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Google Adwords destroyed my account



1:50 am on Aug 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

A couple of days ago, I decided to update my adgroup ads in a campaign that I have run for many months. I had excellent ranking in all of them, some I was #1 and #2 in the blue area for many. I made a domain name change to all the ads in this campaign (about 30 adgroups). When I checked later to see how the ads looked and their position, I could not believe my eyes. Every single keyword that I had worked so hard and spent thousands to get in a great rank and reasonable prices was GONE! It was as if I had started over as a new member. The worst one was one where I was #2 in the blue and ended up as #38 on the fourth page!

Paniking, I called google and emailed them. The tech person that I talked to there said this is the worst he has ever seen of destruction of rank. Later on they said that part of the quality part of an ad is its domain name. Then they said the new ad had to get some quality thru I guess getting impressions and clicks. Well I told this gentleman, "how am I going to get quality in the 38th position?" I am getting the run around at google right now. They are not admitting that the system is flawed. There was no warning, nothing written in the literature that this kind of massive destruction of an account could happen.

Basically beware of making changes to your ads. Beware of making domain changes.

It makes no sense to test an ad in anything but the exact same position that the previous ad was in. For example, the keyword where I was ranked #2. The new ad should show there too. If it stinks, then my CTR will go down and I will lose my rank slowly and it will tell me to improve the ad. Not moving me to rank #38 without ANY chance of recovering. Basically I am screwed, but I am not going to stay that way.

Has anyone else experience such a disaster? What is our recourse? We need to get this changed as advertisers as its highly unfair.

Especially if they rank you on domain name. Since that can be manipulated, and some people may hog all the domains which puts us at a permanent disadvantage. Also some keywords in domains are restricted by trademark. And what if we just change the tracking ID on the domain name. We still are killed. Google must admit this is the wrong way to do this.

My campaign was giving me 1200 clicks a night. It went down to 100. I am back up to 200 by buying my way back in. However for those 200 I am paying 3 times what I was paying for the day before the disaster. Anyone hurt by this policy should contact Google Adwords. I have all the email addresses and phone numbers. They need to hear from all of us.

Any suggestions from anyone. I am losing money by the bucket. I was doing great until I made this minor change.
They wiped out all my history and I am paying up as if new.
Words that trickled up to the top because of good performance...all gone. Its a disaster. It could happen to you.


7:43 pm on Aug 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I am not sure why they allowed this reactivating feature only through the API but I can confirm to you that it does work.

Now as for owing me that beer money, should I send you my Paypal info? Or if you agree to pay for this King Tut Beer I can send you my wiring info :)

[edited by: eWhisper at 7:47 pm (utc) on Aug. 30, 2005]
[edit reason] Please don't drop links. [/edit]


10:36 pm on Aug 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

That reference to King Tut Beer, was actually to the most expensive beer. The URL was later deleted by the Moderator to follow WebmasterWorld guidelines.


2:57 am on Aug 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Don't you find CyberBeer the best? No hangover :)

patient2all going way, way OT


8:18 am on Aug 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

From my experiences playing with the API:
Any change to the creative in an adgroup, no matter how small, has the effect of deleting your current creative (with associated history) and creating a new creative with the amended text. The adwords system does not allow amending of creatives, only creating and deleting. The old creative IS still tied to your account, and CAN be enabled through the API - just like flicking a switch. Toggle it on, toggle it off. Why this feature isn't available through the adwords interface, I don't know. But thats the way it is.

Keywords, however, can be amended. vphoner, I gather from what you've said that you're using the default tracking URL from the creative, rather than the destination URL on a keyword by keyword basis? If this is the case, have you considered re-enabling the creatives through the API, and then setting the destination URL on a keyword level? The downside of this is the display URL would not match the destination URL. At least the traffic would still get to your site though!



11:43 am on Aug 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Why this feature isn't available through the adwords interface, I don't know. But thats the way it is.

Guess: It would make the interface much too cluttered and complicated. I have adgroups with hundereds of deleted ads because I edited and tested.



10:35 pm on Aug 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

All they need is a link under each one that says "Undelete," as they have for ad groups and campaigns. I've suggested this before. Don't understand why they don't do it, since the ads are taking up space in memory anyway.


4:03 pm on Sep 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

According to Adwords this shouldn't have happened:

1. Will I lose my keyword CTRs if I edit their keyword URLs?
No, the only way in which you would lose your keyword CTR would be if you deleted and then re-added your keywords. This is not necessary to edit the keyword URLs - you can do this without affecting the performance history of your keywords in any way.

2. While I lose my overall CTR if I edit my ad texts?
No, your overall CTR will remain intact even if you edit your ad texts.
The only impact you may see will be in terms of ad auto-optimisation - whereby if you have three ad texts within the one Ad Group, and the system generally chooses to show the ad text with the highest CTR. When you edit your ad texts, the original ad is "deleted" and replaced by the new post-edit ad text. Therefore, if you have multiple ad texts within the one Ad Group, you may notice the new ad texts are not shown as frequently as the original ad texts with the established CTR.

The other factor you should bear in mind is that when you edit the text of your ads, they are resubmitted to us for review and approval, and while you ads are in the queue for approval, they will not be shown on our search and content partner sites, so you may see a temporary decline in impressions and clicks until your new ads have been approved.

This will not affect your ad's positioning or actual CPC in any way, however.


9:12 pm on Sep 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Wow, Gary, thanks for posting that. It's truly scary that vphoner (and others) had to go through this because of the Black Box that is AdWords.

Does anybody have any input/experience with what happens if you simply change the Ad Group or Campaign that the keyword is located in? Will that result in loss of the CTR history as well?


9:47 pm on Sep 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Does anybody have any input/experience with what happens if you simply change the Ad Group or Campaign that the keyword is located in? Will that result in loss of the CTR history as well?

By moving a keyword between campaigns / adgroups, you effective DELETE the keyword from the original adgroup, and create it brand new in another adgroup. This gives it a new keyword id, and as such, you loose the CTR history of that keyword.

You probably don't want to do it.....


7:52 pm on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks for the reply, JP. I was talking to our Google rep today and he unambiguously said that simply changing the Ad Group location won't do anything to the CTR history. Obviously, I'm inclined to put more weight into AdWords advertisers like yourself rather than the rep. And now I'm unsure of what my next steps should be.

There really should be less obscurity when AdWords advertisers are paying so much for our campaigns!

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