How I was blocked by Google…
Are you looking for tips about how to get back your account? Some of them we have described in our previous post about suspended accounts. Read them first here.
We have to remind that our Foundation has Google Ads account for non-profits which is called Google Ad Grants. It is different than the commercial version. For example, you can’t compete on keywords with others, it’s permitted to bid scores. Google describes all its “must-have” rules in policies on their page. What’s more, year by year, a few times per year they check an enormous number of Ad Grants accounts. But I don’t know how it looks in “normal” Ads. If something doesn’t meet with their rules even in a small part of it, they will block you. Definitely and for a long time. It looks like an organized action. During this time you could observe many questions on forums and websites on how to unsuspend Google Ad Grants account. And this happened to us. Our story started from a small suspension and grown to a huge suspended account.
When you will have been blocked by Google you couldn’t contact them by e-mail, chat, call or by forms. You will be blocked from everything and it won’t change until they decide to contact you. Horrible. I had tried many different solutions to solve this ban, but I didn’t find anything successful. Every time when I was trying to fill in a form the page didn’t load successfully because of 404 error (page didn’t find). The only way to contact them is by a form or by email. Try firstname.lastname@example.org – it takes up to 5 workdays to answer on your email.
Our horror started when we got an e-mail and notification in the account saying that our Ads account is SUSPENDED. It sometimes happens and usually, it means nothing big. They block account to make you change in it. We always take care of keywords, account and ads so we were very surprised by this information. In the notification, we only could read that our account is suspended of doesn’t comply with their policies. There is a lot of it and everyone is very enigmatic and general.
When we found which exactly campaign wasn’t good in their meaning we discovered that it had been reported of including sexual themes! It had to be a misunderstanding. Our advert was promoting the OpenMRS – one of our bigger partners. It implements open-source software for hospitals and clinics in developing countries for free. The situation was very strange. After all, we started by removing this advert from our account with all keywords and ad groups. It didn’t work. The account was still blocked.
Remember to not promote other websites than yours, because it’s also one of the principles in their policies. I can’t find out if that was also our mistake, but if you want to promote another website, at first send Google a special form.
A few days later…
A few days later we got an email that our website doesn’t comply with Google Ad Grants policies. These are points which didn’t figure on our website:
- The commercial activity must not be the purpose of your website. This includes sales of products and services, offering consultations, generating leads, and providing referrals.
- Sites resembling businesses or for-profit blogs/vlogs are not permitted.
- Any limited commercial activities must describe how they support your mission.
- If your organization charges for products or services, your website must describe how your organization uses funds, for example, by disclosing an annual report.
- Your website may not make claims that promise results only after a consultation, service, or purchase.
- Your organization must serve the public in some way, rather than only those who pay for a service.
We moved from sending/reading notifications in account to an e-mail conversation. And then we knew that we had a big problem. Google very rarely check your website by a human. They have too many clients and accounts so almost always you chat with a computer or your account is checked by algorithms/bots. We had as a huge problem as they decided to gave us a consultant which talked with us and tried to solve our problem and help us. (However, he/she was very kind and professional).
Getting back suspended account
Solving the problem wasn’t easy. They wanted multi-pages websites, documents and statements which will confirm that services provided to our partners are charitable based. Also reports and information about our activity and earnings.
We have talked with them for almost 2 weeks when they immediately stopped answering. We were still blocked, our account didn’t work and they didn’t answer us. It couldn’t be a more stressful situation for an organization which act on the Internet. Our last opportunity was to send a form. Which is used to unblock account (remember that we had blocked an account because of the website). We didn’t think that it helps, because we had done it already. But it was the last thing what we could do before capitulation. And what’s more surprised it worked. A few days and one email later we got information that our account is ready to use and we can start using it.
Suspension was beaten
I was very happy because I felt the power of Google and his domination on the Internet. There is no second browser with such a program for non-profits. There isn’t the second browser with so many users and opportunities to develop the organization. It’s scaring how one company has a big influence and control over a million users and organizations. How easy it can block them and make their organization into ruin.
It was a very stressful situation for me. But I’m very happy that is over and really grateful for Google that they decided to unblock us. I learnt a lot. Especially patience, endurance, humility and to be calm whatever you’re doing because that is the last thing which could save you. I know that my text is a little chaotic but I would like to show you my feelings and emotions which I felt.
Thanks for reading and hope I’ll help you.