Google Ads account suspensions: What advertisers need to know

Seeing the dreaded 'Your account has been suspended' banner in Google Ads? Learn its potential causes and how to get your account reinstated.

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Account suspensions are essential to “maintain a healthy and sustainable digital advertising ecosystem with user protection at its core,” according to Google Ads.

While we can all agree that the platform needs to be a safe experience for all, it can be a minefield for advertisers navigating the account suspension process.

Let’s look at account suspensions, the three main types of account suspensions and how to deal with them. 

Why do accounts get suspended?

Accounts get suspended when Google Ads finds a violation of one of their policies. 

Google Ads uses a combination of automated systems and manual reviews when detecting violations.

The process includes reviewing the account and other aspects, including customer reviews, your business practices and the content of your website.  

How are accounts suspended?

Depending on the violation, accounts may be suspended immediately upon the detection of a violation. 

In other cases, advertisers will be given a prior warning of at least seven days before the suspension takes place.

What happens when an account is suspended?

When an account is suspended:

  • Ads will not run.
  • You won’t be able to create any new content, such as ads, ad groups or campaigns. 

You can, however, still access the account to review historical data and reports.

In some instances, accounts related or linked to the suspended account may also be suspended, such as linked Merchant Center accounts or those linked to the same manager account. These will be lifted if/when the original suspension is resolved. 

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What are the different types of account suspensions?

Policy violations

These suspensions occur when an advertiser violates either a Google Ads policy or their terms and conditions.

Common violations include: 

  • Inappropriate or restricted content.
  • Issues related to editorial requirements.
  • Misuse of data. 

Egregious violations

These are suspensions that Google Ads deems unlawful or harmful. 

They typically reflect the overall practices of a business, not necessarily their campaigns or account. 

As such, it is unlikely that the suspension will be overturned and will probably be permanent.

Common egregious violations include: 

  • Circumventing systems.
  • Unacceptable business practices.
  • Malicious software.
  • Counterfeiting. 
Circumventing systems
Above: Circumventing systems is a common egregious violation.
Source: Google Advertising Policies Help page

Other suspensions

Other reasons why an account may be temporarily suspended include: 

  • Suspicious payment activity.
  • Unpaid balance.
  • Unauthorized account activity.  

What to do if your account is suspended?

Policy violations

If your account has been suspended for policy or terms and conditions violations, you must resolve the issue causing the suspension before submitting an appeal. 

The Google Ads help guides are full of detailed information about these policies, so make sure you read these thoroughly. 

Do not submit an appeal until you are certain that you have made the relevant changes.

For example, if you have been suspended for violating editorial requirements, review your ad copy to check for potential issues regarding capitalization, spacing, spelling and symbols.

If you are uncertain about the violation/s that caused the suspension and how to fix them, you can use the account troubleshooter to determine what steps need to be taken.

Head over to the Google Ads account suspensions page and click Get started.

To submit an appeal, click on a Contact us link, which will direct you to the appeals form. You have a minimum of six months to submit this appeal.

Egregious violations

Egregious violations are treated very seriously. In most cases, the suspension is permanent.

However, if you genuinely believe that the suspension is baseless, then you can submit an appeal.

Make relevant changes to your account and/or business practices before you submit your appeal. This is important because egregious violations only get one chance to submit an appeal. 

Take the time to review your business practices honestly and make sure you have done all that you can to comply.

Other suspensions

In many of these cases, billing issues cause suspension, so check the billing section of your account.

Ensure that billing information is accurate, your payment method is up to date, and recent payments have not been declined. 

If your account has been suspended for a billings and payment issue, you must fix this within 30 days. 

You may also be required to complete the advertiser verification program to confirm your identity or business operations.

Ads transparency center - Google Ads
Above: Verified advertisers show in the Ads Transparency Center, which plays a part in Google’s efforts to build a safe and positive experience.

In the case of an “Unauthorized account activity” suspension, Google Ads has detected suspicious activity, and your account has been suspended to protect your account. 

This may be triggered due to recent changes to account access, an unusual increase in your ad spend or if your ads are sending traffic to unfamiliar destinations. 

You will need to:

  • Change your Google account password immediately.
  • Check for any unfamiliar devices signed in to your account.
  • Submit a compromised account form.

Next steps 

Unfortunately, many advertisers are reporting long wait times to hear back about their appeal. This means that you will need to be patient and wait for a response via email.

In the meantime, do not submit additional appeals. This can delay the process.

If your appeal is accepted and your account is reinstated

You can resume running your campaigns via Google Ads as usual. 

Be aware of violating the same policy again in the future. Depending on the type of policy infringed, you may face permanent suspension for repeat violations.

If your appeal is denied

You may be eligible to submit another appeal, but you must make the relevant changes before you do so. 

While there is no limit on the number of appeals you can make, if too many appeals have been made, they may not be processed. 

For egregious violations

If your appeal is denied and you are permanently suspended, you have been banned from using Google Ads. Creating any new accounts will also result in suspensions.

If you still have funds in your account, you will need to cancel your account to receive a refund.

Making sense of Google Ads account suspensions

Account suspensions are designed to help keep advertisers and users safe. 

They help keep dangerous and malicious activities off the platform, improving the Google Ads experience.

While finding out your account is suspended is frustrating, in most cases, there are steps you can take to resolve the issues behind the violation and have your account reinstated. 

Dig deeper: Optimizing your Google Ads account: 10 advanced strategies

Contributing authors are invited to create content for Search Engine Land and are chosen for their expertise and contribution to the search community. Our contributors work under the oversight of the editorial staff and contributions are checked for quality and relevance to our readers. The opinions they express are their own.

About the author

Sophie Logan
Sophie is the PPC lead at Beauhurst, a private company database tool based in the UK. A lover of all things Lead Gen, Sophie has a particular interest in B2B and SaaS brands.

Sophie has spoken at numerous conferences and industry events including Hero Conf London, the International Search Summit and brightonSEO's Search Advertising Show. She is also a Gold Product Expert on the Google Ads Help forum.

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