipped somewhere - they had zero traffic.

The second site is a legitimate business but the squeeze page language is all about "get rich" and offers a free report. The overall website really doesn't fit Google's typical requirements (privacy policy, about us page, actual product information, etc.). There was a pop up on the landing page which triggered a human review which flipped the switch and turned off the account.

I really wanted to find out more about what was going on so I made calls to Google asking questions for both of these accounts. At first, Google support did the standard run through (billing looks good, lets take a look at quality scores, landing page, etc.). I'm the one that said, "could it be related to a rumor I've heard about Google shutting down certain websites". My rep had to check on that - but the answer was yes - in both cases.

I really don't think Google is being unfair with the two sites I looked at. I did some research and a lot of similar sites are still running but they also follow Google's guidelines (contact pages, privacy policies, etc.) and they don't make unrealistic claims on their websites.

In both cases that I dealt with, I recommended major overhauls of their landing pages then I suggested that they contact Google to ask for a 2nd chance based on their changes or to start over with a new account and new domain name.


 8:41 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

AWA, it is still not clear to me what the real reason for these account-wide content network shut downs was, but in any case, my humble feedback to your team if you could pass it on would be in future to disapprove of adgroups that do not meet Google criteria through the existing adgroup-level disapproval mechanism. Shutting down an entire account is extreme (unless the entire account is of course entirely filled with such adgroups and it is clear that this is the only product the advertiser advertises).


 10:12 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)


I'll string up the 'me too' posts.

I've seen this in the past week.
I've received about a dozen emails about this from advertisers who do a huge amount of content ads.
I heard about this in the AdWords seminar in San Diego last week from a few attendees.

It does seem to be roughly 80% affiliate accounts who I'm hearing this from; but have heard it from some non-affs as well.

I heard from some large CPA affiliates that there were technical issues at Google (they had heard this from G reps; but it's 2nd hand to me) and they were waiting for resolution/response.


 3:50 pm on Feb 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

I can't figure what's going on, but I have 18 out of my 20 content campaigns frozen. Additionally, none of newly created content network campigns received any impressions. Contacted support, but there is silence (as always).


 4:49 pm on Feb 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

If this is indeed due to certain kinds of ads no longer being eligible for content network impressions, the other suggestion which comes to mind here (besides only disapproving those particular ads, not killing off the content network for entire accounts) is that accounts whose content impressions have already been killed should be allowed back onto the content network once the ads responsible are deleted. Of course, if the unacceptable ads are disapproved per my earlier suggestion, that would also make it easy to find them and delete them.


 2:43 am on Feb 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

I've been scarce around WebmasterWorld this week due to even more than usual on my plate - and have missed the latest in this thread until now. My apology.

I'll look into this, and pass the feedback since February 24 along to the right teams.



 9:22 am on Mar 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

Mee too..

I have 7 online campaigns with a limit of at least $1,000/day spend.. (I assume i am a serious advertiser)

2 campaigns for website A does continue as normal,
But 5 campaigns for website B completely stopped showing ads today.. Not even 1 impression.. All five campaigns are showing zero impressions and that's not a reporting issue, they really stopped.

What may be the reason so important for Google so they gave up on earning $360,000/year?


 1:44 pm on Mar 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

We're still experiencing the same problem ourselves. No clue as to what's going on.

Hopefully the feedback I submitted earlier in this thread will be seriously considered...


 12:08 am on Mar 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

ARGH! Just started again late yesterday. I'm sitting at 0 content impressions for my ENTIRE account today. Unbelievable! I had a nice 15 day run where everything was back to normal and content traffic was flowing nicely. Looks like I'm back in content network prison again. SO Frustrating!



 3:02 am on Mar 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

I apologize for having missed seeing your new posts until just now teasers, bryson and IM_Mike.

Based on what I know of recent issues and resolutions, I am reasonably sure that this is no longer an issue for any of you. Please let me know if I am not correct.

And, you have my belated apology for that 'content network prison feeling!'


<edit> Fix late evening tiredness-related errors </edit>

[edited by: AdWordsAdvisor at 3:06 am (utc) on Mar. 13, 2009]


 3:15 am on Mar 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

AWA: thanks for the followup but something's still wrong here because there's been no change in our situation.


 3:18 pm on Mar 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Confirmed : we're still seeing the same issue. Rechecked again today - no change.


 9:42 pm on Mar 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yep, still an issue here. Haven't had a single content network impression since the 5th of March.



 5:40 pm on Apr 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

AWA: any progress being made on this issue? No change in our situation that we can see...



 10:31 pm on Apr 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

AWA: any progress being made on this issue? No change in our situation that we can see...

The best information I have says that this was resolved as of about the time of my last post - which seems to be borne out by the fact that I don't seem to be hearing of it anywhere else right now except in this thread.

As a a point of reference, I skim a great many advertiser emails every single business day (from advertisers at all levels of experience) precisely so I can keep my finger on the pulse of any emerging or persistent issues.

That said, since you are still having similar issues I'd advise working directly with AdWords support - starting with the contact link in your account - and giving them as much information as possible about both symptoms and timeline, along with details of any changes made to the account within this timeline.

By the way, these changes can be found in your 'My Change History' about which you may find more information here:

My Change History

Also, this page from the AdWords Help Center may prove to be of use to you as a jumping off point for troubleshooting:

How can I make sure my ads appear on the Google Network?

I am sorry that this remains an issue for you - and hope it can be resolved quickly.



 3:04 pm on Apr 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

As another update, I saw this issue dissipate a week to two weeks ago.

The content network seems to be normal for the accounts I'm scanning (and a few had real issues).


 3:10 pm on Apr 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

Well, the account we had this problem still hasn't returned to normal. Adwords Support weren't able to help when we had contacted them about it. It wasn't clear from their replies whether this was a technical issue or something else.

This 34 message thread spans 2 pages: 34 ( [1] 2 > >
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