My AdWords Account is Suspended: What Do I Do?

by Adam Kaiser March 13, 2015

Get Your AdWords Account Out of Suspension Jail!

The online advertising world is enormous, and advertisers are always trying to stay ahead of the competition. Google, of course has to make sure companies follow its advertising policies, which can lead to conflicts and misunderstandings between Google and advertisers sometimes.

We often get inquiries about lifting suspended AdWords accounts, and in every case the main reason for the account being suspended is that in Google’s opinion (which is the only opinion that matters!), the advertiser didn’t follow the rules. If that happened to you here’s how to fix it and get your account unsuspended.

1. Know Why Google Usually Suspends Accounts

Knowing and understanding all of Google’s policies can be a beast of a task, but they are good at letting you know if you violate one and will usually allow you to fix it if it’s a first offense. According to Google, these are the top reasons accounts get suspended:

  • Repeat policy violations
  • Violating policies in a big way that puts users at risk
  • Failure to pay for advertising costs
  • Account appears to be related to an already-suspended account

[Tweet “The best defense against suspension is to avoid it in the first place.”]

2. Be Proactive and Avoid Suspension in the First Place

The best defense against suspension is to avoid it in the first place. Here’s the best way to do that:

  • If you get a disapproved ad, fix it and don’t make the same mistake in the future.
  • If your site gets disapproved, find out why and fix it as fast as possible.
  • Update your notifications. You need to be alerted when you do something wrong.
  • Review and understand the AdWords policies periodically. Here is Google’s policy change log, to keep you up to date.

The first thing I ask a client who reaches out with a suspended account is, Do you have the original warning email that Google sent? The answer has never been no. When you make a mistake Google will be the first to let you know. Do not take these notifications lightly!

Almost every suspension we see could have been prevented. If you are unsure or confused about the details of the disapproval notification, contact AdWords Support or your agency immediately. I cannot stress how much time and money you will save by fixing the problem the first time.

Note: In some cases Google will suspend you without any warning at all. If this happens to you you might still have a chance to be unsuspended, but in some cases your business model might not be suited for Paid Search.

3. What Happens When I Get Suspended?

When your AdWords account is suspended, here’s what you’ll see happen:

  • Google will stop running your ads.
  • Any related account will probably be suspended.
  • Your merchant account will be suspended.
  • If you try to create a new account with similar information it will be suspended.

One of the biggest mistakes we see is when an account doesn’t correctly fix their initial disapproval, which results in a suspension. Rather than try to fix it, they might just create a new account! DON’T DO IT. This is a huge no no and Google will shut you down indefinitely. Even if they don’t catch it right away, they most likely will sooner or later.

 4. Understanding Google Policies.

This is something most advertisers don’t want to spend all their time worrying about, and I can understand that. As an online advertiser you don’t need to know and understand every one of Google’s policies, but you should know the basics and stay current on the policies related to your industry. Visit Google’s Advertising Policies  to study up.

Google’s advertising policies are in place to protect the user. In many cases a suspension is placed on an advertiser who Google believes is making false claims or has misleading content on their landing page or site. Be careful about making claims without backing or reference, especially in sensitive industries like health, finance, tech support, and anything where you collect personal data.

[Tweet “When Google requests changes, be sure to do as much as possible to satisfy them.”]

5. What Can I Do If I Get Suspended?

First, find out why you were suspended. These are the types of warnings that Google will send to accompany suspensions along with what you should do for each situation:

  • Unauthorized attempts or activity on your account. This is for your protection. Click here if your account was compromised.
  • If you do not pay your balance, you will be suspended. Log in to your account, pay your balance and contact AdWords to let them know that you have paid your dues.
  • Your account will be suspended if Google detects suspicious behavior in your payment activity.
  • Policy violations will get your account suspended. Don’t worry, there is an appeal process. Fix the violations, make a detailed report of the changes you have made, and visit this page to submit your appeal. I cannot stress the importance of fixing the violation correctly before you submit your appeal.
  • Google will suspended you if violate AdWords Terms & Conditions. Be sure your business practices follow policies and make sure your credit cards are in good standing.
  • Unfortunately, some violations are deemed too serious and Google may never allow you to advertise again. I have never seen this happen because of repeated violations from something small like a single ad. It’s usually a situation where the advertiser was doing something they could have fixed sooner.

I’ll be the first to tell you that the Google policy team can be vague, so it is our duty as advertisers to understand what we can and cannot do. When they request changes, be sure to do as much as possible to satisfy the request so there’s no doubt you’ve done it.

At the end of the day, Google wants to protect its users and its own brand. There are millions of other advertisers that will take your place, so don’t make the mistakes that so many already have.

Avoid misleading claims, don’t misuse promotional codes, and take a step back and look at your advertising from the eye of the end user and do everything you can to provide value to them. If you or a friend is struggling an AdWords suspension, contact us and we can give specific feedback for your account!

  • AdWords

Adam Kaiser

Adam Kaiser

With over a decade's worth of experience in Digital Marketing, Adam loves working with companies to identify areas within their strategy that can be improved. He's helped hundreds of clients grow their ROI and exceed their goals. Adam loves the outdoors, sports, and spending time with his beautiful wife and three children.

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