How to Get Banned on Google AdWords | Search Engine Journal

Mar 09 2011

How to Get Banned on Google AdWords

With all that is going on in the SEO world, it is easy to forget that there are things that can illicit action from Google on the paid side as well. Many companies start AdWords Campaigns without reading the guidelines and that can cause many issues down the road.

There are four main ways to almost guarantee that your site will be banned from AdWords. In general, they boil down to two things: Lying and Harming Consumers. Google is all about what is best for the end user and the tactics below violate that.

Launch Campaigns for Your 10 Domains

You were able to purchase a keyword specific domain. Congratulations! You were able to nab 10 of them you say? Awesome, hope you have great content going up on those and using them in ways to target different users. Now your executives want to use the domains to dominate all of the ad positions. Easy right? Just use the new shiny domains and one account each.

Not right. It is against Google guidelines to serve multiple ads for one business.  The actual words they use for what is NOT allowed is:

  • Ads across multiple accounts for the same or similar businesses
  • Ads across multiple accounts triggered by the same or similar keywords

This is what caused so many affiliates to lose their accounts a few years back. All they were doing was placing users to the main company site after a redirect on their site, or to a thin landing page that pushed user information to the same company. Both instances were bad user experiences for consumers.

Pretend to be Someone Else

Imitation is a form of flattery. Well not for Google.

You think you are the best, and want to tell searchers that you are better than XYZ. That belief is subjective and doesn’t fly in advertising.

In the same light as the last point, if you are trying to pass off as a competitor, you can be banned. In AdWords, you can bid on competitor names, but cannot use their name in the ad.

Keep in mind that this means any competitor names need to be in their own ad group. The ads cannot have dynamic keyword insertion in them. Make sure you aren’t inadvertently violating guidelines.

Sell Free Items

I cheated on this one; I looked at the guidelines for inspiration. If you want to be banned, you can always get inspiration for things to sell from conferences and the schwag they give away there. Those awesome pens … people want those, right? You can make a killing!

No. AdWords is not your ticket to a million dollars by using the funds of others. Cutting corners will mean being cut out of the program.

Infect user’s machines

The “end all, be all” of ways to get banned – hurt consumers in some way, or their machines. The ultimate in black ninja tactics. The next time you are in that bad of a mood, just step away from the computer.

Written By:


Kate Morris | Distilled Consulting | @KateMorris

Kate Morris is an SEO Consultant for Distilled Consulting in Seattle, WA. You can find her on twitter @katemorris.

More Posts By Kate Morris

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