My Site Got Suspended. What should I do?
You’re probably reading this because your site got suspended. Fear not. It happens. The best of us have been there before, and we’ve escaped to advertise again.
Imagine this: You’ve finally started getting results with your ad campaign. People are visiting your website. Customers are buying. It’s an enormous relief because you weren’t certain whether the campaign would work, worrying that it might cost too much and fail to demonstrate adequate results. But now it’s clear that the risk payed off; traffic is high and costs are low. Smooth sailing.
But then, one day, things change. The traffic slows down. Sales diminish. Then you notice that your ads have stopped running. New business isn’t being directed to your website. What happened? A notification you receive tells you that your ad campaign isn’t running because now your site is suspended.
Your site got suspended. What should you do?
Discovering your site has been suspended is a horrible feeling. What’s worse is not being able to figure out why exactly your site got suspended. Your first priority is getting it unsuspended, but it’s unclear exactly what needs to be done.
The message you get from Google AdWords, when your site has been suspended, leaves a lot to be desired. If you’ve gotten one of these notifications, and you’re wondering how your site got suspended, wondering why the wording you’re receiving is so vague, you’re not alone. The message won’t tell you exactly why your site got suspended. Instead it references a rule that the suspension falls under.
For example, if your site deals with medical services, medical or pharmaceutical products, or makes claims that can’t be completely substantiated, you might get a notice that says the site has “unsubstantiated claims.” Something as simple as “lose 10 pounds this week” is enough of an unsubstantiated claim to get a site suspended on Google Adwords. A suspended site means ads can’t be run to it. One little claim like that can get an entire domain suspended.
Testimonials and client experiences, even if they’re representative of the average client experience, can also get a site suspended. Google won’t unsuspend a site until some time has been spent applying disclaimers to the offending content. This offensive content includes claims and testimonials.
We’ve run up against quite a few suspension problems, and solved them for our clients. We’ve gotten campaigns that were suspended running once again. There’s a certain degree of collaboration that’s facilitated for marketing agencies, by Google, to help us help our clients solve problems like this. For Google it’s a little easier collaborating directly with someone who knows their language, someone who understands the client’s challenges and limits. It seems to be a lot easier for a marketing agency like us to get results with Google compared to the struggle our clients have described.
Site Got Suspended? Here’s why.
Here are some of the things that Google will suspend your site for:
- Making unsubstantiated claims and not disclaiming them can get a site suspended.
- If your site gets infected with malware, and Google spots it before you do, then the site can get suspended until it’s remedied and reviewed.
- Having the site down is another thing that can cause suspension. For example, having it unavailable because someone forgot to pay the web host, or renew the domain registration can make it go down temporarily. Risking it for longer than 24 hours, if it happens, is definitely enough to get it flagged for suspension.
- Serving content you don’t hold the copyright or the license to serve can trigger Google to suspend your site.
- Get rich quick schemes are something Google is on the lookout for. Even looking like a get rich quick scheme, without actually being one, can get a site flagged.
- Here’s a full list maintained on Google’s site.
So what should you do if your site gets suspended?
If your site got suspended, you should call us. We can get it unsuspended for you quickly, at low cost, and without a lot of fuss. We’ve been through this a few times before and gotten through it to advertise again.