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An update on account disabling
AdWordsAdvisor




msg:4026164
 11:49 pm on Nov 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

Those reading this forum over the past month will no doubt be aware that the subject of account disabling has spent a fair amount of time at the top of the page, in two very active threads. Without editorializing, I recognize that most posts have been quite critical - while a smaller number have been rather supportive of the intent.

Given this substantial level of forum activity, and by way of being more clear as to why the disabling of accounts is occurring, I have been asked by my colleagues at Google to post the message below:

In keeping with our mission to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful, we spend a tremendous amount of time and effort monitoring the quality of our search and ad results. As we've stated many times before, Google's primary focus is on delivering the best possible search experience to our end users. To help further this goal, we work with our advertisers in a number of different ways to help them design and run the best ads possible.

Unfortunately, some online advertisers continue to promote services and websites that do not help, and in some cases could harm, our users. For instance, these advertisers may offer free services that bait users into accepting hidden fees. Or these advertisers may attempt to deliver malware to unsuspecting web citizens. Regardless of the practice, these types of campaigns do not benefit our users and we therefore take steps to enforce our policies [adwords.google.com] and prevent such advertisers from running ads through our systems.

Over the last decade Google has implemented a number of systems and processes to identify and disable ads that direct users to these offending websites. However, the ad disabling procedures have resulted in ongoingback and forth between us and these questionable advertisers as they try to outsmart our systems and processes. Therefore, we're being stricter with advertisers who deliver a bad user experience by permanently disabling AdWords accounts that engage in prohibited behavior.

Recently we began implementing this new account disabling. As a result, many advertisers who provide a poor user experience and have previously had their ads disabled will now have their accounts disabled.

We take our user, advertiser and publisher experiences very seriously, and remain dedicated to delivering only the highest quality advertising results to our users. We believe this new process of permanently disabling accounts will markedly improve the overall experience of our users, advertisers and publishers.

AWA

 

Dave_Davis




msg:4026204
 1:40 am on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

AWA, I appreciate what you are saying and I fully understand why Google is doing this. I agree with it wholeheartedly. Google is the world's leading search engine for a reason.

However, I think that the biggest issue here is that while it's all well and good to boot fraudulent advertisers, they know EXACTLY why they are being banned. The majority of posters in the previous threads do not KNOW WHY they were banned.

We can all complain and comment and figure out to a degree what Google wants, but why can't you just tell us? While reverse billing is a no-brainer, why don't you just tell us what types of site EXACTLY are not allowed to be advertised using AdWords?

Your "Website Types To Avoid" page is generic at best.

While we, nor our clients have any issues, I'd like to point to the official AdWords support forum where it is flooded daily with advertisers who ask the same questions over and over again. The VOLUNTEERS in that forum cannot give them a definitive answer. It's always on the same topic.

Would it not be easier to just say "We don't want affiliates" and let everyone just get on with it? I know you're policy documents say "affiliate sites" but it needs a lot more clarification. It's open to way too much "creative interpretation" by affiliates.

Again, I completely agree with what you are doing but for the love of God, put it in black and white so we can put this to bed once and for all.

The statement issue above has added absolutely NOTHING to the the conversation that we did not already know.

smallcompany




msg:4026209
 1:58 am on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

... nor the fact that 10/10 becomes 1/10 overnight, and ground for account ban formed. No way anyone is running any type of malware, offers free stuff with hidden cost, or anything similar.
Those people are just affiliates who run many programs through Google AdWords, including those from Google Affiliate Network.

The truth seems to be that while the system gives 7-10, Google employee or contractor gives 1.

The paradox is that many of those sites actually convert as crazy, while "good" sites suck as people get lost in reading and they finally go away thinking about coming back "tonight" and making the decision.

Look into content! Parked "branded" domains convert tremendously, and Google supports it through parked domain networks by serving ads there. Yet brand owners go nuts about getting those domains into their possession. Nobody can blame them. But it's a tough call as those crappy domain squatters are being supported - by money from Google!
ISPs are funneling people to such sites in one or another way, too, and they get their cut from AdWords.
Google makes a call to AdSense publishers to come and check how they can use AdWords to generate more traffic! We know QS was at some time about getting AdSense out!
I've submitted endless reports on sites selling pirated software - man... nobody can take them off the top. They are there like welded.
And they all use faked trust seals.

Google's moves (outside from banning real offenders) have been premature - very premature.

copemedia




msg:4026213
 2:04 am on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

According to this article:
[searchengineland.com...]

we will be seeing an increase in bans starting tonight.

I guess it would make since with the timing of AWA's post.

Rehan




msg:4026216
 2:12 am on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

Without editorializing, I recognize that most posts have been quite critical - while a smaller number have been rather supportive of the intent.

I don't think there was any doubt about Google's intent (i.e., what they are doing)...we all get that. Even those that exploited the cat and mouse game to make a quick buck in recent years seem to recognize the fact that the game is over; that's not what people are criticizing. Most of the issues raised in the other threads were with how they went about it -- limited communication, lack of appeal process, the way shady accounts were linked to legit ones, etc..

Judging from the official statement above, perhaps that point hasn't actually gotten across to the AdWords team.

Dave_Davis




msg:4026234
 2:46 am on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

Judging from the official statement above, perhaps that point hasn't actually gotten across to the AdWords team.

That's exactly it. We know what Google is doing/trying to do. It's pretty obvious and no statement saying such is needed.

It's a little frustrating that all Google can muster up after all the discussion in the other thread(s) is statement of the obvious.

thecloser




msg:4026240
 3:02 am on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

There's a difference between being told you're "Not providing enough unique content" as an affiliate and participating in "Deceptive practices".

That's the key distinction. No one here will argue on behalf of spam offers that are clearly fraud etc.

Your "insufficient content" site leading to an account ban (or "disabling" if that's less sensationalist for the industry media) with no specific metrics to reach in terms of the foggy "value added content" description, simply isn't fair.

But hey, who gives a crap about affiliates and their businesses, (whether they're mainly driven by adwords traffic or not).

I particularly love all the smug advertisers on this forum who haven't yet been caught in an overly wide net. Your turn will come, and we'll see how preachy you are then.

luke175




msg:4026290
 5:05 am on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

I started typing a long reply but this is so laughable I just couldn't even dignify it with a response.

willybfriendly




msg:4026299
 5:21 am on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

There was a time when the Cluetrain Manifesto [cluetrain.com] hung on the Googleplex wall.

Most corporations, on the other hand, only know how to talk in the soothing, humorless monotone of the mission statement, marketing brochure, and your-call-is-important-to-us busy signal. Same old tone, same old lies. No wonder networked markets have no respect for companies unable or unwilling to speak as they do...

Someone must have taken it down :(

Green_Grass




msg:4026313
 6:03 am on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

Why don't you say so clearly..

no affilaite links on landing pages
no adSense ads on landing pages
no pure affiliate pages
don't change domains once hit by manual QS of 1
don't make any money from us
advertise only e comm sites
Don't try to sell anything to any user ( because we are doing public service)
no appeal
S*crw you, we don't care.

This is now the G adWords policy.

and please tell your adSense team NOT to send adWords vouchers to people with sites with adSense.. What are they trying to do.. Get more bans going..very deceptive and dishonorable.

willybfriendly




msg:4026323
 6:14 am on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

no adSense ads on landing pages

See this [webmasterworld.com]

[edited by: bill at 6:47 am (utc) on Nov. 17, 2009]
[edit reason] fixed formatting [/edit]

smallcompany




msg:4026363
 7:50 am on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

[edit reason] fixed formatting [/edit]

Good job Bill.

Willy really had a hard time with this one... two posts man... :))))

I couldn't resist on braking those dark days with something like this... sorry if not liking it.

Thanks Willy for the great post about that letter.

...and thanks AWA for the post!
I forgot to "thank" in my first reply as I was just too excited about all what was going on these days, weeks, months.

SuperF




msg:4026438
 10:49 am on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

Google will begin to notify advertisers that they have been permanently banned. They will receive an email with details of this ban and the email will explain how to appeal the ban. I am told that banned advertisers can reply to the email to start the “appeals process.” Every reply should get a response from a dedicated Google representative.

...What about those who were banned back in October through today? I asked Fox if they will be getting emails with how they can appeal those account bans? Fox told me he is not sure, but he will get back to me on if they will be sending those advertisers emails.

Looks like the posts here may have made a difference, and that Google does listen. Hopefully this new process is not so automated as to not be able to contact those banned in October.

As a result, many advertisers who provide a poor user experience and have previously had their ads disabled will now have their accounts disabled.

I'm guessing this will be stricter than is reasonably fair. In our case, most of our problematic ads were from many years ago, easily pre-dating any landing page quality guidelines. We don't have a time machine, and it's not as if we were promoting evil things.

We promoted gambling sites back when Google allowed them - because Google allowed it. Are customers who promoted gambling sites in 2004 going to have their accounts disabled?

In addition, it doesn't allow for the many affiliates who evolve. Over a long period of time we have, thanks to Google's guidelines and slapping, been promoting more quality sites and less questionable sites. And every aspect of our business has evolved. Six years ago it was just me in my bedroom after work, trying to make an extra $100 a week. Now we have a staff member who works full time on compliance (with Google and merchant rules). Oops, I mean used to have - he is now unemployed.

Green_Grass




msg:4026446
 11:31 am on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

yeah..it is a witch hunt. they can get away with it because they dominate the Search PPC market.
Waiting for the axe to fall.

(I seem to recall, I had changed domains 2.5 years ago, when the QS first hit. Cleaned out the sites and have had QS 7 - 10 for the last 2.5 years)..Now suddenly QS 1 on most landing pages..So QS 1 means, one is finished with adWords.. eh.. AWA? A ban is coming ..is it.

Elric99




msg:4026459
 11:52 am on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

We are using adwords for the short term. Life bans and vague terms don't make for long term security.

RhinoFish




msg:4026518
 1:37 pm on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

First, to my peers here. I have an affiliate site with 10/10 QS in a very competitive marketplace. Just because you get whacked, it doesn't logically follow that all affiliate sites are banned. I wish people would stop asserting that, it just isn't true. For proof, delve into some niches and see if you can find affiliate sites running ads - they are there! Further, it makes us look collectively like howling buffoons. And before anyone asserts I'm lucky or it's just that my number hasn't come up yet, I also have an affiliate site that uses popup redirects in a way I think is very useful for the consumer, but G doesn't. Let's give G credit where it's due, they are trying to make the online quagmire (aka the Internet) someplace that people can safely walk through, without getting mucked up.

Now, at G... we understand the intent. We also know you're very good at finding trash, but you're certainly not perfect. Do have harsh steps that you take, it's good for us all in the long run. But for decency's sake, have a formalized appeal process so in those rare cases where a mistake is made, redress is possible. I have one particular search that I'd like to sit in a room of G folks with and show them what is being blocked and what is being let through - then watch heads nod as they realize the lack of perfection in algorithmically stomping out businesses. If you're going to wield a bludgeoning club, you also need to open a very narrow avenue to the emergency room, and provide help (aka listening and communicating) to those collaterally damaged.

bryson




msg:4026558
 2:16 pm on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

However, the ad disabling procedures have resulted in ongoingback and forth between us and these questionable advertisers as they try to outsmart our systems and processes.

Some hopefully constructive criticism: as mentioned in the other threads, the process should really be refined to take into account agencies and similar companies that advertise large numbers of third party websites. Sometimes one or two clients do turn out to be bad apples, resulting in their ads being disabled. No malice involved, just statistics. It shouldn't be looked at as being "back and forth" and shouldn't lead to an account ban.

Without such a refinement you get the inevitable result that the larger the agency account (the more client websites it advertises), the more vulnerable it becomes, which I'm sure is not Google's intention here.

Green_Grass




msg:4026573
 2:35 pm on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

RhinoFish,

Aren't you worried that your few low QS ads can endanger your whole account. Have you deleted all low QS campaigns? The post by AWA is very scary (if you read between the lines).

I don't promote any malware sites or questionable products. I have a clean e comm site selling widgets (I, stock in my warehouse )and keywords have a QS range of 7 to 10.

I also have a couple of sites with affilaite links which have been wackd. I thought they had unique content, but difficult to convince big G.. My mails get an automated response and then they send a follow up email with the temerity to ask - how well they answered the question? So should I delete these ads? ( to save my account or what?)

My other sites with some affiliate links in them seem to be doing o.k. for the time being..but as they say.. their time will also come.. I guess..I don't have any pure one page affilaite sites or any questionable practices. I don't promote any banned stuff and have been advertising for the last 4 years or so..


James_WV




msg:4026668
 4:29 pm on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

@AWA - I would count myself as one of the more vocal supporters of the intent behind the recent activity and I agree with the motivation, but I have to say that the response above will do nothing but fuel the fire of ill feeling from those affected:

You've included some pretty bad user experiences in that statement which I think every poster in the 2 mentioned threads would agree with. The above statement however doesn't address 99% of the people who are most upset - the affiliates who don't promote malware or bait people into hidden fees.

For the umpteenth time, and reinforced by Google again - the intent / motivation is good, but the way google have handled this with regards to customer service and letting people know what's going on is pretty surprisingly terrible.

(I'm coming from the POV of a very happy advertiser who has great QS scores pretty much across the board in a non-affiliate business who has access to G reps, but I can still say the treatment / information given to long standing customers is REALLY bad)

James_WV




msg:4026674
 4:32 pm on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

PS - Dave_Davis is correct about the adwords forum too - I'm pretty active on there and at least 50% of the people on there are affiliates or some times bricks and mortar businesses who have nothing worse than an enquiry form on their landing page but have been caught out - they all have the same 1/10 LPQS problems

Dlocks




msg:4026904
 9:58 pm on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

As we've stated many times before, Google's primary focus is on delivering the best possible search experience to our end users. To help further this goal, we work with our advertisers in a number of different ways to help them design and run the best ads possible.

After my first warning I asked support the following :

Me: What if I ask if a website is fine to promote before I create a new adgroup and support gives me an aproval. Lets say the guidelines does not change and my website does not change. Does the in advance aproval and not changing anything quarantee that I will not get hit by 1/10 QS within one week?

Support: You can ask for aproval but this will not quarantee that you will get hit by 1/10 QS within one week while guidelines did not change and you did not change your website.

Now what do you mean with "we work with our advertisers"?

After I received the first (and last) warning I:
1. had contact with support
2. removed all adgroups that got hit overnight with the 1/10 QS.
3. deleted everything that might insult Google in the future.
4. checked daily for keywords with 5/10 QS or lower.
5. did not add any new campaign adgroup, ad, keyword.

After doing the above you would think I was save after the first warning. But no, couple of weeks later Google banned. AWA, how could I work better with support to prevent this?

Unfortunately, some online advertisers continue to promote services and websites that do not help, and in some cases could harm, our users. For instance, these advertisers may offer free services that bait users into accepting hidden fees. Or these advertisers may attempt to deliver malware to unsuspecting web citizens. Regardless of the practice, these types of campaigns do not benefit our users and we therefore take steps to enforce our policies and prevent such advertisers from running ads through our systems

I think you forgot the to add the folling part after the last line:

During this process we will also ban long term advertisers who do not fit in the above profile and have been good clients for many years. It is simply impossible to ban clients without making some mistakes. Unfortunately -for the good advertisers we will ban during this proces- we will not offer an appeal option. A ban is a ban and there is nothing you can do about it.

Those reading this forum over the past month will no doubt be aware that the subject of account disabling has spent a fair amount of time at the top of the page, in two very active threads.
Indeed two very active threads with a lot of good feedback. I'm a bit insulted (again) that your colleages could only come up with the text -containing nothing new- that you had to post for them.

I wonder what type of text your colleages will write about Google if they get fired within one week because of this text. Ofcourse they first asked aproval to someone higher in the organization to see if it fits in the guidelines. They received the aproval but hey even when guidelines don't change and the aproved text is still the same someone might decide to fire your colleages because they asked you to post that text... That is how it works at Google.

@AWA - I would count myself as one of the more vocal supporters of the intent behind the recent activity and I agree with the motivation, but I have to say that the response above will do nothing but fuel the fire of ill feeling from those affected:
You've included some pretty bad user experiences in that statement which I think every poster in the 2 mentioned threads would agree with. The above statement however doesn't address 99% of the people who are most upset - the affiliates who don't promote malware or bait people into hidden fees.

And they forgot to mention the bridge pages. Anyway, they should not have used the following text:

For instance, these advertisers may offer free services that bait users into accepting hidden fees. Or these advertisers may attempt to deliver malware to unsuspecting web citizens.

Makes me think AWA colleages have not read any of the posts in the two threads.

Dave_Davis




msg:4026907
 10:18 pm on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have been speaking to some colleagues over the past few days and it might be worth noting that *many* of them are reluctant to take on clients, link clients accounts or even LOOK at a potential clients account for fear of being labeled "guilty by association". That can't be good for Google.

I have to hand it to them, they're certainly putting the fear of Go(d)ogle into many. Reminds me of the old days in Ireland.

I come from the same position as James above (no affiliate stuff, never had problems etc.) and while I am in no position to demand anything from Google, a better "answer" is needed.

zett




msg:4026952
 11:45 pm on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

it might be worth noting that *many* of them are reluctant to take on clients, link clients accounts or even LOOK at a potential clients account for fear of being labeled "guilty by association".

Maybe this is a welcome result of the bans? Maybe Google wants to get rid of middlemen managing accounts much more effectively (than the end customer does)? Maybe they figured out that they can make more money if they get rid of the experts? Maybe they want a direct relationship with the customer?

Dave_Davis




msg:4026964
 11:57 pm on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

Maybe they figured out that they can make more money if they get rid of the experts? Maybe they want a direct relationship with the customer?

Well, I wont go into some of the account "optimizations" that I have seen done by internal "specialists" but I think you might be onto something there.

Leosghost




msg:4026979
 12:27 am on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

GOOG has always seemed to have understood the psychology of the masses and in particular to have learned the ways of religions in relation to the dissemination of information about itself ..the control of the population and suppliants ..tracking and intelligence ( the only other place I ever found cookies as long lived as the GOOG "Methuselah" cookies was the vatican site ) ..and the smoke and mirrors blended with the lies and half truths and the smiling face above the velvet glove with the iron fist and the tawse ..even the "do no evil" ..whilst in reality doing much in the name and to the glory of of Mammon ..owes more to the structures used by religions to govern their "flocks" than to normal business practises..

As does the practise of not allowing adsense on certain sites due to their subjects..but accepting adwords on "molestation" ( yes I've seen them and have screen caps) etc ..

Removal of unapproved middlemen is similar to teaching the people not to go to "witches" to do "magic" ..but to go directly to the priests or shamans..pay their tithes ..and pray that the wrath of the all powerful , all knowing GOOG does not fall upon them for some sin they may have thought about ..less they find themselves like their shamans ..excommunicated ( your local religion may use another term ) or banished ..

For one taught for a while by the jesuits ..it does indeed make one think of the Ireland of my childhood ..

rule by fear and mystery ..do as you are told and put yer money in the plate ..or you'll go to hell ..forever

and if you are struck down ..it's because you were impure ..or it's gods will ..so shut up about it ..we know best what's good for everyone ..

worked for thousands of years ..and made all religions incredibly rich ( still does )..from the work of others ..while creating and producing nothing themselves ..why wouldn't they use the same methods ?

ClickLink365




msg:4027022
 1:31 am on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have NEVER "offered free services that bait users into accepting hidden fees or attempted to deliver malware to unsuspecting web citizens..." and I was banned a couple of weeks ago. Got the "Final" and (ONLY ever) warning - didn't change a thing -- no new ads, no slaps, nothing. Then got banned with a reference to violations after the final warning (which proves it is automated, b/c I didn't change a thing after the final warning). Emails to support got the token "we don't ever want to hear from you again, go away..." and then they just stopped responding at all.

There needs to be a formal appeal process. Aside from some great suggestions everyone else has (particularly about more transparency to t&c's), there must be a better way to at least appeal a lifetime ban that is not understood or thought to be warranted. IMHO.......

vetofunk




msg:4027067
 2:39 am on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

@AWA - I would like you to see my situation and why I am very confused about the ban.

I work for an agency and have had our client for about 5 years. They are in the vitamins and nutrition industry, have 5 retail stores and have been with Google Adwords for 5-6 years. They spend 100k+ per year. We have a team of dedicated adwords reps we work with and have met/phoned with at least once a month for the past 6-7 years. We usually talk to them a few times per week.

This client is one of my biggest and the team would always been there to help create new adgroups, test out new Google products and give me advice on the overall account. They never once gave me any information about issues with the account/adgroups as a whole or about bannings of the whole account. I find this scary that you can work so close with a company and then they can turn around and ban you. I understand this wasn't the adwords team doing the banning though.

Now with warnings, I have received them over the years, and have worked with my reps about them as I do not feel they were correct. Here are a couple examples:

Black Powder Adgroup - Warned a couple of times due to is being weapon related. This is actually a sports nutrition supplement. Not a weapon and nothing illegal or steriod related AT ALL.

Animal Pak Adgroup - Warned about being steriod related. This is actually a 30-day vitamin multi-vitamin.

Gaspari Nutrition Adgroup - This is a brand name of supplements including protein, creatine, vitamins and amino acids. Warned about being steriod related. This company is one of the most trusted companies in our industry.

The problem with the warnings that were sent out to us is that I never knew what Google would have a problem with. We would never sell any illegal products or steriods, but Google would warn us about random supplements and vitamins we would create ads for...claiming they were weapon related or steroid related. In addition to that, we saw numerous other advertisers selling the same thing in Adwords (Amazon, Ebay, dozens of competitors) and they continue to.

If something like this was likely to happen, I wish our reps would have been there to advise us about it, isn't that their jobs? I am just confused after working so closely with Google on an account they can turn around and do this.

Green_Grass




msg:4027149
 7:10 am on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Today my main e comm site went to QS 1 . Unbelievable. All those who think they are doing great with adWords, beware. The QS review team is immature and with poor training to say the least.

Well it is their loss, the site is already no. 1 in organics for the keyphrase it ranks for. I had a 70 / 30 : organic / adWord traffic on it. I will find some other way to advertise. The site has been online since 2004 and we have hundreds of repeat customers.. Poor user experience my a$$..

eljefe3




msg:4027158
 7:46 am on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

What I can't understand is why can't they answer emails or phone calls from "THEIR CUSTOMERS", those who spend on adwords? Surely they haven't laid everyone off besides AWA have they?

Oh wait, they never answered even before the layoffs......my bad.

James_WV




msg:4027202
 9:22 am on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

>>Well, I wont go into some of the account "optimizations" that I have seen done by internal "specialists"

LOL - they sure do love their broad matched generic terms

This 316 message thread spans 11 pages: 316 ( [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 11 > >
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