It’s an email no Google Ads user ever wants to receive: the dreaded “your account has been suspended” alert message.
It’s understandable to, well, freak out a little bit if your Google Ads account has been suspended, particularly if the reason for the suspension is a violation you weren’t aware you’d committed. Quite simply, your Google ad campaigns may play a major role in your business’ success. Your own finances may therefore be in jeopardy if your account is suspended.
Fortunately, except in some specific instances, suspension of a Google Ads account isn’t necessarily permanent. There are various ways you can restore your account if it’s been suspended. This guide will explain them, helping you better understand what you can do to get your Google Ads account back up and running fast.
Although the primary focus of this guide will be on the steps you can take to remedy the problem if your Google Ads account has been suspended, naturally, your main goal is likely to prevent your account from being suspended in the first place. To minimize the chances that your Google Ads account will ever be suspended for any reason, carefully review Google’s applicable ad policies and Terms & Conditions. Also, remember that Google routinely updates certain policies, and you may want to regularly check them for any changes that may have been recently made.
Reviewing the relevant policies can also potentially help you determine the root of the issue if your account has been suspended but you’re not entirely certain why. While the email Google sends informing you that your account has been suspended will typically cite the reason, sometimes, it’s still not precisely clear how Google justified suspending your account. The reasons Google’s email may provide when explaining why your account was suspended are based on generic error codes (typically produced by artificial intelligence and machine learning engines) that may not be specific enough for you to thoroughly understand the nature of the issue.
Be aware that it’s possible your account was suspended through no fault of your own. For instance, someone could have hacked your account or site. If after doing so, they engaged in any behavior that violates Google’s ad policies, you may be the one paying the price.
The potential reasons your Google Ads account may be suspended are numerous. The following are merely a few noteworthy examples:
Google’s ad policies are designed to protect users. Thus, if you’re running ads that direct users to sites infected with malware or other dangerous software, your account may be suspended to prevent users from clicking on your ads.
Take immediate action if you have reason to believe a hacker added malware or unwanted software to your site. The presence of harmful malware or software won’t merely result in your Google Ads account being suspended. It can also threaten your data, any existing content on your site, and more.
Even if you didn’t intend to, you could have accidentally engaged in behavior that qualifies as “counterfeiting” affording to Google’s policies, triggering an account suspension. For example, if you’re using your Google Ads account to market products that are extremely similar to others, you may need to either modify your ads or the products themselves to indicate you’re not violating any trademarks. Sometimes when a user markets products that are virtually indistinguishable from others, Google interprets their products as being counterfeit, when they may not actually be.
Google’s own policies aren’t the only rules you need to keep in mind when running ads! It’s also important to familiarize yourself with the laws of the areas in which you plan to advertise.
Sometimes, the laws regarding what you can and can’t advertise may be surprising. For example, in the UK, it’s illegal to advertise paternity tests. This is an easy law to break if you’re unaware of it. While you may assume you’re not doing anything illegal with your Ads account, the possibility of breaking the law without meaning to is one you should consider. Protect yourself by taking the time to research these issues before planning and launching campaigns.
You’re not always being “punished” when Google suspends your Ads account! There are instances when an account may be suspended in order to protect you in the long run. Specifically, if Google detects an unauthorized user trying to access your account, it may be automatically suspended to prevent a hacker from causing any damage.
The reason your account was suspended will to some degree affect what you need to do about the issue. Google’s policies make a distinction between regular violations and “egregious violations.”
You don’t want your account suspended because a violation was deemed egregious. Generally, while it’s possible to recover an account that was suspended due to a normal violation, if you’re found guilty of an egregious violation, Google usually won’t let you recover your account. Your best bet in these circumstances is to contact Google and (truthfully, of course!) show that the violation you’ve been accused of was the work of a hacker. Even so, you can’t be entirely sure Google’s team will take your side.
In the case of typical violations, though, you can restore your account in the following ways. Keep in mind, this isn’t a problem with a “one-size-fits-all” solution. The proper way to restore an account will depend on the reason it was suspended in the first place.
Your options include:
If the email you receive from Google explaining why your Google Ads account was suspended indicates your site is home to dangerous malware or software, invest in an effective malware-removal tool and clean your site up. If your account remains suspended even after you’re confident you’ve gotten rid of any and all harmful malware or software, you might have to contact Google to explain that you’ve fixed the problem.
Again, even if you didn’t mean to violate Google’s advertising policies or any local advertising laws, you may have done so simply because you weren’t aware of a law or policy. Luckily, after you’ve reviewed Google’s justification for your account suspension, in many instances, restoring your account is as easy as changing your ads or behavior accordingly. For example, if your account was suspended because Google determined one or more of your ads were excessively inflammatory, you can remove or change those ads to better align with Google’s standards.
It can be easy to lose track of your spending from time to time when running marketing campaigns. Depending on the size of your business, you might not even be directly involved in monitoring your spending most of the time.
Google might have suspended your Google Ads account because you haven’t paid for certain ads or a particular related service yet. Pay what’s due, and Google should restore your account promptly.
That said, you may want to reach out to Google first if you receive an email claiming your account has been suspended and won’t be reactivated until you pay a fee if you confidently feel you’ve remained up-to-date on all payments. At the very least, check to confirm your account actually is suspended before taking any action. A scammer could have sent you a phishing email pretending to represent Google in order to rip you off.
If Google suspended your Google Ads account because an unauthorized user tried to access it, you can fill out and submit a form to secure your account.
Depending on which country you’re in, you have to be a certain age to have a Google Ads account. Google may suspend your account if it’s discovered you don’t meet the age requirement. However, it’s sometimes possible to get around these requirements by creating a Google account with Family Link. This allows parents to exercise more control over which Google services and products their children can and can’t access.
Mistakes can and do happen. This is as true on Google’s end as it is on yours. Perhaps your account was suspended over a misunderstanding or a misinterpretation. Not every supposed violation of Google’s policies is actually a genuine violation.
If you think your account was suspended improperly, Google offers a form you can submit to appeal the suspension. However, if you do choose to appeal your account suspension, be extremely careful when filling out the firm, and double-check all information before submitting it. If the submitted form contains any false information, the assumption will typically be that you knowingly attempted to deceive Google. The result? Permanent suspension of your Google Ads account.
It’s also worth noting that sometimes a valid and reasonable appeal will be rejected. Submitting the form to appeal your account’s suspension doesn’t immediately guarantee your account will be restored. If your appeal is rejected, but you genuinely don’t think it should have been, you can contact the Google Ads Team directly. Explaining the circumstances with an actual member of the team instead of hoping the person who reviews your appeal sees your side of the story can give you the chance to more clearly explain the situation.
Once more, though, be completely honest in any discussions you may have! Being caught in even a seemingly minor lie can make Google’s team unwilling to consider any of your other points or arguments.
Along with familiarizing yourself with all the relevant policies and laws regarding how you can (and can’t!) use your Google Ads account, you can also avoid account suspension in such ways as:
This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you’ve been running ads via a Google Ads account for a decent period of time, you might get complacent, no longer making a point of carefully reviewing your ads before submitting them for publication.
Don’t fall into this habit. Whether you create your own ads, or employees create them for you, before submitting an ad for publication, always carefully review it with the specific intention of looking for any issues that would qualify as violations of Google’s policies. If you even suspect an ad might cause problems, either modify it before submitting it, or check Google’s policies again to confirm whether you have reason to be hesitant.
You’re not the only person who may feel Google’s advertising policies are sometimes unclear. On Quora, Reddit, and many other platforms, there are numerous communities of users who ask and answer questions about Google’s ad policies and similar topics. If you’re at all confused about an issue, head to one of these communities and ask others for insights.
However, not every single member of such communities will necessarily be an expert, even if they claim to know what they’re talking about. Use your judgment when determining whether you feel you can trust any given member to provide you with accurate information. Obviously, you can also contact Google to ask a question, although you may have to wait a little bit longer to get an answer than you would on a forum or community page.
Installing a security plugin to protect your site from malware is never a bad idea. Additionally, create the strongest password possible for both your site and your Google Ads account, and periodically change your passwords to avoid unauthorized access.
Of course, hopefully you’ll never have to use any of the information here because your Google Ads account will never be suspended. Just remember that if it ever is, unless you’ve committed a major violation, restoring your account likely won’t be too complicated.
That said, it’s also very wise to learn from this experience! If your Google Ads account is suspended, make sure you thoroughly understand why, so you can avoid these types of problems in the future.