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Down and Out.

How Our Relationship With Google Came Crashing Down!

     
4:45 pm on Nov 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Back in October I watched my traffic come to an abrupt halt. A three year old account, containing multiple campaigns for numerous high quality and well known sites was completely deactivated, despite very high quality scores and up to 1000/day spend...

I received no email from Google saying they had taken action, and on speaking with the helpdesk I was provided with an automated email stating that I was to not use Adwords again, and that I shouldn't contact their support team about the matter. A subsequent appeal explaining exactly what I've set out below fell on deaf ears with their policy team.

Their reason for this action was that we had repeatedly tried to upload keywords which contravened their TOS. Now fair enough, but given that we were bulk uploading from an offline database and that the rules governing what was and wasn't acceptable have changed somewhat over the past three years we had actually made very few errors, despite thousands of keywords refreshed daily. In addition, when filtering for terms which shouldn't have been uploaded we obviously missed such things as 'fidelity', a term found in any English language dictionary and something that actually went against us. Frustratingly, we had actually been pro-active in attempting to abide by their ever changing TOS just to avoid such a situation.

Anyway, I hope the above will steer some of you around this pitfall. I'm now off for a large coffee and muffin, before laying off two of the most hard working employees a company could ever ask for. Strangely, as much as I want to rant about Google, there doesn't seem any point - perhaps if they wipe out a few more decent hardworking SMEs, this approach toward their customers, the very people paying their salaries, would change.

Best of luck.

5:16 pm on Nov 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Their reason for this action was that we had repeatedly tried to upload keywords which contravened their TOS. Now fair enough, but given that we were bulk uploading from an offline database

And this is Google's fault?

6:22 pm on Nov 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I didn't say that it was...
6:37 pm on Nov 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I wonder how long it'll take someone to post one of those egg in one basket comments.
2:35 pm on Nov 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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This does sound silly; it's trivial for Google to filter any objectionable keyword, and any reasonable API should return an error code in this situation.

It sounds to me as though the poster is simply using automation in exactly the same way as Google continually aspires to!

The poster's example was the word "fidelity". Google must protect itself from trademark infringement and not expect their customers to do it for them!

The post seemed to honestly explain why such a trademark infringement might accidentally occur and occur repeatedly.

This is clearly a case of Google reining in costs so far that they are using automation, in place of proper customer service!

2:57 pm on Nov 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Their reason for this action was that we had repeatedly tried to upload keywords which contravened their TOS.

Seems like a direct enough reason to me?

Now fair enough, but given that we were bulk uploading from an offline database and that the rules governing what was and wasn't acceptable have changed somewhat over the past three years we had actually made very few errors, despite thousands of keywords refreshed daily.

So, you're admitting to violating the TOS but because it was a bulk upload from an offline database you feel that you are excluded from that same TOS?

I really hate to see these types of topics. Ya, I could say all the eggs thing but that should have been a given. I've seen so many of these topics that after a while, you take them with a grain of salt. We typically don't get to hear the "full story". We'll all sit here feeling sorry for you when it is possible that you truly deserved what happened.

I just can't see Google wiping out a business like that because there was a minor violation of the TOS or a single violation. There has to be more to this than what is above. ;)

Anyway, I hope the above will steer some of you around this pitfall. I'm now off for a large coffee and muffin, before laying off two of the most hard working employees a company could ever ask for.

Maybe by the time you get back someone from Google will have read this topic and contacted you, that would be great huh? I don't see it happen too frequently but it is always worth a try. Don't forget to post a Google Groups topic too, that one will probably get a little more traction from a Google perspective.

6:35 pm on Nov 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Their reason for this action was that we had repeatedly tried to upload keywords which contravened their TOS.

You kept gambling it all and finally lost.

Now fair enough

Yes, it is fair. You must have been thinking "I'll keep doing this till I get a warning, then stop". If they let everyone break the TOS till they get a warning, there would be cheaters everywhere. I hope the extra money you made was worth it.

4:44 pm on Nov 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The single word that caught my attention was "repeatedly"

That pretty much settled it right there.

 

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