Adwords disapproved for guarantees and unspecified other things

11 replies
We were considering advertising with Facebook and were steered toward Adsense instead, but we're having the most amazing difficulty getting approval. Before I mess with Google anymore, I'm wondering about your experience.

We submitted an ad that points to our landing page for a cookbook and the ad was immediately rejected because the landing page was disapproved.

First, they didn't like our free newsletter popover, which I removed even though I didn't understand how a free homemaking newsletter violated their "Get Rich Quick" policy.

Then they said, "please fix the other violations".

I asked what other violations there were and they were vague about policy violation terms being used. I asked if they could specifically tell me what terms were violating the policy.

Then they said that offering "100% Money-back Guarantee" is a violation. Our guarantee states that if you don't like our book for any reason, we'll give your money back, including shipping. I asked if we DO return all of the customers' money if they ask, how would that violate adwords policy?

The answer:
"This is to inform you that stating 100% satisfaction guarantee is violating Google policy, because no one is sure of providing 100% satisfaction.
This is the only reason. There are some advertisers those who claim 97% or 98%, but not 100%."

I checked and their policy says "Remove any promise of exaggerated results (such as "guaranteed," "permanent," etc.) with little effort, time, or money required."

The thing is, our guarantee only states that you will get all of your money back, not a promise of exaggerated results as indicated in the policy, so I think the rep is mis-reading their policy.

We do not want to change that on the main landing page because it is selling a lot of the books through other channels, but I thought I'd copy the page to a different URL to direct Adwords traffic and try making their recommended changes to that version.

My big concern with spending any more time on this issue is that the rep also stated, "Kindly go through your website, as apart from this, there are lot of other policy violation terms used. Remove all those and then it would be approved." but he is not telling me what other policy violation terms there are.

I don't want to start randomly dismantling our landing page just to see if it works, especially since he only responds once a week on Sunday and is in Pakistan where I can't return his calls.

Has anyone else had this kind of problem? My goodness, it's a cookbook. It's not like we're selling drugs or promising you'll make millions sitting on your butt at home.

If we can't get clarity on this, we're considering scrapping our Adwords effort and moving to Facebook and/or non-Google niche related publications. I just thought surely it would be easier than this...

Am I missing something or do you have any recommendations?

Thanks in advance!

#adwords #disapproved #guarantees #things #unspecified
  • Profile picture of the author asiaa
    I had to abandon Adwords as they kept telling me I had violated their terms. They told me to make changes although they didn't tell me what changes. Eventually they took a screenshot of my site and circled words I had to change. I changed them all, re-submitted my site and then told me what they said in their first email. I was going round in circles getting nowhere. I'm amazed anyone can advertise anything with them.
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  • Profile picture of the author mkellam
    Thanks asiaa for your answer. That's the sense we're getting - that we're going to do a lot more work and they're still going to note that there are unspecified policy violations. The most annoying part is that they seem so reluctant to specify what part violates the policy, but it sounds like, in your case, getting them to specify still doesn't solve the problem.

    Thanks again! Anyone else have any thoughts? Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author zenichanin
    Asking users to sign up for a "free" newsletter is usually considered information harvesting.
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    • Profile picture of the author mkellam
      Thanks for replying!

      zenichanin - Yes I discovered that and I had no problem removing it on that page, especially since having the signup popover on a pitch page would potentially interfere with people who are ready to buy...

      drewfioravanti - So far, they haven't stated any issues on the rest of our site so hopefully that won't cause us trouble...

      HunterST - That's what we were hoping, which is the only reason I'm still trying to figure it out! ;-)
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  • Profile picture of the author drewfioravanti
    What you're going to find is that your entire website must be compliant with all policies, not just the landing page.
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    • Profile picture of the author mkellam
      Originally Posted by drewfioravanti View Post

      What you're going to find is that your entire website must be compliant with all policies, not just the landing page.
      drewfioravanti - If for some reason they don't like something on some other part of the site, is it Kosher to make the landing page on its own separate site or would that be considered not enough content for a site? I seem to recall Google ads that lead to a URL where the only page appears to be the landing page. We do own the domain name that is the same as the book name and I could set up a separate URL if necessary.

      So far, they haven't asked us to change anything on the main site so I'm hoping they're OK with it...

      Thanks again!

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  • Profile picture of the author HunterST
    AdWords can be a real b#$ch, but oooh do I love that traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author mkellam
    As I look back, I wonder if maybe when he says "there are lot of other policy violation terms used", he means that the Guarantee statement appears 4 or 5 times on the page. He seems to be suggesting the fix would be simple so maybe I'll try just changing that and see if it gets approved then.
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  • Profile picture of the author luke1213
    Yea using the word FREE in adwords is sometimes frowned upon. I have slipped it by google by using synonyms for the word. Also like drew said your entire website has to be compliant
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  • Profile picture of the author drewfioravanti
    Maybe they will never notice it, but in my experience, they always do. Your entire site has to be compliant.

    You could make a mini site on another domain if you wanted to. I suppose that would be fine.

    Also, pop-overs are OK. As long as it is not a new window, and does not force the user to close a window, it is OK. And by window I mean browser window. So all of the fancy lightbox pop-overs you see are technically OK by AdWords. But, when you are giving away a free product in exchange for an email address, they generally consider this information harvesting or some other violation.

    It often relies on whoever is doing the reviewing of your site. And it is not always consistent. Eventually, if something is in violation on your site, someone will find it.

    And if you can, try calling them. They are generally helpful on the phone. They'll tell you they can't tell you exactly what on your site is in violation. But, often they will. Then you'll get the contact information of that person. And they can work as your liason between you and the review people. It will get your issues streamlined.

    But...I don't work for Google. And never have. This is just my experience.
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    • Profile picture of the author dburk
      Hi Michael,

      Sorry I didn't notice this thread earlier, seems that there is no longer an official place on the Warrior Forum for discussions on AdWords and other PPC advertising topic discussions for traditional businesses (but, that's whole other discussion). I will try to help you out if I can.

      Google's AdWords program is under close scrutiny by FTC, and other regulators that have forced them to accept only the cleanest advertisers. Google embraces this stance because it helps their users as well as their paying customers that meet these higher standards.

      While it is true that they prefer to not tell you exactly what you must do to meet the minimum standard, there is a reasonable purpose and logic behind their method. First, they don't want to hire full time staff to do the job that advertisers should be doing for themselves, that just drives the cost up for everybody and gives their competitors an unfair cost advantage. Secondly, they do not want to encourage advertisers to seek the lowest standards, they want to encourage you to set your standards well above the bare minimum. If you do that you will likely never have an issue getting your websites and ads approved.

      While I understand the temptation to simply move to another ad platform that has looser standards, you will never see the same massive traffic potential that is possible from AdWords, and your top competitors will likely trounce you in market share.

      From my experience, Google will work with you and tell you exactly what you must do to get your website into compliance, but they want to see you making an effort on your own to comply, and will only offer specific advice when they first see a reasonable effort on your part to comply without their help. If you are new to advertising and unfamiliar with FTC regulations, it can seem like a daunting task, but stick with it, you will eventually get there and the massive and highly targeted traffic is well worth it in the end.

      Once you master advertising compliance on AdWords, meeting standards on other platforms will seem natural and easy. At some point, all other worthwhile ad platforms will crack down on low advertiser standards and you will be forced to comply with most standards that AdWords is now currently demanding, might as well go through the learning curve now. If you simply cannot bear to go through the rather steep learning curve of PPC advertising on AdWords, you always have the option of hiring an agency, or in-house expert to manage the process for you.

      Inside AdWords: A Learning Center for everyone
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