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What do you do when Google screws you?

NEOGEOman (155470) writes | more than 4 years ago

Google 8

NEOGEOman (155470) writes "I work for a small company in Australia that sells a business product developed in Canada. We've come to rely on Google's AdWords system to bring us business — the vast majority of our new customers contact us because we came up near the top of their search for inventory control software. Google just cut us off, with an automated form letter that describes all kinds of offenses that don't apply to us (except perhaps our fairly unattractive landing page) and their stern wording and lack of response seems to indicate that there's no way to appeal or even find out what we did wrong. We've been AdWords users for years, and give Google a comparatively modest $1,000+ every month. Without this source of customers, we're kind of panicking. Our Canadian head office is panicking more, since their account is still active but their business is obviously the same. They have more staff than we do, and a lot more riding on continued AdWords success. We might fail without AdWords, but we WILL fail without our parent company.

My question for Slashdot is: If you're a legitimate small business selling legitimate software and Google cuts you off with the same letter they use to kill malware purveyors (Our software's might not be world-class but malware is a bit of a stretch!) what do you do?"

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8 comments

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Bring a giant can of lube (1)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 4 years ago | (#30347800)

And hope to hell that at some point, you find out *exactly* who inside the organisation that you can tell this to that cares enough about it to do something.

They say do no evil, but sometimes it's not what you do that is evil, but what you allow to happen without intentions.

Fix your site (1)

ThreeGigs (239452) | more than 4 years ago | (#30347976)

Someone hacked your site and it's serving malware.

Fix it.

Trusty Old School (1)

muphin (842524) | more than 4 years ago | (#30349706)

send Google a letter, NOT an email, a letter to their headquarters, explaining yourself, the old fashioned method is a good method to get some face time and explain yourself, just do some research and find the suitable person to send the letter to.. as everything done these days through email and forms is just gibberish and since they would receive an overwhelming amount of correspondence not many people take the time to post a letter.

Maybe it IS you. (1)

mjensen (118105) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350416)

"describes all kinds of offenses that don't apply to us"
You don't think it applies to you. Maybe it does. For each complaint, ask yourself "could this one item actually be true?"

Download the site and compare against your archive and see if there are unauthorized changes to your web site.
If you've been in good standing for a while, put one of the old "good standing" pages back up, because maybe a recent change was on the no-no list.
Browse your site with anti-virus on, but remove ad-block, proxy, and all the other things that protect your connection. Maybe your site links to malware sites.

Re:Maybe it IS you. (1)

mjensen (118105) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350440)

Replying to myself here.

Maybe your web site is just fine, but the computer or system you are using to sell software is putting a virus on the software you sell.
What types of calls does your support/service department get?

Re:Maybe it IS you. (1)

NEOGEOman (155470) | more than 4 years ago | (#30361046)

We don't sell anything online, every sale is a result of discussions and old-fashioned payments and elbow grease. Our software is configured based on discussions with the client, our training is done online one-to-one with staff in our office. Customers who reach our site can read about the software, view some screenshots etc, but will have to submit a request for demo or call us to get more info or arrange a purchase. It's a very low-volume, hands-on kind of business, and we're all just stunned to be singled out by Google without warning or recourse.

We can't help but think it's a misunderstanding or mistake, but in the wake of the big Google Silence (tm) treatment, we can't know for sure, or resolve the problem. It's frustrating: I've always defended Google's choices, and I continue to defend this one to the boss. Their business, their choice, right? If they don't want our money, they shouldn't be forced to take it if they'd rather not deal with us. I just wish they were more human in their actions. We're quite disheartened by this brusque treatment.

Re:Maybe it IS you. (1)

mjensen (118105) | more than 4 years ago | (#30501974)

This is about a week late, but I should've said that differently.

You sell software. Maybe your distribution computer has a virus and is putting that on the software you send out on CD's. Customers would be annoyed and call your support/service department.

UPDATE! Or not... (1)

NEOGEOman (155470) | more than 4 years ago | (#30374806)

As a pretty awesome update, Google's emailed us today with tips for making our AdWords campaign more effective. You might think they're subtly letting us know we can get back to sending them money every month, but no, our account is still dead.

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