The last weeks have been a real nightmare. After I got banned from AdWords, my business came to a standstill. I was under so much pressure I even had to take some antidepressant drugs.
I spend two years of my life building this company; suddenly from one day to the other I was facing the serious threat of losing my business for ever, because AdWords suspended me.
I tried to open new Adwords accounts about 6 times. Based on my online research in all different kind of forums I deleted my cookies, used new credit cards and changed my name. Every time I completed the registration, I was monitoring the status of my ads all the time. However, they Ads just would not show even after a couple of days. I contacted AdWords support , and they just explained to me in a short email that my account has been suspended indefinitely, without going into any details. How cruel is that? Adwords bans accounts, without even telling you.
I did a lot of research online how to get back on Adwords, I also read different eBooks that promised to offer a solution for AdWords Banned customers. However, the author of ‘Adwords Ghost’ Peter Bergmann seems to understand the technology AdWords is using to ban customers best.
My AdWords ban situation was very unique. I was surprised by the level of support the Author of this guide gave me. It never took him longer than 12 hours to reply my emails. I thought I would never be able again to advertise on Google again, I could almost not believe when my Ads were live again.
I think the solution will only work for people who really fallow this guide step by step. If you leave one step out, you will get banned again.
The only negative thing would be the price. However, I am back in business so the investment I did with ‘Adwords Ghost‘ definitely paid off.
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Donald saw the last time an office from the inside in 2006. Ever since did he work online for himself in all different kind of coffee shops from Cambodia to Tuvalu Islands. He started to get into serious trouble when AdWords Banned his account of the blue.
Oliver: Nice to meet you Donald, how are you?
Donald: I am really suffering. Since Adwords banned my account I am suffering from sleeplessness, depression, fear I might never be able to get my business back. This must be the worst crises I ever experienced in my life. This ban to advertise on Google made my doctor describe me very strong antidepressants drugs, so I can deal with all the stress.
Oliver: Did AdWords provide you with any reason why you got banned?
Donald: Excellent question. No they did not. The only told me I was not in compliance with their Terms and Conditions for AdWords users. Their T&C are like 600 pages, I think it would take me weeks to read them all through and even then I might know what went wrong. To be honest with you, I think I just got very unlucky. Building a business around AdWords is like playing Russian roulette. You never know if you get hit with a ban or not.
Oliver: Did you ever try to open a new AdWords account.
Donald: After fourteen or fifteen failed attempts I just gave up. There algorithm is so far developed that you really would need some professional to help open a new account.
Oliver: What kind of things did you promote with AdWords?
Donald: We sell shoes and clothes. No brand names. We import them from Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Its a low margin high volume business. After this Adwords ban, we have all that inventory we can not sell. Trends are so fast in fashion industry that we might not be able to sell that clothes in 1 or 2 months. Thats why we need to get back as soon as possible. We have no choice.
Oliver: Did you ever conceder AdWords alternatives such as Yahoo, Facebook, Bing, eBay or Amazon?
Donald: We tried them all after we got banned from AdWords. Yahoo and Bing are a joke in terms of traffic they are able to deliver. I wish there would be more competition in the online search market. But we know its all controlled by the big evil G. Facebook ads are ridiculous, they traffic they send is worthless. Conversation are low as hell.
Don’t get me started with eBay and Amazon. They run their market place like some evil communist regime like North Korea. Those sites used to be good to sell, now it got very difficult and a lot of sellers actually spend more money on the fees for than what it cost them to buy the product they sell.
Oliver: Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, we really appreciate it.
We sell all kind of computer and camera accessories online. We import goods from China and sell them here in the states. I started this business back in 2002 with a friend of mine. We have almost 100 employees in our back office as well warehouse.
You can imagine we spend a lot of money every month on Advertisement with AdWords. We actually even have a dedicated Adwords sales manager who is taking care of our account.
Out of the blue without any warning our Ads stopped appearing. Within an hour we received an email that our Adwords account had been banned.
I first thought that might be some kind of bad joke. I called our Adwords sales manager concerning that ban. He seemed to be surprised as well. He promised me to speak with his supervisor and get my account reinstated within 1 hour. First hour past and our Ads still did not appear. Every hour our ads did not show we were losing a lot of money. You cannot imagine how nervous I was. After 2 hours I called our incompetent Adwords guy again. His voice sounded so weird, he explained that his manager declined to reinstate my account. I got really furious, how could they just ban my Adwords account. So I ask why did I get banned from Adwords?
He admitted he had no Idea. Again he promised me to appeal that Adwords Suspension decision and get back to me.
In the meantime I tried some Adwords Resellers. First I thought that might be a solution to get my business back. I tested 3 different companies. Their fees were so ridiculously expensive, it basically eliminated my profit margin I had on my goods.
I tried Yahoo, Bing, Facebook etc. It was just shocking how poorly the little traffic they send converted.
1 week has passed, I tried all kind of Adwords alternatives without any success. I still had no reply from Adwords why they banned me. I just go so angry, and called again. I had my account manager again on the phone. He spoke very quietly; I almost could not hear him. He explained I got banned because my account is associated with some other suspended Adwords account.
I told him, what the f**k? This account was the only Adwords account I had all my life? How could it be connected to some other account?
I soon realized that account manager had no power in influencing Google’s decision to ban my account. He is like a nanny taking care of the high volume Adwords advertisers without any competence. The issue with Adwords is that they have a monopoly on online advertisement. There are no alternative to Google.
Facebook does deliver a lot of traffic, but its low quality. Yahoo and Bing combined can send me 15% of traffic Adwords can.
In my opinion the Adwords and Google monopoly should be broken up. It’s never good for society if one company controls an entire market. There is a reason why they created those antitrust laws.
A lot of friends who know the horror stories I experienced with Adwords always like to ask me, do you hate Adwords? The answer is yes and no. As long as you can use Adwords and you not get in trouble with the department suspending accounts it’s the best place to advertise on the planet.
It is not cheap, but still the return on investment is just amazing. I tried to use Facebook, Bing and Yahoo as an alternative for Adwords, without any success. The issue with Facebook is people are not looking or searching for information, they mind is focused on interacting with their friends or playing games. So it is very hard to sell to people who are not searching for anything.
Yahoo and Bing even combined don’t get enough traffic to even be considered a competitive force to our all mighty God of the internet Big G.
I am a big believer in the free market. I hate monopolies, but unfortunately online advertisement is owned by Adwords. People are just so used to use Google to find stuff on the internet. It’s very difficult to break this habit. However, there is hope. If Facebook manages to turn some of its 1 billion users to use the search feature of FB, Google and Adwords could get serious competition. Mark Zuckerberg should change the user interface of FB in a way which stops people leaving FB and going to Google to search.
FB search is powered by Bing, and my impression is that the search results delivered by Bing are now actually allot better than what Google is showing on its search result page.
Google’s Adwords is to the internet what Microsoft used to be 10 years ago to computers. Windows used to rule the world. People were scared of monopoly Microsoft had. We all know things have changed. I am strong believer that in 10 years Google will not own the internet as they do now. Google tried to so hard with Google+ to compete against Facebook without a lot of success. The only thing Google is making any real money from at the moment is it’s Adwords business.
The challenge large corporations are facing is that the bigger they grow the more inflexible they get. Startups are like young adults. They are creative, they are eager to learn new thinks; they just have the mindset to invent new stuff. Once they get older the mindset changes. The loose the ability to see things from a different perspectives, the whole mindset changes.
In multinational companies such as Google even if some people have great ideas, in most cases they are lost in the hierarchy. The bigger the companies grow the more arrogant they get. A good example would Apple, Microsoft and even Google. The arrogance G shows it’s Adwords customer is sometimes really hard to grasp. In many cases advertisers had their account unfairly suspended.
In most cases appeals to reconsider the suspension are ignored. I personally sent a very polite email to Adwords to reinstate my suspended accounts. The response email I received did not answer any of my questions I had ask. The customer service representative must have come to the conclusion that instate of actually doing some research and replying my email it might be easier to just choose the “don’t contact us again template” and close the case.
After years spending every month thousands of dollars with Adwords I felt very insulated. In my opinion only companies, who have a monopoly on the service they are offering, can afford to treat customers so arrogant and offensive.
During my last month’s summer vocation in South East Asia, I met a lot of guys making their living online and living in exotic countries such as e.g. Indonesia, Philippines or even Singapore. It’s a quite smart move, as they all earn their money in us dollars.
However, the living costs in those countries are very cheap. I remember, when I stayed in Indonesia last month, I could get a very nice local dinner for 1 usd. People in South East Asia working in a 7-11 shop maybe make about 200 usd a month and live a decent life, if you are earning let’s say 1000 usd online you can live like a king.
I really kind of envy the kind of lifestyle those western people are having there. Beautiful beaches, all year round warm weather, amazingly delicious food.
I read the ’4 Hour Work Week’ from Timothy Ferriss last year. I was very impressed, actually meeting people living the 4 hour work for real.
I run an ecommerce business; I am selling all different kind of fashion accessories online. I am working now on a step by step plan how to outsource the whole product fulfillment to warehouse and finally being able to spend more time abroad, exploring new countries and cultures.
Are you living the ’4 Hour Work Week’? Share your experience, add a comment below.
In this article I will discuss 3 major Advertisement platforms which could be seen as substitute to Adwords, after you have been banned. I tested them on my own business, the results may vary depending on your niche.
What I really like about Microsoft AdCenter is their control panel, which is very logically structured and easy to use. I also had contact with their customer service department via phone. I was surprised by the well trained customer service agent, and level of customer service delivered. You can feel they really try hard to win customers over from Adwords.
I am using them for 4 weeks now. They traffic they deliver is good and converts well, similar to what I used to experience with Adwords before they banned my account.
The only issue is that Adwords was able to deliver about 100 visitors to my page a day, compared to Microsoft Adcenter I am getting 7 – 10 hits. It should not be a surprise as the market share of bing.com is still very small.
I liked the idea of “targeted” ads, as Facebook gives you the option to choose age, language, location, level of education etc. It took about 24 hours to approve my Ad, which is not very fast, however, if this Ads delivers sales, who cares.
After 1 week, my “free” Facebook advertisement credit came to an end. I made about 1 sale which originated from Facebook. Quality of traffic, very low. My conversation rate was about 2%, compared to 20% before I got banned from all time favorite Adwords. If I would test different Ads I maybe could improve the conversations. Again Facebook only delivered 30 hits in an entire week. Those numbers are so far away from what I am used from Adwords, it just does not make any economically sense to do any fine tuning. People on Facebook are not searching for specif information, they are more in a ‘information consuming’ mood. That might explain the low click through rates and low conversations.
You might be able to make Facebook Ads work for your specif niche. However, it did not work for me. After beeing adwords banned, this is definitely not the kind of ‘alternative’ I was looking for.
I using Yahoo for some time, before simultaneously with Adwords before they banned me. The issue is the same as with all other above advertisement platforms, the volume of visitors they deliver is just to low to really to qualify as an alternative.
After I tested all those “alternatives” to Adwords, unfortunately I have to conclude, there is NO real alternative. If Adwords also banned you, the only way to continue your business is to get a new working account.
I own a small internet dating website, we promote our business with Google Adwords. Google Adwords banned my Adwords account 2 days ago. I tried to contact Google Adwords via email, I am very disappointed as they only send me some pre-written emails without any specific reason why I got banned.
Adwords Banned Customer are treated like outcast. They are acting in such an unethical manner. There are 6 people working in our small office. It is very questionable if we can continue operating this small business, if we are not able to reverse the Google Adwords Banned verdict, we will have to close this company. I was looking for alternatives to Google Adwords after we got banned, it did not take me long to realize there is no substitute for Adwords.
The Google Reich
Google Adwords controls 80% of PPC advertisement online, the chances are very slim that this Google monopoly will be destroyed anytime soon. If any company would deal with clients as Adwords does, they would have to deal with a lot of lawsuits. The only difference that make the Google story even worse, there is no substitute for Adwords.
If your business only relies on Google Adwords traffic, be careful. Google Adwords Banned Accounts without any warning. I learned this lesson, when it was already to late. Last week I was researching every day how to get back on Adwords after being banned, yesterday I opened a new Adwords account. However, my new account was linked to my old banned Adwords account. I am sure there must be a way to get back on Adwords after being banned, I will continue looking for a solution.
If you have been banned from Adwords as well, share you Adwords experience with us below.
I did some research in different online forums and it was shocking to read all those horror stories people were experiencing with Google and how they got their Adwords account disabled. One Adwords disabled horror story that really got me came from a good friend of mine (Bob), he owns an e-commerce business selling perfumes.
Last year suddenly he got Adwords disabled. Bob has a wife and one 5 year old daughter and 7 year old son who just started school.
Bob used to make a decent money with his business, however, being Adwords disabled, did not only destroy his business but also is jeopardizing the future of his family.
After Bob got Adwords disabled, he was forced to find a new job. He is working now as ‘Customer Service Representative’ for a UK tour operator. He barley makes more than $1400 after taxes. His wife stays at home to take care the 5 year old daughter. Adwords banned means they can not afford to go out for dinner, go on holiday or even own a car.
What Adwords and Google don’t seem to understand, that their decision to ban someone changes lives for the worse. Adwords banned means people loose their businesses, their jobs and their lively-hood.
As Adwords own a virtual monopoly on online advertisement they need to introduce some kind of process to offer Adwords customer who were banned to reappeal this decision. There has to be a fair and independent entity who controls the process. Adwords disabled means to many people, their financial existence is being destroyed. It time to end this cruel and evil behavior by Google when the randomly ban Adwords accounts.
Last month about ten friend of mine contacted me that their Adwords account was banned. Everyone was losing it for the reason that most of their very own cash flow has been immediately deterred over night. Those individuals were generating thousands of dollars every month and out of the blue got banned from Adwords.
We are not only discussing a, “Oh you cannot run this campaign” style of ban as well. We’re talking about, “If you actually open an extra account by using this credit card, address, ip location you may be banned again” style of banning.
I was lucky as this Adwords ban did not affect me but some friends of mine were hit hard. I will show you how you can make sure you will get your account not suspended in the first place.
Things you need to stay way from to make sure you can maintain your Google Adwords Account Secure.
Downloading and re-uploading slapped campaigns. – Once in a while, or any time your current campaign becomes Google slapped (which means your own marketing campaigns stop appearing regardless of how high you bid). Usually a surprisingly simple resolution to quickly obtain a new domain, download your own marketing capmagins and re-upload using a brand new domain name. It could work for a quick time right up until you get banned again.
Google is God in online Advertising, never upset God. Bad karma may fallow you, where ever you might go.
Last week, shortly after I published my last post I came across this ‘Adwords Unbanned’ eBook. The author Tom Goldman claims that this book will get you a new working Adwords account, after you have been banned. I am surprised what kind of technologies Adwords is using to ban clients who have been banned from Adwords before.
I followed the step by step guide as described in the book. I am very excited as I have a new working Adwords account, however, I am little bit scared to get banned from Adwords again. I will do an extended review in two weeks, as it is to early to tell if the information inside this book really works.