I was hoping I’d never have to write this post. But, "hope" is a shitty strategy as we all know (including, maybe, our President?).
I thought perhaps, somehow, I was different (You’d think I’d have learned by now, I’m not only different, if there’s an exception, I usually fit it, in the worst possible way☺).
Today, Google®, the search engine giant (and 800# online gorilla), shut my account down completely, and, permanently.
Why did they do this?
After placing a call to their call center in Michigan, I was told, “You have had repeated violations.” The guy was adamant about the fact there was nothing I could do. “Have a nice day,” was his response.
My violations consisted of improper links in my ads (I was using what WordPress calls a “shortlink” and my good friend and Adwords Certified Smart buddy, James @ EMC Dental told me, “They don’t like that.”) Well, shit. Had I only known…I was only saving myself a keystroke. Yeah, I should have read their instructions, right?
I’m not saying I’m completely blameless. What I am saying is if Google flexes their muscle in your case, you’re potentially screwed.
That is part of the lesson I wanted to share with you.
The good news is, I don’t rely on Google for anything major. (And, neither should you. No matter how much in their “good graces” you think you are.) In my case, it’s nothing that cannot be replicated elsewhere, anyway, for at least the same if not less money and hassle.
It also forces me to innovate and be more creative on how to drive traffic to my web pages. My innovation and change will lead me to: Microsoft Adcenter, using banners and other ad networks to place my ads, etc. Google isn’t the only game in town.
If you’re mildly curious, here are the pages that “caused” the forced shutdown:
BIG take-away for me and for you? The worst number in any business for anything is: ONE.
If you have ONE way to get new customers, one way to contact existing or former customers, ONE way to do anything in your business (or, like me, you have ONE employee) it's a recipe for certain disaster if not, at a minimum, a major, painful inconvenience.
For me, today, it just put everything I had to do, back a couple hours, but it also gave me fodder for this article, too.
P.S. If you have built a business and at its core, you and it rely on Google Adwords, you better make contingency plans lest you piss off that Gorilla and become permanently banned from Google. It's sort of liberating, actually. Like going commando on a hot day!