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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Banned From AdWords

I've often wondered what it would take for Google to ban a person or company from using AdWords. I know plenty of people who have received warnings for some, well, let's just say using AdWords for some sneaky tactics, but haven't ever talked with anyone who's been banned from AdWords. After all, AdWords is a pay to play system and it's Google makes a huge % of it's income.

I came across a thread today at Webmaster World where a user talks about being banned, forever, from AdWords. It wasn't just his personal account that was banned, the AdWords account owned by the company he works for was also shut down!

WMW member Fehay said:

"I recently had my account suspended and after a brief dialogue with support was told that any past, current and future accounts I started would not be allowed to run. "

The reason for the ban was:

"I had some poker ads I was trying to run and either the destination url was inappropriate or the ad was. Either way it would run for a bit until a human reviewer would decline it with the standard 'inappropriate' response. "

The real kicker is:

"To add insult to injury it looks like they've now suspended the account that belongs to the company I work for! (maybe because I've logged into my own account at work and so they've assumed that I own both?) "

It's that last line that really gets me. I know a lot of people (myself included) that manage multiple accounts, both personal and professional. Does this case show that the actions of an individual can negatively effect the company they work for? If I were use my personal AdWords account for something not exactly on the up and up and that action ended up getting my company's AdWords account terminated would they have any recourse?

In my opinion this is a very serious issue with a lot of potential negative implications for both individuals and companies involved in managing multiple AdWords accounts. I'll keep an eye on this story, that's for sure.


At 3:51 PM, Anonymous Kirtok said...

Wow, this is really scary. I believe this is a very bad idea at Google's side to ban corporate accounts linked to the person.

I also think Google should have temporary banning/benching periods to warn people. Depending on the issue, they can bench a user for 3/6/12 months etc.

Everybody makes mistakes, I'm sure they'll learn from their mistakes.

Great blog by the way. I'll be reading more, and added to my favorites. I'm glad I've found your blog :)

At 7:58 AM, Blogger Jeremy Mayes said...

It really is scary if you make your living managing PPC/AdWords.

This is the only case I've ever seen where multiple accounts (some not even owened by the account manager) got shut down.

At 1:43 PM, Anonymous Paul (Fahey) said...

heh, I realise this post is over two years old, but I was reviewing some old thoughts and came across this.. well I am ashamed to say, I am that banned person!

Yes, it did seem that Google had suspended my employers account almost certainly because I had logged into my banned account at work, (to grab some code from an old ad) and within a day or so, the companies ads had stopped showing, (they were/are a web design company running ads for quite a few companies.)

It took guesswork on my behalf to establish the cause of the problem as they didn't inform me and ultimately a very grovelling letter to explain the error and ask for it to be reinstated, which it eventually was - thankfully before my employer realised there had been a problem.

So yes, it IS a very real problem and one that all should be cautious of.

I agree about the commenters remark about temporary bans, but bans are for life with Google. The only way back in has been to drop all old google accounts (gmail, adwords obv, adsense etc) I removed toolbars, cookies, changed ip's, WEBSITES, credit cards etc.

Seriously, it would have been easier entering a witness protection program.

Paul (Fahey)

At 1:50 PM, Blogger Jeremy Mayes said...

Paul, thanks for the follow up and details...better late than never huh?

At 6:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The exact same thing has happened to me for advertising gambling. The most ironic thing is that Google have now started allowing betting ads in the UK. I've applied to have my account reinstated citing that the reason I was banned is no longer an issue. I'm yet to hear from them. I am completely and utterly stumped to be honest - I used to make a pretty good income from affiliate marketing but since I lost adwords I make pence. What's more, they're happy to turn down my average spend of £900 a month - nice to know some businesses are still able to turn down income during this economic crisis!


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