My Google Adwords Account Was Banned!

Written by Zac Johnson
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This guest by Jonathan Volk, a 20-something super affiliate who makes over $300,000 per month using pay per click advertising platforms. Feel free to check out his blog for killer information on all things that deal with Making Money Online.

This last week I must have had 10 or so people contact me on AIM letting me know that their Google Adwords account was banned.

People were freaking out because all of their revenue was suddenly turned off over night. People who were making hundreds of thousands of dollars, suddenly making nothing, with little opportunity to recover.

We’re not just talking about a, “Oh you can’t run that campaign” type of ban either. We’re talking, “If you create another account with that credit card, home address, ip address you will be banned again” type of banning.

Thankfully, this ban did not affect me but because it happened to a lot of good friends of mine, I wanted to take the time to write exactly what you should do in order to ensure that your account is not banned. I also want to write about some possibilities of things you should do if you are banned from Google Adwords.

Things you should avoid in order to keep your Google Adwords Account Safe!

  • Downloading and re-uploading slapped campaigns. – At times, when your campaign gets google slapped (meaning your ads stop showing no matter how high you bid), it can be an easy solution to simply buy a new domain, download your campaign and reupload using a new domain. Viola, new traffic… until your campaign is slapped again. Doing this over and over can get you banned faster than spamming make money online links on wickedfire. If your campaign stops receiving traffic, it’s probably due to the way your landing page / site is structured. Try reviewing ways of fixing your landing page quality score and go from there. Once you have changed your landing page significantly, you can try uploading it again. Here is a guide on downloading and uploading an adwords campaign with changes.
  • Stay away from Flogs. – Google literally will hate you if you try to promote a flog on their advertising network. If you don’t know what a flog is, it’s a fake blog testimonial site usually promoting some sort of recurring billing free trial such as a make money online type subscription program. This was one of the main sources of the banning this last week. People who promoted Flogs on Google, even after knowing they should not, were banned and asked never to return. This applied just as much to those spending MILLIONS per year as it did the Joe Schmo spending a hundred bucks a day.
  • Stay away from Google Cash Offers, Google Money Tree, etc. – Google recently decided that the affiliate offers that include their name such as Google Money Tree, are no longer ok to promote on their Adwords advertising network. I suppose promoting a product that is essentially using Google’s brand trust to sell is never a good idea to promote through Google. The banning that took place this week also were due to people who promoted the “Make Money Online with Google Cash Offer.” There are about 20 different offers, mostly owned by a few companies and these things are extremely popular. They use Google’s brand recognition (they even had Google’s logo on a few of the landing pages) to sell the idea that someone could make money using a system they’re already familiar with. Stay away from these offers now.
  • Play by Google’s Rules! – Sometimes you have to just make your methods conform to Google’s rules, even if that means less profit. Part of the make money online job description is learning to conform to the ever changing rule set while still… you know… making money.

What if Your Adwords Account was banned?
Sadly, there is not a whole lot you can do that does not require a whole lot of work.

First, you’ll need to reset your internet modem to acquire a new IP address. Next, you will need a brand new credit card. A spouse or employee card would suffice. Next, you’ll need to sign up for a new account and hope that it works. Lastly, follow the rules above – and keep watching this blog as well as Jonathan Volk’s blog for more tips on how to earn money online.

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52 Replies to “My Google Adwords Account Was Banned!”

  1. It's unfortunate there's not much resolution for this problem. I think the measures Google took were fair, but a bit drastic. Quite a few affiliates will have to start fresh- hopefully they weren't putting all their eggs in one basket and have some other offers or MMO methods to work with.

  2. That's kind of slap from Google is too serious not to play by their rules. if it effects your flow of income, then why risk it?

  3. Personally, I don't think it is a wise move by Google just to outright ban people, why ban someone that is drawing your company a large amount of money? I guess Google has gotten big enough to where it really doesn't matter to them in their bottom line revenue, but still… it does effect them in the long run in my opinion, just a simple email warning them first bout the issue, rather than an outright ban would be much better and more effective. Essentially Google is just losing business and making their money makers go to their competitors.

    Till then,

    Jean

  4. The only reason I see that Google cracked down on the use of their name was the recent FTC rulings against those particular bizops. Up till then they where quite happy to take the millions of $$'s in revenue for those advertisements for the past year or more.

    And they didn't once in all that time twig to the fact their name was being bandied about? Yeah… right! And now to retroactively now ban accounts that ran those ads, with Google's full blessing at the time, shows just how evil Google has become.

  5. It is pretty obvious that almost all of us depend on Google, so you must obey their rules. A lot of people still cheat them, but it's a matter of time before they permanently ban.

    -Mike

    <abbr>Free Arcade Games’s last blog post..Scrawlder</abbr>

  6. Another thing to take note if you intend to apply for a new account, especially if you're also using gmail.

    It's ot that hard for them to figure out that your gmail is being accessed from the same IP as your old and new adwords account.

    If this ban is as strict as the Adsense ban, then yes, it's really hard to get another account. Prevention is definitely better than cure unless you have a backup plan.

    <abbr>Liberal Soul’s last blog post..Blogging Network: Pros</abbr>

  7. The best way to make sure you don’t get banned is to play by the rules 😉
    It would be interesting to see why these people have been banned though.

  8. Well all know how Google loves rebills and you think they would let you use their name in a rebill bizopp? Now you guys know the answer.

    <abbr>MotionGroove.com’s last blog post..Banned By Google AdWords? How To Get Back In?</abbr>

  9. Ouch… this goes to show you that you shouldn't be fully supportive of just one stream of income online. Sure, you can be doing thousands of dollars a day, but that's going to be very temporary if you're only targeting a single keyword. Diversify and expand! 🙂

    <abbr>John Martinelli’s last blog post..Easy Integration with ClickBank Instant Notification</abbr>

  10. It's not the end of the world if you get banned, there is loads of other affiliates out there who are making good money on yahoo & msn and Tier 2 Networks. Don't always thinking google is the mannnn.

    <abbr>Karl’s last blog post..How to get a Ton of Twitter Followers, NO BS!</abbr>

  11. I hate the fact that my whole income depends on google being nice to me. Wouldn't like to wake up one day and find out that all my work up to this point was for nothing because google suddenly hates me.

    <abbr>Stancje’s last blog post..WrocÅ‚aw 13.07.2009: Mam do wynajÄ™cia</abbr>

  12. It just amazes me that you dont even get a warning or an email or anything. Just boom – banned from using. That amazes me. Google needs competition badly.

  13. Wonder how this will work … risk?

    Use Content Network > Squeeze Page > Sell whatever you want.

    Would Google actually opt-in to see what you're promoting to your list?

  14. Is there any particular reason why campaigns would not be run? I had 2 campaigns this weekend that were "pending review" and I finally stopped waiting today. Is Google cracking down on ads with certain names or words in the ad? And none of my ads promoted anything like a flog or one of the Google cash programs.

    <abbr>Christina’s last blog post..System Set up</abbr>

  15. Flogs are bad news, and if that is your principal business model you deserve to get banned. Sometimes it just ain't that simple though! Oh the pitfalls of AdWords!

  16. Don't think that playing by the rules will save you either. I have had campaigns slapped that were going to excellent sites, with tons of content and geared at user experience. The sites were built from the ground up with the purpose of trying to avoid a slap.

    Google has become no different to an evil dictatorship that randomly makes innocent people go missing in the middle of the night.

    I will repeat again, if you think you are safe playing by their rules, you are not. They don't even know what the rules are. My Google rep can't even give me answers as to why I was slapped, or how I can create pages that won't get slapped in the future.

    <abbr>Matt’s last blog post..How Much is a Lead Worth to You?</abbr>

  17. The way to avoid this and to Make more money! is to ignore the search engines!

    Do Media buys people so much more traffic that you couldn't even buy all inventory.

    Key is learning how to structures IO's with the right concessions and know exactly where your target prospect hang out and have top banners creatives in rotation and you can be making a killing of just 1 publisher.

    So much I can talk about regarding media buying my best advice is to read the 100+ page e-book by Carlos and Lupe Garcia who have built a 5Mil month business doing strictly media buying and have clients paying them 25k each.

    Media Buys FTW. ???? search engines

  18. Yeah I am seeing a ton of CPA marketers diversifying and creating old CPA methods as products lately.

  19. @Jason Arias:

    I totally agree with Jason here. I have read Carlos and Lupe's book called Traffic Tactics and I took their approach and applied it to the content network on adwords because I didn't have the money initially to do them. It cost a minimum of $3k on most of the major networks before they will even talk to you.

    So what I did was pimp it with the content network by studying placement reports and finding out where my best sources of traffic were coming from within the content network. Then I started contacting sites directly and cut Google out of the picture.

    Listen to Jason, media buying is for real.

  20. My account was supsended and I have never promoted 'money tree' or similar. In fact, I had to research it on the Internet to find out what it was.

    At the bottom of Google's T & C, it states that they have the right to close your account at any time, for any reason. One of Google's core business principles is that 'The Internet should be a Democracy'. Unfortunately, Google's system is the most autocratic that I have come accross.

    The bottom line is, do not solely depend on Google for your income, be it via Adwords or SEO. With the latter, Google can 'sandbox' your site so that it does not show in organic search. If you do, you could wake up one morning to find your income streams cut off for 'any reason' Google decide to cite and without a fair hearing or review.

  21. This is good info thanks. When setting up a new account do I have to use someone elses credit card, or can I just use a new credit card with my name on it?

  22. I think google is also slapping certain niches on the content network..

    My account is not banned but wont get any content network traffic no matter what I do.

    Anyone else notice this?

    -D

  23. I was banned by Google a while back – not just the account ban, but the "never-come-back" ban that Jon was talking about – and it was extremely difficult to get back in. The hardest part was figuring out how they were tracking me from account-to-account, so if this happened to you, let me tell you what you need to change:

    – Your IP address. Easy; just reset your modem.

    – Your email. Obviously, another easy one.

    – Your credit card number. Call in and choose the "I lost my credit card" option, and your credit card company should immediately send you a new card with no questions asked.

    – Your phone number. A little harder, but Google never seems to call, so you probably can just enter a random number and it'll be fine. If you want to get a real number, Kall8 (https://www.kall8.com) offers toll-free voicemail/forwarding numbers for $2/mo.

    – Your address. This is the hardest of all, but it is also completely necessary, since you must change your credit card's billing address to this new address. I've been using Mailbox Forwarding (https://www.mailboxforwarding.com) to get a remote address where I can view scanned copies of my mail online for $10/mo. Just sign up for an account, change your credit card billing address to to the box # they give you, and you're free of Google.

    Not easy by any means, but doable.

  24. It’s unfortunate there’s not much resolution for this problem. I think the measures Google took were fair, but a bit drastic. Quite a few affiliates will have to start fresh- hopefully they weren’t putting all their eggs in one basket and have some other offers or MMO methods to work with.

  25. You ban me for life I ban Google search and any products for life. It's time everyone started to realize do we really want to deal with the people at Google our whole lives? Don't let them own the Internet.

  26. I also had my account banned by Google, they cannot give an explanation except to say that I did not conform to their guidelines. My crime, to promote an ebook I wrote (not even affiliate marketing).

    This has left me with no way to compete with my competitors in my niche (who have not been banned and run the same campaigns). This in my view is anti-competitive.

    My other unrelated sites also dropped off the search engine rankings, but they have returned, luuckily.

    I'm very annoyed, but I've switched my campaigns over to Yahoo Search Marketing who appear to have no problem with my campaigns, and I am looking at other avenues to get traffic.

    Google just sucks, plain and simple. They are too powerful and effect too many online business owners with the flick of a switch from some idiotic employees whim with no way of appeal by their "valued" customers. They are worse than the Tax office!

    Hopefully, if enough people get annoyed Googles earnings will plummet.

    And their latest Fiasco in China? It will be interesting to see how that pans out.

  27. Dave, I have done all of that too, and I still cannot get back on. I have tried completely revamping my site. Hopefully that will do the trick, but I am not holding my breath

  28. @Adam Gunther:

    Thanks for the helpful information. If I made all the changes to get a new google account, would I need to use a different name as well, or could I sign up with the same name at google and the same name on the credit card?

  29. Look people you all wrong I know friends who lost the adwords and did not wrong.Google hates anyone with affiliate sites. They only want merchants

  30. I've just been banned for life. I simply do ppc for a few car dealers locally spending around $125,000. I set up a campaign as an affiliate for a clickbank product a year ago to try it out and only left it running for 3 impressions and 0 clicks. However, a year later I'm told I'm very bad person who will never be allowed to spend their money on google ever again. This product is being promoted on adwords by tons of affiliates, so how can I find out the real reason I was banned?

  31. I was banned from when i started testing Google Money Tree. I had like 4 clicks and then I paused the add. 4 months later 3 years of work down the drain. Stupid, after all those years of playing by the book.

    Do you think that this would somehow affect my current website? It's a straight up clean blog but I don't want ti to get shut down
    My recent post Michael Jordan Motorsports – 23

  32. I was banned from when i started testing Google Money Tree. I had like 4 clicks and then I paused the add. 4 months later 3 years of work down the drain. Stupid, after all those years of playing by the book.

  33. Its really scary that you can be removed from Adwords. Well, its their rules and their network. Just hope that there will be some form of notice or chance for everyone two correct the mistake.

  34. JUST GOT UN BANNED AND MY ACCOUNT RE INSTATED!
    find out exactly how @ fivrr.com search "adwords re instated" or "adwords un banned"

    Thank you for your patience and for getting to be
    compliant.

    Google takes violations of AdWords policy very seriously. Your account was
    suspended when our system determined that it was in violation of one or
    more of our policies.

    However, after careful review, AdWords specialists have determined that
    your account is not in violation, and your account has now been
    reinstated.

    Please keep in mind that we're constantly improving the way the AdWords
    system evaluates landing page quality, so there's no guarantee that your
    Quality Score won't be affected by a poor landing page quality in the
    future. To prevent this from happening, we recommend ensuring that your
    site complies with our Landing Page and
    Site Policies at https://adwords.google.com/support/aw/bin/answer.p…?
    hl=en&answer=46675

    We thank you for your understanding, and apologize for any inconvenience
    this may have caused.

    Sincerely,

    Subharaj
    The Google AdWords Team

  35. Why don't we place a class action suit against Google. This is after all an antitrust issue. If enough of us get together, we can force them to change their ways. I think suing them for lost revenue will be a good place to start. They can't ignore a couple of hundred million dollar suit and keep their shareholders happy. Any lawyers willing to take up the fight?

  36. I noticed on Monday that my account was banned, I had no idea I got banned as I haven't used Adwords in a while. Apparently my account got flagged for violating our 'Hacking' policy which is an egregious violation of our policies.

    The campaign was only for a month and used a $50 dollar Adwords voucher back in APRIL 2011.
    I never received a warning or anything like that at all…

    Seems a bit excessive and I don't even know how to code so how the hell can I get charged for "hacking" purposes… really…
    My recent post Facebook F8 Keynote New Design

  37. Yea, Google slapped me in the face too a few years ago. I never returned but still managed to salvage a decent income on line with other alternative PPC programs. There is always hope after Google people.

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