My Google Ads Account Was Suspended: One Advertiser’s Journey to Reinstatement

My Google Ads Account Was Suspended: One Advertiser’s Journey to Reinstatement

April 19th, 2024

The Suspension

It would be an understatement to say we were dumbfounded. The Power Marketing team has managed 8-12 Google Ads accounts without an issue. We thought Google’s new advertiser verification policy would be simple since we’d been using Google Ads (a.k.a pay-per-click) for years, and we viewed our team as model internet citizens. After effortlessly having the first eight accounts verified, we thought we were in the clear, and then we received this message:


Your Google Ads account was suspended for violating our Circumventing Systems policy. Suspended accounts are prohibited ads in all locations.

The notice went on to describe all the ways an advertiser can “circumvent”:

● Posting similar ads to ones that have been disapproved
● Redirecting visitors to non-compliant content
● Submitting false information on the verification process
● Billing/Payment Issues
● Unauthorized usage.

The notice ended with:

The suspension will be permanent unless you successfully appeal within five business days.

The First Appeal

The paperwork was standard. We told Google about our website security measures and long-term use of Google Ads. We documented the excellent site health of the landing page and website. It was a simple mistake by Google. Surely, a quick review of our account would show we were legitimate.

5 days later – APPEAL DENIED!

The Second Appeal

Obviously, the alleged violations were more complicated than we thought. For the second appeal, we changed our strategy. Since we had no idea what the violations were, we would put our team on the phones to find a live person at Google Ads. After several hours of making calls and being hung up on, a team member spoke to a Google Ads specialist. The specialist told our person she didn’t have access to the reason our account was suspended. Our man persisted and eventually was pushed to a manager who told us there was suspicious traffic on the website. The suspicious traffic appears to be from a Google Analytics issue with Poland (nothing to do with Power Marketing). So, our “A-HA moment” was here. We figured it out and submitted a new appeal.

7 days later – APPEAL DENIED!

The Third Appeal

Back to the drawing board! We had no idea why we were suspended or what to do next, so we turned to online forums, continued our phone call campaign, and had our senior developer review the website for any functionality that could be causing the issue.

Through the online forums, we read about issues with plugins and pixels, collecting information about website visitors. Our senior developer removed any pixels or plugins that might fall into this category. We scheduled another meeting with a Google Ads Specialist Manager to review the changes. We submitted the third appeal with extremely detailed descriptions and images showing all the hoops we jumped through to be compliant.

3 days later – APPEAL DENIED!

Then, suddenly, 27 days after we submitted the information to verify our account, we received this message from Google:

Your Google account has been reactivated.

What We Did Wrong

Thinking It Was a Simple Mistake—We lost over a week because we thought a simple email would fix the problem on the first appeal instead of submitting a more thorough case. When dealing with a massive corporation like Google, be extra diligent and remember to overwhelm them with the tactics you’ve executed to fix the issue.

Believing Someone Would Tell Us the Problem—If you have high blood pressure, dealing with Google’s support won’t help. The initial support person told us she didn’t have access to the reason our account was shut down. Once we moved up the ladder to speak with a manager, he stated the website had suspicious traffic, which we may or may not have been accurate.

What We Did Right

Insisting to Speak with a Manager—We will never know what pushed our case over the top. I think the multiple calls and subsequent meetings with managers at least showed we wouldn’t give up and that this was a fixable issue.

Deep Dive into Online Forums—Oddly enough, the resource we found with the most recent and thorough answers was Reddit. In the Reddit discussion, we followed a detailed step-by-step strategy that worked for another person with the same problem. The description included information on the appeal, timeline, and the job title to connect with at Google Ads to get answers.

All Hands On Deck Approach—Once we realized the depth of the issue, we organized our team members with different responsibilities. One person made phone calls to Google, two did online research and reached out to Google Ads experts, and a developer audited the website. Ultimately, we had no idea why our account was reinstated, so one of the elements corrected the issue.

Keep Meticulous Records—We used a shared spreadsheet to document every effort we made to make the website compliant. Documentation saved a lot of time when adding information on the appeals and was a great reference if our person making phone calls reached someone.

Didn’t Give Up—One common theme appeared in our research. It will take about a month, and you must make multiple appeals. Without that information, we may have given up after the second appeal and moved the money to social media.

Google is the 600-pound Gorilla in the room, and we must play by its rules. If you need help reinstating your Google Ads account, don’t hesitate to contact Power Marketing for a free evaluation.