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1/24/20
After four years without problems, my Google Ads account got suspended today 0 Recommended Answers 5 Replies 1 Upvote
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Hi, my name is Jeff and my business partner is Mike.  We own a digitial marketing agency and have been in business since 2012.  We have dozens of clients and collectively, we spend tens of thousands of dollars in Google Ads for our clients.  We have NEVER had an account suspended until today.  Furthermore, we have never had any account flagged and then we prove everything is right and Google India support reps agree and approve us.  My partner Mike manages all the Google ads accounts and after our client got suspended today, he filled out the appeal form and this is what he wrote below

"We have been having a problem over the past several weeks where our ads are disapproved due to malicious content.  

The exact same cycle has happened four or five times now.  I call the Ads support line.  They send me a list of malicious links that they believe are on our site.    I do a complete scan of the site and none of the reported links are on the site.  I also verify with search engine console that there are no reported problems with the site.  I then email these results back to the Ads support team.  They escalate the issue, and once the escalation team confirms that there are no malicious links on the site, they manually re-approve the Ads.  

Over four or five cycles, none of the reported malicious links were, or had been on the site.  No changes were made to the site.  I just explained that the reported links were never on the site.  The Ads support representative then calls me back, apologizes and tells me that things should be resolved going forward.  A few days later, the ads are disapproved for malicious content again and we start the process over. 

We went through this process again yesterday, getting the Ads approved once again.  The Ads support representative told me that it should not happen again, but that he would put a watch on the account, and escalate to a different team should their latest solution not prove effective.

This morning the account shows: "Your account is suspended - Your account violated the Circumventing systems policy."  The only changes to this account that I am aware of are that I changed a url from http to https several weeks ago, and then whatever changes have been made by the Ads support team.  I am not aware of any other changes of substance over the past few years.  I can only assume that if there was a violation of policy, it is either because of something that I am unaware of, or was caused by the changes made by the Ads support team."

We are greatly frustrated because all of our campaigns and ads have been approved and running on and off for more than four years.  But after we paused them this past summer because our client is too busy during the summer to run ads, when we turned them back on in November 2019, the explanation above from Mike tells the story.  
We are waiting for suspended form response but in the meantime reaching out to the community in hopes you can advise us what to do. 
Also, do you know if we can get an Google US high level account manager who we can call for any of our clients needs when we have them?  Now we have one US account manager for this specific client and she said she can't do anything to help.   Any suggestions?   We do have a Google MCC account we manage all of our clients in.
All Replies (5)
1/24/20
Hi Jeff,
 
I feel for you.
 
I suspect, but don't know, that you only get one chance at appealing. if that is correct, then you need to know the reason and provide evidence/explanation why Google got it wrong. And Google won't tell you what the problem is.
 
From what we have seen here, Circumventing Systems is usually to do with being associated with multiple Google Ads accounts, sometimes for redirecting visitors elsewhere, or supposedly black hat SEO.
 
Obviously managing multiple accounts is not the issue. Hopefully you use an MCC and are a Google Partner, which should indicate to Google you manage accounts.
 
Using the same billing in multiple accounts can be a problem, so hopefully every client uses their own billing and only has one account.
 
If a site is hacked and visitors are redirected, you can get the malicious links disapproval and a Circumventing Systems suspension. That is Google saying we know you are hacked, but the hack is breaking our rules, so we will suspend you.
 
It won't just be the malicious software causing the problem, unless they are real and causing a redirect. That is, unless Google's tool got it wrong, as anything is possible. 
 
So, apart from the above, my best guess (purely a guess) is that the client opened a 2nd account out of frustration with the disapprovals.
 
 
 
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1/24/20
Thank you for your feedback and suggestions.  

Each of our clients use their own billing and only this client has been suspended in our MCC account

The only unique difference with this client account is that they own two  businesses with two websites and our last Google account rep suggested and walked my partner through a couple years ago how to have some of the ads go to one of the sites and other ads go to the other website.  Google chooses which ads to run on each site, not us.  But this was was how Google rep walked him through how to do this and it was done more than two to three years ago and has worked until two months ago.  This is the only client we have with two sites.  I can provide you with both sites if you would like to see them.  They are both sites which offer home exterior siding, gutters, windows, soffit and fascia, heat cables.  

I don't think we are a Google partner.  My partner has never valued getting certified and having that. Not sure if we are a Google Partner as my partner doesn't think that's important.  Do you?  

 Google's tool as you call it has wrongfully flagged us.  We wish we could find malicious links we could go and find and fix.  We can't see any evidence of being hacked nor redirected.  In fact, we can't find any evidence of malicious anything.  And Google support in India has verified five different times no problem after we submit evidence of the same. We think we have been suspended because Google tool has wrongfully flagged out ads and we have proved them wrong because the India support team has re-approved the ads and account five times the past two months.  We would love to talk with someone about this...someone in suspended accounts or someone who can talk with them to find out why we got flagged five times in two months and five times they re-approved us without us having anything wrong and us showing them evidence that there was no malware, no redirects, nothing at all that was ever wrong.  

Our client has not setup a second account.  That said, that is why I shared with you above that Google rep a few years ago walked my partner through this process.  

thank you again for reply and any suggestions who at Google to contact ?
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1/24/20
be certain to carefully inspect all related correspondence from google,
especially the original suspension email, and any follow-up emails,
in addition to the account-level messages.
 
there is a major difference between circumventing-systems:
which is generally anything, technical or account related,
that may make google's policy-investigations more difficult,
and is usually permanent and cannot be fixed, unless google
finds that a mistake was made and there was no violation --
and malicious-or-unwanted-software related policy violations:
which usually relate to software or links, that can be fixed, but
are difficult to resolve quickly.
 
suspensions may sometimes be triggered by multiple policy issues.
 
also, not all keywords, ads, landing-pages, websites, businesses,
or accounts, are not always checked for all possible policy issues,
all the time -- a policy-flag may be triggered at any time.
Last edited 1/24/20
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1/25/20
Thank you Celebird for your reply and feedback.
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1/30/20
Hi,

Speaking from experience you will have 'disapproved due to malicious content' - is it a wordpress site?

I have had a case where the site was showing as clean on every single tool I tested it on - but it was not! The hackers managed to hide the code that was shown only every so many hits and at random. So you could test the site 20 times, and the bad code will show on the 21st hit as an example. 

The easiest solution is install the WordPress site again. But you have to be careful with the data you transfer from the old site. 

It took me almost a month to resolve this with Google and I was thinking the same as you - they got it wrong. You can ask google to point you to the page and the code. 

Best of luck in getting it resolved.
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