What would you do if Google banned your account?

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Yesterday I had a private call for my Mastermind Club members. We explored the dark side of Google.

One member was spending $1 million per year on Google selling coffee and they shut him down. (He wasn’t selling Warez, or ebooks, or get rich quick, or affiliate programs, or anything like that).

No explanation. No recourse.

Google said, “Stop sending us emails.”

Another guy was an affiliate spending $300K per year. He says he wasn’t “pushing the boundaries” but they shut him down anyway. Permanently banned.

Percentage wise this only happens to a very small percentage of people. But it can happen.

What if this happens to you?

If your business is excessively dependent on Google then you’re an accident waiting to happen.

At the beginning of every personal AdWords 12 week Coaching run, I say:

“If 12 months from now you are still getting most of your traffic from Google, I will have failed to do my job. I want you to use Google to perfect your sales funnel, then get traffic from EVERYWHERE. Not just Google.”

"So many options for growing my business, but what should I do NOW?" Tell me your most pressing business problems and I'll show you your BEST next step.

I’ve been saying that for 4+ years now.

In my Maui AdWords Master’s Summit 1/3 of the seminar will be about paid traffic sources OTHER than Google. So that no matter what Google does, you have a healthy business.

One of the speakers at that seminar will be Jonathan Mizel who is a MASTER of paid traffic media buys. Jonathan just released a new course on how to buy tens of thousands of clicks from the “invisible half” of the online marketing world.

There are 20+ major companies NOT including Bing and Yahoo who sell banners, Pay Per Click services, contextual advertising, popups, popunders and access to email lists.

Jonathan created a new course on buying this kind of media and it’s superb:

http://ForgottenTraffic.com

Don’t get caught with your pants down. Never rely on just ONE source of traffic – that’s lethal. It’s not a question of IF, but WHEN. Google AdWords is great but it’s even better when it’s only 1/5 of your traffic.

My friend, sleep with one eye open.

Perry Marshall

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About the Author

Perry Marshall has launched two revolutions in sales and marketing. In Pay-Per-Click advertising, he pioneered best practices and wrote the world's best selling book on Google advertising. And he's driven the 80/20 Principle deeper than any other author, creating a new movement in business.

He is referenced across the Internet and by Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, INC and Forbes Magazine.

36 Comments on “What would you do if Google banned your account?”

  1. It’s never a good idea to rely on yuor one website that ranks on page 1. If you do have such a website you can use the “juice power” to start growing your next baby. 6 months of good invested links and writing of fresh content on the new “industry-related” website and you can have 2 high ranking websites easily. A good SEO person never only has 1 website for the product/service of his client. AI suggest to always have at least 3 mini-sites on keyword domains that are relevant to your main website in the nursery for cases like this – use different hosts and different IP’s is also a good idea here..

  2. Well i never even got to advertise, i had put up a site, but i had not yet finished with my actual site, so the page i put up had no privacy, disclaimers etc but i wasn’t finished, i had paused all my campaigns and they banned my account straight away.

    Now im not sure what the hell it was, i had the word “cure” in the url, but the thing is there is a cure for this specific ailment and i had one link on their that was up to the scientific trials.

    But i figured out a quick way to sort this out, i dont advise it to everyone but i did it.

    I signed up for a new business, bought the name through a companies house, i registered a new post code, i then got a bank account linked to that address, i bought a new domain and set up a new email address, i flushed my ip address (as its dynamically assigned from the router) and now the account works again.

    This is one way to get around it, and the best thing is i got $60 for the signing up, all i did was sign up with the bank that was referred to me through the companies house, so they paid me to open the account.

    Now – If/When i get banned again i will have six or more of these things up ready to go, i think google is making a massive mistake and i think people are going to laugh at what im about to say.

    The time will come when small/medium size businesses realize that google is just as expensive as any advertising, with more and more people clicking less and less on ads, google is going to lose billions within a few short years.

    Thats when the big shuffle will come

    When you ban people who are making money, they go somewhere else, that somewhere else is “googles competition” at the end of the day it does come down to customer service, they have zero time for people, what kind of a business model is that.

    Sure if you spend millions then you can speak to someone, but if you have a corporate budget why would you be spending money with google who only reaches about 8% of the internet.

    Perry you are right, the days of even thinking of relying on google is a death trap, the big G will one day be the small g, its just a matter of time

  3. Hi Perry and everyone that frequents this blog,

    Something you wrote that caught my eye…you wrote,

    “I want you to use Google to perfect your sales funnel”

    Could you provide an example of a perfected sales funnel (in any niche)? Or at least the entry point. . .

    Would be educational to study an example you deem worthy.

    Thanks

    1. Pick any really competitive category and a company in a premium position on Google Adwords that is not a big dumb company but a small direct marketing company and you’ll find dozens of examples – of sales funnels that are at least quite good.

  4. You are absolutely right (which I don’t have to remind you! lol). So many people get caught up putting all their eggs into one basket and forget to diversify. One thing internet marketing teaches us every day is that things change very quickly and you have to adapt, innovate, and have broaden your horizons. Betting on just one pony in the race is stacking the odds against you.

  5. We can take a lesson from this: never put your eggs in one basket. We could live without Google and almost 70% of our traffic comes from Twitter.

  6. Google just banned our account. But surprisingly they didnt ban our adsense account as someone asked above. So every month google sends us a check but google refuse to let us give them money. The account even uses the same gmail address for both accounts. Apparently the emperor has no clothes.

    Google loves to ban accounts and if the investor community ever got wind of how much money google was trying not to earn, wall street would run and googles stock would plunge. If you have had your adwords account banned and think it is a poor business decision perhaps we should get the word out on large stock trading forums and hopefully word will spread that googles main revenue source is so poorly mismanaged that it is shocking and things will change.

    Because it has gotten out of control, it is not one or two accounts that have been banned, it is too many to keep track of at this point. These are people that used to spend millions and google says, no we don’t want any of your money anymore, we don’t even want to talk things out.

    1. I agree!! They have no customer service AT ALL and I can’t believe they are thinking they are the Internet Police and turning away paying customers – I agree with getting rid of scams but their judgments are to be questioned – my adwords site has had no impressions for a week now – yet all ads still approved, and no emails to say otherwise… every time I call they say ‘are you advertising get rich quick?’…

  7. We can take a lesson from this: never put your eggs in one basket ever! But because it is convenient and easy, we fall prey to it all the time – call it the instant gratification syndrome.

    Here is an unrelated example with some shocking parallels: I needed my Internet stick to get my e-mails because my cable provider was offline (it came back while I was waiting 20 minutes or so for their “local” customer service representative). These are the same people that wanted me to put my phone with them as well. I have a cell phone with one provider, another provider for my wireless Internet, etc. so I am not completely dependent on just one source!

    Now let’s take that to the other parts of our lives. Scary when you think about it, especially when these large multinationals send out their sales people to say, “Trust me!” Then they all disappear into the woodwork when you are stuck.

    1. Google’s behavior is outrageous.
      It reminds me of the robot Hal,in the movie 2001, A Space Odyssey. HAL decides that Dave, the only human on board the spaceship, is a threat to the mission, and locks the doors on him during a spacewalk. It’s the inevitable result of trying to run a business according to a formula, completely on autopilot, no human attention necessary, 100% automatic.
      I hope that Google gets taken down for this, and would love to hear from anyone who knows of a a massive class action lawsuit that would force them to communicate better with their customers- the people who pay their salaries.
      This is not a small problem.
      For example,
      http://www.webmasterworld.com/google_adwords/4020049.htm
      You don’t have to look far to find numerous other horror stories.
      So now Darwin’s survival of the fittest theory comes into play again.
      Adapt or die.
      What has happened to those people whom Google banned could happen to any of us at any time for no reason and without warning.
      Would we treat it as a wonderful opportunity for personal growth, or winge about how difficult it’s going to be to find other methods of advertising when we’ve spent so much time learning Adwords.
      Complaining is the first step, I guess, then acceptance. What a drag.
      I’m still on step 1.
      Perry was right again. He’s been saying for years that we need more sources of traffic than just Google, so full marks to him for being the visionary.
      Guess I’d better get on with it.
      My minuscule account has just been banned for no discernible reason as from Dec 3, 2009, but Ican still log in.
      That will probably change as HAL’s iron grip tightens around my testicles.
      Looks like Yahoo and MSN will have a few more customers.
      Wish they could improve their market share.

  8. I got this message after talking with them …

    “As noted in our Terms and Conditions, Google reserves the right to
    terminate advertisements for any reason. To view our Terms and Conditions,
    please visit https://adwords.google.com/select/tsandcsfinder. However,
    I’ve reviewed your sites and think that this suspension may have been in
    error. I’ve consulted a specialist team regarding the status of your
    account and requested a re-review of your situation. I will provide you
    with an update shortly. I sincerely appreciate your patience.”

    I’m not gonna get my hopes up though.

    1. You got someone to actually give you a human response: ‘However, I’ve reviewed your sites and think that…..’

      That alone is huge. All I ever get is the same Email copied and pasted back to me several times, even when it has nothing to do with my questions.

  9. My adwords account was suspended pending review. After two weeks of battling with them to convince them I wasn’t the evil advertiser they implied I was (but never outrightly stated)I have given up. It was only 10% of my trafic anyway and I have moved to YPN to fill that void.

    When you say that a million dollar account got the same treatment I guess it only re-inforces my decision. Sad! But it’s their (Google’s)business to run as they see fit. I Guess.

  10. It just so happens that my Adwords account was canceled on Dec 1st.

    I have no idea why. And now you write this post.

    Are you reading my mind Perry?

  11. Hi Perry,

    I got the “Your Google AdWords account has been disabled” email to my Gmail account also. Shocked to say the least….BUT….

    I can STILL login, create Campaigns and my ads are running according to what my Google Adwords account says.

    Have these people been able to do that after receiving the dreaded email and if so, maybe this is an elaborate HOAX?

    Keen to know, concern Adwords Guy,

    Greg Gillespie

    1. Hi Greg,

      In my experience they take a few days to shut everything down. Sorry, buddy, but I believe our Adwords days are over.

      1. Well maybe it’s my own fault Perry. Not that I did anything like their email suggested as my business of promotion was mainly an art course for people to learn how to draw caricatures and a few affiliate promotions but nothing dishonest or malicious.

        I think because I have been doing SEO for most of my sites and businesses that my inactivity was the real reason they shut me down. I ran a small promotion back in september for a couple of days but not much for months before as I found the seo pathway better value for me and my clients.

        So I am glad that my diversification has left me ok but I feel for the people who were relying on Adwords for their traffic flow.

        And besides there are whole range of new adwords killing traffic drawing ads for sale out, Adwords are the real losers here. I don’t know how much money I dumped on them in the early days.

        SEO for me.

        Cheers,

        From Greg

  12. Totally agree, Perry, I’ve always been a strong advocate of a business having multiple marketing channels, every since I heard one of the marketing gurus mention this back in 1995.

  13. Perry,
    I’m not saying this is the case — I’m just asking. Do you think it’s possible Google would occasionally kill off the bigger fish in a competitive pond, to make room for the smaller ones?
    If everything you do is optimized to the n’th degree, then you would be paying less per unit for the same traffic that smaller competitors would individually pay more for.

    Is it possible the algorithm you’re referring to is actually Google’s version of “anti-trust” regulation?

    1. I’d be more inclined to think Google might occasionally kill off the smaller fish in a competitive pond to make room for the bigger ones. I don’t think of it as anti-trust, I think of it more like “There’s bound to be some collateral damage, we thin the herd and sorry, [email protected]#$% happens.”

  14. Does being banned from adwords also affect organic rankings on Google or are the two not connected?

    What about adsense accounts? If you’re banned from adwords, will you also be banned from adsense?

    1. I think there may be at least a slight linkage between the organic and PPC side. Adsense Adwords, even stronger linkage I would think.

  15. I know it’s not the point of your post, but do you have some theories on why these advertisers were banned? Even if Google provided “No explanation. No recourse.” surely y’all had some ideas why the ban happened.

    1. Google has a very sophisticated algorithm that identifies content or account characteristics they consider “spam.” It’s probably right 90% of the time but there’s always the other 10%. They shoot first and ask questions later. And most of the time they don’t ask questions.

  16. It is no longer a good idea to always start with Google Adwords. I am NOT even using Adwords to perfect my sales funnel for my current product! I am finding it dramatically easier, less expensive, and more fun to perfect my sales funnel for my current product using Facebook.

    After I perfect my sales funnel on Facebook I will go to targeted portal sites, then to affiliate emails, THEN to Google Adwords (where I have to worry about how to get a good quality score for a paid membership site where all the QUALITY isn’t even visible to Google robots).

    Google has moved way down my list of places to even start for some products and companies. I want to perfect my ad copy and my product, not worry about why something is $10 a click or how to improve my quality score for a keyword – what a waste of time. I want to focus early on making sure I have a great product for my customers, not figuring out how to convince Google that is true.

  17. Hey Perry,
    Great points – this happened to us too. Our business only spent about $200/day in clicks on Google, because it really complimented our SEO efforts (we’re first page for all of our major search terms, but we hover in the 7-10 range).

    Last month G decided that we have ‘inappropriate content’ and has closed our adwords account. Now, we’d really not have a problem with that, however there are 10 other advertisers for the exact same products (one is actually one of our suppliers!). So by the time you scroll down to the 7-10 positions…..you know the stats.

    If the other ads were also excluded from Adwords, that would be great! If we were included again, that is fine also, we could bid up to top positions and remain competitive.

    Emails to Adwords have basically been replied to with our questions rephrased as “so what you are saying is…” along with a link to Google’s policies. (Essentially, they are not being answered) – yet our competitors continue to pummel us into submission thanks to G’s unfair business practices.

    Any suggestions other than to just take it on the chin and watch as the business we put 3 years into gets demolished? I can not even imagine trying to take G to court, it is a war of attrition we would certainly lose.

    1. David,

      My contention is: If you’re competitive not just because you’re an adwords ninja but because you’re a CONVERSION ninja, then you can buy traffic from all kinds of sources. Email lists, banners, popups, other ad networks, affiliates. If you’re running a business where Google is the only viable source of plentiful traffic then the whole business model is an accident waiting to happen.

      Perry

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