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Recent issues with circumventing systems and malicious software
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A few months ago we had a few accounts suspended for "circumventing systems". As you all know I am sure, Google is not at all transparent about this suspension. We have setup over a thousand client accounts over the last 13 years. All our clients are cpa/accountants and dentists. We do not circumvent Google's systems.

Our best guess was language in ads and landing pages. Some accountants provide irs debt services, and some dentist provide botox services. Google claims irs debt falls under consumer debt and you have to be Google certified which in the US means you have to be a non profit credit counseling agency. Of course, the IRS is not into loaning or crediting people, nor do credit counselors have the proper Enrolled Agent credentials to represent their client in front of the IRS. Botox falls under drug terms, and that is understandable.

So we did everything we could think of and couldn't get the accounts unsuspended. I then took an exact copy of the last account submitted for approval (with no irs debt ads or landing pages), and uploaded it to a new account, and it was approved no problem. Even had the same billing information.

I added tax debt campaign back in and ads were disapproved, but account was not suspended. I appealed online, and then via support, and appeal was disapproved. That said, most of the ads now, are in fact approved.

Then on Thursday, we received about 20 email alerts that more accounts were suspended for circumventing systems. This affected both accountants and dentists, and appeared most had botox or irs debt related ads. The ads also showed malicious software. Without doing anything, we then got a series of follow up alerts, saying accounts had been reactived. Some are now fine, others are still showing suspended for circumventing systems, and others are reactived, but ads still show malicious software.

The sites in question however show no alert when visited with Google chrome, or in Google Search Console. Google Support rep scanned our site and also indicated they found no malicious software. Typically resubmitting ads forces the scan and ads get approved when clean, but that was not the case here.

One of our clients manages their own campaign and called us to help him, and he had the same problem with being suspended, and then reactived, but still malicious software.

Additionally, another Google rep told our team member they have been getting a lot of calls about circumventing system, and advised us just to resubmit them for approval. That hasn't worked over the last month or two, but seems to be working better in the last couple of days. However in some cases, again, the ads remained disapproved due to malicious software, when the landing page and complete website are clean.

My only question is, I am interested in hearing from others who have been fighting google over this in the last few days/months. It has been extremely frustrating and disruptive, and is costing us and our client revenue.
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Hi
 
Creating multiple accounts for same business is policy violation (Circumventing system), from your description (esp. this sentences: " I then took an exact copy of the last account submitted for approval (with no irs debt ads or landing pages), and uploaded it to a new account, and it was approved no problem. Even had the same billing information.")
That could be the major problem in your case.
 
Regards,
István
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Thank you, but no it wasn't. Trust me. These issues occurred before that. For one, we have two MCC's run by two companies. And one of our client's who does his own ppc and isn't even in our MCC had the exact same issue. The new account wasn't connected in any way. It was the ONLY time I even tried it, and was only taken because we were not circumventing any systems, didn't have any malicious software, and because of Google's complete lack of transparency, and inability to speak with someone who can actually help, other than send emails to online resources we already exhausted. 

What I learned in these forums, is that once an account is suspended, you are not likely to ever get it back, even if you fix the problem. In our case, it appears related to the use of language in ads, and those accounts getting suspended rather than ads disapproved. 

I understand why you focused on that one thing, but assure that was after the fact, and not the cause.
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>>", even if you fix the problem. In our case, it appears related to the use of language in ads and those accounts getting suspended rather than ads disapproved. "
 
Simple: No; This is incorrect;
Ads could be disapproved; Changing the text would mot likely approve them;
 
Accounts are suspended because of a business model or site content.
Circumventing the system is about techniques used to manipulate the system (intentionally  or by mistake)
Now, the question asked is to check with the site programmer what "grey zone" techniques are in the code; or if multiple accounts are in place.
 
(Note: if all accounts are linked to the same payment method  - without preapproved by Google  -  if one account is  in violation, it will trigger a violation in  all accounts with the same payment method)
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Could it not be that there has been a kind of of hick up on Thursday in which websites were scanned and for some reason the malicious software tag was given by mistake.  And additionally triggering  the circumventing systems suspension.

Messages received ( in order): >> scanned again and no Malicious software was found, >>  Suspension  lifted. 

Perhaps ask the Ads Googler's if this could have been the case  :)

Just asking.
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>>". This affected both accountants and dentists, and appeared most had botox or IRS debt related ads. "
A side question: are you promoting Botox? - this is not allowed;
 
Not sure I fully figured at what point the malicious software was introduced as a violation
 
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circumventing systems and malicious software 
 
Google has decided you were hacked (malicious) and visitors are being redirected elsewhere (circumventing). The first step is to fix the hack. If you cannot find it, ask Google for an example URL where it has happened. 
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Thank you for the attempts to help.

Does anyone have any feedback on Google's suspending and then lifting suspension right away before we even had the chance to make any changes in accounts? My feeling is they released a buggy algorithm into production, but I will address some of the feedback.

"Google has decided you were hacked (malicious) and visitors are being redirected elsewhere (circumventing). The first step is to fix the hack. If you cannot find it, ask Google for an example URL where it has happened. "

I am not convinced that is the case. We use Instapage landing pages. The pages scanned clean. When that didn't work, we sent clicks to the main site, which also scanned clean. Google support also scanned the site, and they said their scan was clean. However resubmitting ads, still resulted in this disapproval reason. 

"A side question: are you promoting Botox? - this is not allowed;"

Yes. We did include that in ad copy of some accounts of dentists that offer it. More than happy to remove it, which we did. It's not the main service. That said, other impacted accounts do not mention it, or are even dentists.

We are not convinced the malicious software was an actual occurrence. We have found none, Google support hasn't found any. In the case of a suspended account however, and in answer to the previous person, asking Google get's nothing but links to online help files. They will not disclose any specific detail.

"Simple: No; This is incorrect;
Ads could be disapproved; Changing the text would mot likely approve them;"

I would normally agree, and understand we are only guessing at this point. It's all we can do. With so many accounts across different verticals, ad copy is the only common theme. Meaning some ads in these accounts are flagged for certain language or services. Fixing these issues doesn't however result in suspension being lifted.

All accounts use different billing profiles, credit cards, billing names and addresses, etc. 

There are no "grey zone" techniques that we identified. We use Instapage landing pages, but also have tried the main www site as well.

"Could it not be that there has been a kind of of hick up on Thursday in which websites were scanned and for some reason the malicious software tag was given by mistake.  And additionally triggering  the circumventing systems suspension."

Yes. I think that is pretty much the only explanation. Though it seems multi-layered, with circumventing systems being first, followed by an erroneous malicious software. I have been doing this, at the same company, for 14 years. Never seen anything like it. I am seeing other people post very similar situations in the last few days, and is really why I posted. Not necessarily to get an answer, but to share an experience and see if others are experiencing it as well. The answer seems yes.
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