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This 356 message thread spans 12 pages: 356 ( [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 12 > >     
New rule? Quality Violations => Adwords ban

 11:51 am on Sep 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Today I received an email from Adwords.

The email mentions that I have submitted several ads for landing pages that are considered to be of a poor quality and that the landingpage does not comply with the 'landing page and site quality guidelines'. I most remove the ads. Well, no problem.

The email also mentions that it is a final warning. It tells me if they find any ad in the future that is in violation with the site quality guidelines (the product itself is not the problem) they will immediately disqualify me from participating in the AdWords program. Now, that is a problem.

A bit strange? Also because Iím using Adwords more then 4 years and then I receive an automated email in English while I have a Dutch account.

Anyway, how can Adwords ban you for submitting sites that that seems to be in violation with the Landing Page and Site Quality Guidelines while there is not a tool where can check if an URL is ok to submit?

How can you be for 100% sure if a site is in violation with the Landing Page and Site Quality Guidelines before you submit the site? That is impossible right?

As mentioned, Iím using Adwords for myself and for other companies for over four years so I know how it works. The site I submitted yesterday is nothing different from many other sites I promote.

If Google would like to ban clients for this than they should offer a tool where you can check your website for Page and Site Quality Guidelines before you submit the site. If Google does not offer a tool like this then they should not ban clients.

[edited by: engine at 1:05 pm (utc) on Sep. 25, 2009]
[edit reason] user requested edit [/edit]



 1:33 pm on Sep 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

This is a shocking development. Needs a qualification from AWA.

When standards and language used is vague, and 'rules' are open to subjective value judgement, advertisers are totally at the mercy of G employees who get out of bed on the 'wrong' side.


 2:55 pm on Sep 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

I received the same email today. I have been an advertiser since 2002 and manage other clients as well. In my case I don't really know what ads/landing pages they are talking about, and of course a form letter with no more information, yet with threats of banning is a little over the top.


 3:05 pm on Sep 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yes, I think more info on what exactly this is and means would be helpful.


 3:11 pm on Sep 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

In my case I don't really know what ads/landing pages they are talking about
In the email I received they also did not mention the ads and/or the URLs causing the problem. However, yesterday I made some new ads and today I noticed the keywords had 1/10 quality score. So in my specific situation it was easy to find (I keep my vingers crossed that they are talking about the ads I deleted today).

However, when they threat (long term) clients with a ban than they should at least mention the URLs and/or ads in the email.

I have send an email to the Dutch Adwords support and asked some questions about this. I will update this topic when I have new information.


 3:46 pm on Sep 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

This could be one of two things.

- Either your ads, keywords or landing page has failed an automated editorial review


- Your landing page contained (at the time of manual review) content OR links to content that was outside of Google's editorial rules.

It is indeed possible to get your site checked by Google for any possible problems before you run ads - it is one of the first things I always do if I think that there may be problems.

I'm not sure how many strikes you get before you are banned but at this point, I would talk to someone at Google about your problems. It could even be a misunderstanding, you never know.


 3:57 pm on Sep 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

I also received the same email message.

Last week several of my campaigns that had been running for years had all their keywords drop to a quality score of 1. No explanation, no notice, nothing.

I also have been using Adwords since 2002 without any major problems. It baffles me that out of the blue I am threatened with being banned for quality problems - when nothing has changed.


 4:53 pm on Sep 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

I got this email message today as well. Some contacts I have actually got a similar message except they were banned.

Someone check my logic on this:

1) Affiliates were the only ones to ever experience the "google slap" historically. (I'm taking 'your domain is toast 1/10 slaps, not 2/10 +)

2) Affiliates have been bragging about just grabbing a new domain and relaunching, which makes Google's policies look retarded. Google hates looking retarded.

3) If you have been slapped at any point in the past, BUT have NEVER HAD A WARNING, you got a warning email today. In the future, instead of getting slapped, you'll just get banned, and they'll point back at this warning as fair reason.

4) If you slapped in the past and HAVE ALREADY received a warning email before this, you got banned today.

I think they're sick of the cat and mouse with affiliates and are just going to start whacking accounts rather than 1/10 slapping all the time.


 5:08 pm on Sep 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

2) Affiliates have been bragging about just grabbing a new domain and relaunching, which makes Google's policies look retarded. Google hates looking retarded.
I have one account for my affiliate campaigns and that was the one that received the first and final warning so that could be the problem. However, I always use the vendors URL. I never use one of my own (and copy content to it).

If it's indeed a problem of affiliates grabbing new domains then Google should:
1. Send a warning to those specific affiliates.
2. Check if someone who got slapped with 1/10 starts a new campaign with the same keywords, same landingpage but different URL/
3. Let us know about this new rule in advance.

Anyway, from now on I will first ask Google support to aprove a domainname before I start a new campaign. And this happens a couple of times per week. So a lot of extra work for Adwords support.


 7:33 pm on Sep 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

I did not get a warning email. Just a suspension email. I have been slapped in the past.


Your Google AdWords account has been suspended due to multiple submissions of poor quality landing pages. 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 Landing Page and Site Quality guidelines, please visit ...

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 ...

We appreciate your cooperation."


 9:23 pm on Sep 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

I had a friend whose domain also got slapped with 1/10 QS's a few days ago. He was able to get almost nowhere with AdWords Support (I don't know if what they do actually qualifies as support!). The site is an affiliate site, but very far from being a thin affiliate. He did get the issue resolved, but only through his connections higher up at Google.

It really baffles me sometimes to see the way Google treats the hands that feed it.


 1:21 am on Sep 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

It seems this is a bigger issue than what I thought it was this morning when I received the email. Obviously the fact that all these people got the email or suspension at the same time means Google was planning this, like the Google Slap.

The interesting thing is that all my ads did go through review and were approved. Yet now all of a sudden they are not fine, but I don't even know which ones are not fine because all I get is a silly form email. So until I figure it out I have had to pause a bunch of campaigns to avoid further problems.

The whole thing is just a little ridiculous and I think my ads were probably just caught up in the mass sweep today. Thankfully I wasn't arbitrarily banned like some people were today. That would suck after 7 years of advertising on Adwords....

AdwordsAdvisor, it would be nice if you could give us some more information as to what is going on.


 10:17 am on Sep 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

I had a 13 year old, free download site with Adsense on it, average Google search position 4 with a page rank of 5.

I used to use adwords to double my income.

2 weeks go all my keywords dropped to QS 1.

I sold the site based on it's organic and got out!

I am just not going to play this game.

My new project is subscription and organic marketed, F them!


 10:51 am on Sep 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

I've stumbled upon this thread after getting the same email, at the same time as the rest of you.

I have had campaigns slapped in the past but the sites have always adhered to the guidelines to the best of my interpretation.

When they were slapped I contacted support as I didn't understand why as they ticked all the boxes in the guidelines. Guess what? I got a form email back linking me to... wait for it... the guidelines. The thing is, I never got told they were slapped - no notification of why they were deemed a violation. Therefore sending out a final warning without any previous warnings is pathetic.

I understand Google want rid of thin sites gaming the system but when this is affecting people who are genuinely trying to conform to ever-changing guidelines then it needs action. Unfortunately, who can really help us? I'm insulted that despite trying my best, sticking to their guidelines, and committing the huge crime of attempting to work with them like civilised human beings, I am treated with no respect, like a fraudulent advertiser.

Anyway, a reply from the Adwords Advisor would be good, but like most Google issues I can't see there being much we can do about it other than stick to direct-to-merchant PPC, never risking another landing page again!


 11:25 am on Sep 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

Oh yeah, I used pay them $20K per month and I have a annual million dollar credit line.

There are the ones who are really loosing out.

My new project already has big following and when it is optioned into a movie, guess where it is not going to be advertised. It will be in my contract.


 11:31 am on Sep 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm insulted that despite trying my best, sticking to their guidelines, and committing the huge crime of attempting to work with them like civilised human beings, I am treated with no respect, like a fraudulent advertiser.
Insulted is the correct word to describe how I feel after this email. I'm spending almost half a million dollars per year in Adwords and Google thinks it's civilised to send my an automated email (in English while I have a Dutch account) triggered by an automated algorithm and threat me with a ban by giving the first and final warning?

Someone from Dutch support group should have contacted me in person. That is how civilised human beings do business. But I guess Google could not spare a couple of dollars -from the hundreds of thousends dollars I send them each year- to pay someone from support so that he/she could contact me in person. So sad...

When will they 'implement' the "Don't Be Evil" motto? (Yes I'm a bit pissed and disappointed)

other than stick to direct-to-merchant PPC, never risking another landing page again!
I only use direct direct-to-merchant PPC and I have never used my own landingpage/URL. So sticking to direct-to-merchant PPC does not remove the risk from getting a ban.


 7:02 pm on Sep 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

AWA won't touch this thread, they know we are pissed.

Not their style. Smoke, mirrors and ambiguity should be their new slogan.

Do no evil. What a joke! That is such a PR scam.

See ya Adwords!


 11:32 pm on Sep 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

Out of interest - why do you think your landing pages were considered 'low quality'? Would you be able to describe them so others can avoid the same fate?

And, finally, are you certain it's not because you are advertising products that Google have gone after? Acai berries, anti-aging hokum, etc.


 9:46 am on Sep 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

Just to give everyone an idea of how bad it can get. We are now suddenly on "last warning" after 7 years and $1M+ per year. We are affiliate marketers, but we direct link - so landing page quality is rarely a problem. Maybe 0.1% of the merchants we promote have ever been slapped. Speaking to Google we discovered that the size of our account, or the number of sites we promote matters not. The warning comes from a raw total. From what we were told, we could be spending $100M a year and still have received this email.

We have not resolved it yet. If Google had account managers that actually looked at the customer, rather than using an automated system, there's no way our account would be in jeopardy.

AWA? Seems like you are the only way the message can get to Google on this. It would be a shame if Google lost good customers this way.


 12:09 pm on Sep 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

BTW, of the few ads that we have been slapped, almost all of them are now paused, and have been for a year or more. As soon as they were slapped, we gave up. We have no interest in paying $10/click for any keyword, ever. Nor do we have any interest in trying to trick Google in any way. We have too many profitable, above board campaigns with leading merchants to bother with anything post-slap.

If the purpose of this is get rid of affiliates who found a hole in the slap system, Google has cast their net way too wide...

I'm wondering if this is a sign of **ahem** SkyNET **ahem** things to come when automated systems can dramatically affect the lives of humans, with no recourse... 10 employees looking at an auto-generated email wondering if they'll be able to pay their mortgage next month...


 12:38 pm on Sep 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

This is what scares and angers me about this situation. Google have the power to seriously affect the lives innocent of hard working people who have stuck to the rules.

SuperF > have you managed to get a reply from Adwords regarding this? Surely for that spend you have an account manager?

I have had to email support - politely and professionally I might add - asking for further information so I can continue using Adwords without fear of permanent suspension. As these mails were sent on a Friday afternoon in the UK, I will have to wait until next week to get a response. The fact that merchant sites have also been slapped in accounts means I cannot risk a new campaign, direct or landing page, until I receive further information.

I urge Google to do the ethical thing and reverse this automated cull. Action is needed regarding people gaming the system, promoting scam and illegal products but this solution is way off the mark to the point of embarrassing. Google have the money to invest in cleaning up Adwords in the correct way, not some cop-out automated system. If, after a manual review and some genuine reasons they decide my account is deserving of a warning or suspension then I would have to accept it. However, I refuse to have my livelihood threatened by an automated system giving minimal reason.

I'm appealing for an Adwords rep to at least give this thread some serious consideration and some kind of response. We're just after a professional, civilised discussion with someone who can listen to us and try and assist if possible.


 2:04 pm on Sep 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

Out of interest - why do you think your landing pages were considered 'low quality'? Would you be able to describe them so others can avoid the same fate?
I don't know why. Google will not tell you the reason so you can not prevent it in the future.

I think the only option to prevent a ban is sending an email to Adwords support and ask them to approve (or not approve) a website you would like to promote before you create a new campaign/adgroup. From now on I will use this method.

And, finally, are you certain it's not because you are advertising products that Google have gone after? Acai berries, anti-aging hokum, etc.
Not in my case. None of the products are on Googles list with products or services they don't like (that would also raise a different warning). I always use direct linking to the vendors website.

And did anyone notice that Google always sends this kind of stuff on a friday? So you have to wait at least three days before you get a reply via email (although it's a multi billion industry somehow they can't afford support during weekends).


 2:06 pm on Sep 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

It does seem as though they want to get rid of affiliates. If they don't want you to link to a landing page, or directly to the sponsor, then they don't want affiliates at all. It seems the only affiliate they will tolerate is someone with a content site that links to sponsors on the side, rather than someone who exists primarily to drive traffic to sponsors and make money through the commissions. If this is the case then Google needs to make an announcement that they will no longer accept affiliates. Simple.

I have done this sort of thing for a very long time. The thing is I also run the online marketing for a big multinational company and we spend millions of dollars on Google every year. In managing this budget and seeing both sides through my other activities, it is pretty obvious to me that Google would just want the big companies that have multi-million dollar budgets and not worry about the smaller players who may spend $100k per year. Less headaches for Google in the end and they still make lots of money. Again, if this is the case then Google should say so and not play these silly head games with us.

Business is all about relationships. Right now Google is the big player and everybody has to do what Google says. Things change though. I remember when Infoseek was the big player, and Yahoo and AltaVista. It would serve Google well to respect its customers, regardless of how big they are, as they may wish they had those customers in the future. If Google wants to change things, and that is in their right to do so, then treat people with respect, thank them for their business, and move on. Don't do it in this obnoxious and disrespectful way.


 2:31 pm on Sep 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

Pff... I checked my adwords account a couple of minutes ago and one URL I have been promoting since 2005 got slapped (1/10) after 4 years of promoting it without any problem.

Since I received my first(!) and last warning on friday I hope Google will not see this as a reason to give me a ban.

Btw, on the main page click on the keywords tab (then you will see all keywords in your account). Then use two filters to show only the 1/10 keywords. That is an easy way of finding keywords and ad groups that got slapped.


 11:11 pm on Sep 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

Although for editorial versus quality reasons, I got one of these first and last warnings earlier this year from my account manager. I was surprised they would put a million dollar a year account only one additional ad disapproval away from being canceled when our business relationship was otherwise so good and for so long.

I drastically cut back on submitting new ads and the few that I do submit I send to my account manager first to make sure they will not get disapproved if I have any doubt. So the result is they lost business from me submitting less ads and the few I do submit cause them more support time since they have to review them twice.

Of course, like the ad that caused this in the first place, I still need to worry about the 100s of already approved ads that a reviewer or their software may change their minds about. This environment of uncertainty has left a very uncomfortable feeling that I have yet to get over.

[edited by: Kobayashi at 11:13 pm (utc) on Sep. 27, 2009]


 1:06 am on Sep 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

I've spent over $500K a year for past 4 years. It's not how big your spend is. It's the average cpc you are getting. If you had a high average cpc you would not get a warning or be banned because you are generating good money for Goog. My average cpc was only $.09.


 4:24 am on Sep 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

It is weird that Google's all out desire to automate everything and essentially eliminate all people from the equation is forcing their business into one where you need to talk to someone before you attempt to do anything.

Google's unwillingness to actually support people with people has always been their Achilles heel.


 7:35 am on Sep 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

I got the same mail, and now i got the mail from Google regarding unsuspended, after carried out some activities on Google and my sites.

What i notice from all of the queries, that mostly affiliate marketers who are using adwords to promote or to land user via using direct link or pages from that site.

I am really looking for account manager helpers from Google to sort it out on which campaign they have the problem of poor quality landing page?

Google adwords cant stop all campaigns and suspend the account due to one page or one site.


 2:06 pm on Sep 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

I got the same mail, and now i got the mail from Google regarding unsuspended, after carried out some activities on Google and my sites.

sem143, can you shed any light on what you did to get unsuspended? Sounds like you were able to take some specific steps to get things resolved?

Also, of those that have received the email warnings, it seems like most were direct linking, has anyone gotten this message that does not direct link? I ask because in the markets I keep an I eye on there are still tons of new domains going up from slapped sites.


 3:31 pm on Sep 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have the same problem, I am not an affiliate. I market for companies that I have direct relationships with and securely post data to. I have no idea if I am banned or if I have been warned. I have received so many different messages. Its very possible I am banned though, is there any reinstatement process? To my knowledge I never heard of anyone getting a new account. Also looks like we all got hit at the same time, looks like a quarterly thing. I spent enough also that I felt I should get some type of personal response. Anyone hears anything lets keep it updated.

[edited by: tedster at 11:01 pm (utc) on Oct. 4, 2009]

This 356 message thread spans 12 pages: 356 ( [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 12 > >
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