Google remembers everything you do in AdWords … Everything.
Once you associate your information with Google, the company never forgets. It really is much like a marriage. You can’t quit completely and start fresh all over again. Once you’ve signed up, you’ve signed up.
Since you’re required to use real-world information to finalize your account, your Adwords history stays with you no matter what. If you delete a domain or a keyword out of your AdWords account, Google still keeps a record.
Why is this a problem? Well, if you screwed up a long time ago, or if you forget about an old account that Google is still keeping an eye on, it could lead to a suspension, even if you have other legitimate businesses in your account. I’ve worked with clients in the past that forgot about accounts from 3-4 years back that were with an old business. They got suspended when those accounts developed problems.
How do you prevent Google suspension?
First, don’t forget your old accounts and keep your old domains in your name. Yes, it’s an extra $10 a year for each domain, but consider this. If you let your domain go and someone else takes it then violates Google’s rules, your AdWords account may still be tied to it. Worse, there will be very little you can do to lift the suspension unless you know who owns your old domain.
But what if you want to ditch those old domains? You can try talking to Google, but in my experience, Google doesn’t like to de-link domains associated with your AdWords accounts. At a minimum, the website associated with the domain has to be changed substantially for at least six months. So if you wanted to ditch it, you could set up a simple page telling people the business is shutting down, remove the older site, and forget about it for a while, then try asking Google to de-link it. However, I still recommend just holding onto the domain. It’s much cheaper to pay $10 a year than the hundreds or thousands of dollars it would take to undo a suspension.
Account access problems.
If you do have a lot of Google AdWord accounts, you should have (or create) a master list of all the accounts, emails, passwords, and customer IDs. This will let you access any of the accounts and enable you to do a password reset in case you ever get locked out of an account: more important than that, you should also know who else has access to that information.
Let’s say you had a business partner that caused an account suspension and the business failed. You can open a new account for a new business, but because your name is still associated with the old one with Google, your new business won’t get off the ground. If you ditched all that old AdWords information or the domain, then you could get locked out of using Google’s tools for your domains.
Now, sometimes, if you tell Google what happened and they can find out that your old business partner is gone and you’re no longer associated with them or their activities, they can remove the suspension so your new accounts will work. But it’s not a guarantee. Better to prevent it in the first place by keeping the info around. And if your old partner resets the password, you’ll have all the information to get the account back.
Here’s a worst case scenario from one of my files. I had a client that I worked with a few years back who just bought a business, but the AdWords account associated with it was suspended. He paid me to research the issue. We found out that the previous company did some things which were so egregious that there was nothing he could do to get his account back, even after we proved a transfer of ownership. The poor client bought a business he couldn’t advertise on Google.
In summary, if you’re going to advertise with Google then you need to do the following to keep your accounts safe:
- Always follow the policies
- Keep your old domains and AdWords account information in case there’s ever a problem.
- If you have a business partner, vet them thoroughly before allowing them access.
- Remember, Google never forgets.
I hope these tips will help you keep your account out of suspension, and allow you to be able to fix any future suspension problems. Having the information will also help you in case you need to hire a professional to fix a suspension issue. If you need additional help, feel free to reach out to me. I’ll be glad to take a look at your situation and find out what the problem is.
Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author, and not necessarily the views of Caphyon, its staff, or its partners.