On Sunday we reported that Google was banning AdWords advertisers in the masses for "poor quality landing pages." In some cases, Google was sending out stern warnings to advertisers that they will be banned and in other cases, they just banned these advertisers outright.
After a few days, Google finally responded. The response, to most advertisers, is not satisfactory. Here is the official response in its entirety:
The suspensions and final warnings that are referenced in this thread are due to account level actions taken against advertisers who've submitted multiple sites that violate our landing page quality guidelines. This is an existing policy to discourage repeat offenders by taking account level action. These final warnings and suspensions were only applied to sites with multiple violations which were manually reviewed to ensure that our policies were being applied correctly.
Certain kinds of websites (ref1) are not allowed per our policies because the user experience is of low quality or we consistently receive negative feedback from our users about these kinds of pages. These sites include:
* Data collection sites that offer the false promise of free items, etc., in order to collect private information. * Arbitrage sites that are designed for the purpose of showing ads * Affiliates who provide limited value by being a bridge page with the intent of solely driving traffic to another site or who are framing an affiliate site * Malware sites that knowingly or unknowingly install software on a visitor's computer
You can find more information on this topic in the AdWords help center, under Landing Page Quality (ref2)
Landing page checks happen continuously, even after an ad has been approved, through both manual and automated methods. You can evaluate whether or not your site is in line with our landing page quality guidelines (ref3) If not, you can make the appropriate changes to your site or delete all ads that point to the low quality sites. Paused ads will still accrue violations against them.
We apply the same standards to all the sites that we check so violations are evaluated regardless of spend, keywords bids or history of the account.
Also note, some accounts have both allowed sites and not allowed sites. For these accounts, if you received a warning please remove the low quality sites from your account by deleting the ads pointing to these sites.
We constantly try to improve the quality of the ad experience which we believe helps both the consumer and advertiser when users can trust the quality of the site they reach when they click on an ad.
Referenced pages as noted above:
1) Are there any types of websites that merit low landing page quality scores? http://adwords.google.com/support/aw/bin/answer.py?answer=66238 (NOTE: this was also posted earlier in the the thread)
2) Landing Page Quality http://adwords.google.com/support/aw/bin/topic.py?topic=16348
3) Landing Page and Site Quality Guidelines http://adwords.google.com/support/aw/bin/answer.py?answer=46675
Got all of that? Happy with it? I personally was not banned or warned, but I am still not happy with that response. Neither are many advertisers. Just scanning through the really long WebmasterWorld thread, you will find many angry and upset responses to AdWordsAdvisor's reply.
Personally, I think some automated penalty score algorithm was tweaked and got a bit stronger. I think something is just wrong or needs to be looked into.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.