Perhaps I was just plain stupid in deciding to advertise via my Clickbank affiliate link. I had heard that most affiliates had abandoned Google PPC due to the strict quality guidelines and that it was very hard to get an ad approved. But I didn’t have a suitable landing page to advertise. And for my learning purposes, if none of my ads were approved I could live with that. Just the exercise in setting up a campaign would be useful. Apparently this was a fatal mistake.
Less than 24 hours later I got an email from Google that my account was permanently suspended for repeated violations (repeated?). I logged back in and sure enough it was suspended for landing page violations, but nothing had run, zero impressions and zero clicks. Turns out I overlooked the “egregious” (not my words) exit popup on the WordPress plugin website. I’m not sure why pausing the ad groups wasn’t sufficient. So, I contacted the Google Adwords sales rep who had sent me a couple of voicemails when I opened the account. He had me delete the campaign with the offending paused ad groups. He then told me my account would be released in a day or so.
That was a month ago. I have since traded several emails with Jason (who quite charmingly continues to resend the “intro” email I first got). Per Jason he sent to Google HQ a request to have my account reinstated as he saw nothing wrong with the remaining campaign. Several follows up later he gives me a phone number to follow up with. I call it and I get a receptionist who won’t transfer me to anyone but sales reps. I send a request for reconsideration via the contact us link and I get a canned, unhelpful email that says due to my repeated (there is that word again) violations my account has been permanently suspended. There is apparently no recourse.
So apparently GAME OVER, even though for me, the game never started. I checked the bat and never swung. I hesitated writing this post, because I really don’t want to be a whiner, but seriously: one strike and you’re out? Even felons in California get three strikes.
I can’t help but wonder about all those small business advertisers Google is aggressively marketing PPC to. What happens if a web developer puts an exit popup on their site and the small business is using PPC? Will Google permanently suspend them too? Or perhaps there will be more leeway for this more desirable customer?
I may never know. Bing and Facebook advertising is looking a lot more attractive now.
Kathy Alice Brown is a SEO expert specializing in Technical SEO and Content. In her spare time she loves to get outside.