What PPC Pros Need to Know About AdWords Account Suspensions

Ad disapprovals happen sometimes, but what happens when your AdWords account is suspended?

Google has been battling illegitimate advertisers for a while now – that’s nothing new.

Google policy updates can change the tides and if you’re not aware, your account can be quickly suspended from the auction. Google typically alerts advertisers when there is a policy change, however, if you’re a new advertiser, you may not be aware of all of the policies that could impact your ad delivery.

So what do you need to know? I’ve outlined it below along with a number of resources to assist you.

What You Should Know About AdWords Account Suspensions

First of all, there is an entire list of AdWords advertising policies that outlines different industries. Sure, it’s easy to assume that “adult content” and alcohol fall into those categories, but did you know that financial services and some local services are also considered restricted businesses by Google?

I’ll admit that some of these surprised me.

You should know that there are a lot of reasons behind these suspensions. For example, abusing the ad network or misrepresentation are policy violations, but your account can also be suspended for unpaid balances, suspicious/fraudulent payments, unauthorized access and several other reasons. See the full list of suspension reasons here.

It’s useful to remember that Google will always err on the side of caution, so if there’s a chance you’re violating policies, Google will be more conservative and keep your account suspended.

Policy Updates

There are good reasons behind all of these policy updates, don’t get me wrong.

When it comes to industries that are restricted and closely monitored, Google often comes out with updates and amendments to their policies. If you have a client who falls into one of these buckets, I would recommend bookmarking this page of upcoming and recent AdWords changes so that you can stay up to date on anything that might impact your ads. (This is especially important when you’re dealing with an international client.)

In January, Google began enforcing the policy of requiring ticket resellers to be certified by Google before advertising in AdWords. This change impacts all ticket resale accounts across the globe. The certification form was released for ticket resellers on January 8, 2018. In March, Google will also require certified resellers to publish the face value of tickets along with the reseller’s price in the same currency.

These changes come on the heels of many concerts and events selling out in minutes, likely the work of bots and ticket brokers, and then the market is flooded with tickets at astronomical markups. You may remember this happening with Adele’s 2016 North American tour.

This is just one example of a policy change that could impact advertisers.

If you are curious about past updates that might impact an industry or country you’re advertising in, you can see all of those here.

How to (Hopefully) Fix an Account Suspension

You’ll want to fix any billing issues, ad disapprovals and disapproved sitelinks from the start. Google’s guide to fixing a suspended account can help get you started with this process. The process differs a bit depending on if your issue is payment-related, unauthorized access to your account or a general policy violation.

If you want to try to keep advertising on Google, you’ll need to submit an appeal once you have identified and tried to fix the issue at hand. In my experience, once you’ve filled out this form, it can take several business days to hear back.

If you’d prefer to pull chocks and go elsewhere with your ad dollars, you can follow the steps to cancel your AdWords account.

What Else Can Be Done?

Bring some patience: If you choose to appeal the account suspension, this can be a long, and potentially frustrating process to get your ads turned back on.

I hope this helps you avoid an account suspension by staying in the know on policy updates. If you’re in the middle of figuring out an account suspension, hopefully this is useful to get your account back up and running.