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Google AdWords will permanently ban you for anything, and you will have no recourse, nor will any opportunity be provided to you to fix/correct the issue.

Someone lives next door to you, that gets their account banned? Your account gets banned.

You move into an apartment that had a previous resident 6 years ago, whose account got banned 2 years ago? Your account gets banned.

CTR too low on some test you are running? Your account gets banned.

Ad does not pass review and you forget and try it again in 3 months? Your account gets banned.

One day you are going to log in and see this message...


You're only option will be to make as much noise as you can about it, until someone at Google sees it on HN.

For the rest of us, we get screwed.

On a side note, Google cares so much about the communication between the client and the AdWords team, that email coming from AdWords often makes it right into the Gmail spam folder (100% in my case). They don't even bother white-listing it! That's where I found the reply for my plea for un-suspension.

I was banned from AdWords as well, and while very frustrating, I was able to get the issue resolved through email. The customer service along the way is just terrible. But if you petition for re-instatement, recognize the mistake or violation you made and resolve it, you'll probably be allowed back in.

> But if you petition for re-instatement, recognize the mistake or violation you made and resolve it, you'll probably be allowed back in.

That's a nice thought, but is not practical to me.

I ran ads (just some tests for a day or two, every 4-6 months) for one of my websites that provides a software control panel that manages web-server components and allows you to create websites (kind of like CPanel but for Windows).

This was the "landing page" (a PR5/PR6 page, since 2003):


This is the response I received back from AdWords team...

    I confirm that your site has been flagged for unacceptable business
    practices and was consequently disabled. 

    In response to multiple complaints received from users and publishers
    about this category of ads, our policies no longer allow sites that
    promote low-quality affiliate advertisements, the sale of free items, and
    other business models about which we've received multiple complaints. 

    At this time, it's Google's policy to not accept ads that make
    unverifiable, misleading claims about income opportunities for low risk
    and minimal effort. Read more about this specific policy at:

    Thank you for your cooperation.


    The Google AdWords Team
Tell me how that's relevant to me or what that means to me? I sell and support a 100,000-line .NET application that manages tools such as Apache, PHP, and MYSQL.

The best I could come up with was that someone at AdWords decided that my application was immaterial, and that I was instead selling Apache, PHP, and MySQL.

So I contacted them again...

    I do understand your point of view and apologize for any inconvenience 
    this may cause, but unfortunately we cannot provide any further 
    assistance in this matter. Google’s primary objective is to provide 
    safe, relevant experiences for our users. The decision to suspend your 
    account was made after careful review of your account and the low 
    quality landing page experiences promoted through your ads. 

    Please refrain from creating any new accounts, as they will be subject 
    to the same suspension. For privacy reasons, AdWords Support is unable 
    to provide any additional information regarding this account. 

    Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. 


    The Google AdWords Team 
It's a nice letter and I do appreciate Kayo getting back to me, but it's still a f-you, we don't care, we don't change our minds, if we made a mistake it's your problem, letter.

I think you should re-design your site to promote your product because from what you've posted here it does sound like a nice management application that could be really useful. But your page looks very much like you are just re-selling GPL software WAMP.

I think what does it for me - all of the promotional text about "building your own website" which indicates that you want to trick naive people that they need your software to run a web server. Instead you should focus on "advanced configuration tools for WAMP servers" and promote all of the things that your software does, without touting the basic WAMP functionality as your own.

It's a mistake, but your landing page looks like a typical affiliate style long-copy sales letter, so I'm guessing they just thought you were an affiliate of the product rather than the original source.

To me it just looks like a typical, badly-designed product page trying to get you to buy the product. How exactly does one distinguish between an "affiliate" sales pitch and an "original source" sales pitch?

Well, the permanant "special" is a bit of a red flag...

Not really. Many online products have a permanent special, and many offline stores are holding a permanent sale.

What is up with this text on your home page, above the fold:

(*subliminal message - it's like a bright sun rising from the east, shining down rays, giving life to websites)

It is almost invisible text, a strong spam indicator for Google's robot. Maybe you were banned for suspicious web design?

It's a joke, and was made after the fact. My attempt at humor. I think you might be the only person that has noticed it.

And it wasn't my website that was banned, but rather the AdWords account was permanently suspended. Google's crawlers/robots have no issue with my website.

> (*subliminal message - it's like a bright sun rising from the east, shining down rays, giving life to websites)

I just noticed one day that the boxshot was the color of the sun (yellow), and is displayed on the right side of the website, which is east, and is the direction where the sun rises each day. I thought it was fitting, considering the sun gives life, and the product does the same for websites.

Were you able to convince Google to un-suspend you?

I used to use AdWords on my own site, and my account was frozen because of "click-fraud". A few enterprising users on an unrelated forum decided to click my ads repeatedly, to support my OSS project. As a result I was denied the $10 of "legitimate clicks"

Any attempt to launch an appeal and contact Google seemed like the message was sent to their spam folder, and ignored.

This seems like an AdSense vs. Adwords issue. What the forum users were doing was defrauding Adwords advertisers in an attempt to bolster your AdSense account.

Essentially committing fraud. The issue in this post is his AdWords account was banned because of x,y,z reason but not because of to many clicks. They probably saw the $100 credit beding used for affiliate direct linking and flagged the account.

Just as an aside I have 13GB on dropbox now and got the additional storage by using the technique outlined in the article. My biggest difference was that the account was seasoned and I was spending my own money, not google coupon money.

Thanks for clarifying :) I was actually under the impression that AdSence was AdWords renamed. My issue happened in 2008 after all, I'm still suspended today.

Anyway, I agree that these users were committing fraud, but why ban me? I didn't condone (or even know) what they were doing until after the fact. The correct thing for AdSence to do here is to identify the offending IP addresses, cancel the credit accumulated by said IPs, and let me continue supporting the program on my site.

> Anyway, I agree that these users were committing fraud, but why ban me?

Because, explicitly or implicitly, something you were doing was encouraging people to defraud advertisers through your website. The way to stop this is to eliminate the cause (the person/site encouraging the fraud) not the symptom (today's batch of site visitors). Multiple people don't start engaging in multi-day click fraud behavior randomly -- something sets it off, something as innocuous as a forum post encouraging it or text near the ad that says "this project supported by ad clicks" -- but there has to be a catalyst, and that's the thing they're putting an end to by suspending an account.

> Because, explicitly or implicitly, something you were doing was encouraging people to defraud advertisers through your website.

That's a pretty bad thing to say about someone without any proof whatsoever. If users decide to 'help' you that does not automatically mean that you 'explicitly or implicitly' encouraged them to do so. People will do the strangest things without any prompting.

Technically this exposes a weakness in Google's program, after all any competitor could do this to you resulting in the banning of your account.

You're right. Weaponizing this could be a way to kick vendors off adsense (which is basically what your fans did by accident)

$10 is not enough money for them to care so they just ban you and move on. It's bullshit, IMO, but unless you are making them much more, they will not care.

That's AdSense, not AdWords. Different policies, different teams. At AdWords you can actually call and reach a real human being and resolve your issue, even if it's a suspension for breaching one of their policies. At AdSense, there's no chance of that.

I got banned from adsense a couple of years ago. I had an app I was writing and I had the ads in the corner. I made sure to not click my own ads, but because I was refreshing many times from the same IP, it somehow triggered a perma-ban.

I've tried to sign-up since and I don't get any errors, but I never get my acceptance email and Google won't ever respond to my queries.

Adsense is mostly a ripoff anyway. There are much better ways to monetize your traffic.

While there are (sometimes) better ways to monetize your traffic, Adsense is an easy to deploy, set-and-forget solution. So I wouldn't call it a ripoff :-)

There are many more solutions that are just as easy (and have better returns). Adsense is no longer the only place to go for ad placement.

What are these solutions? I help run a moderately-popular failblog exposing sexism in gaming, but aside from a few isolated cases, the advertising "interest" we get is people wanting to set up link exchanges advertising acai berries or whatever.

I'm presuming this is because the good ad networks don't need to look for sites to display on, but I haven't found anything else that's as good as AdSense. (And due to TOS, we can't run AdSense.)

Well via my ex employer I can get $25 CPM, and ad sense is around $0.40 CPM on average. Its just foolish to use google advertising IMO

Who is your ex-employer?

A television network, so they have a proper sales team etc... and direct dialogue with business and agencies.

The network ran trials of using Google ads on certain pages, and some did OK $10k per page per month (on popular pages). But at the end of the day that barely covers costs of running the network.

Google can't supply the cross medium advertising either, so most agencies are more than happy to pay the extra $24.60/cpm to actually get to the desired markets. The old saying "you get what you pay for" really sums it up really.

Should point out that its not probably closer to USD$20 CPM as I'm not in the states

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