We had a merchant that was getting ~1500 clicks a day while raking in a tidy profit on Google Shopping when we noticed that one day that without warning, traffic had suddenly dropped down to ZERO.

We logged into the merchant center and all products were approved.

We checked our budget but that hadn’t changed and nothing had been spent on that day.

We did a search for a few dozen products out of the 40k products that they had with no results whatsoever.

Our ad campaigns were still validating, everything in Adwords looked normal, we called up Batman and even after he took a look there were no answers.

It turns out that our  account was under review by Google (as they will randomly do sometimes), which for some reason requires that they fully take the account down while you’re stuck in some sort of purgatory mode making your site invisible to the Google Shopping audience of the world.

Your account is currently under review. We check periodically accounts for security purposes and verification of bank details. These inspections take between 2 and 3 days. Your adsare not running during this period, but they revert automatically eligible when the review is complete.

Basically imagine you were whisked off to jail one day for no reason while the authorities make sure you haven’t committed any crimes, while taking 3 (business) days to make sure that you’re an honorable member of society before they released you.

So if you find yourself in jail your Adwords campaign down for no reason here’s how to check:

a) find an active ad words campaign that’s NOT a PLA campaign and click on it. Click on the Ads tab. Find an ad that says “Approved” in the Status column like this one:

 

b) Hover over the thought bubble above the word “approved.” If the account is under review you’ll see this message:

 

While we fully support Google’s decision to review all accounts to make sure they’re up to standard, we believe it’s senseless that they:

a) require your account to be completely taken down during this review process

b) do it without any warning to the merchant, which would, for lack of a better word, suck, during any time of the year–but during the hectic Q4 season it particularly…sucks, as  each day could result in a loss of $10′s of thousands of dollars in revenue.

c) will randomly review an account that’s been active on Google Shopping for YEARS (in this case I believe they’ve been compliant for at least 5-6 years). It makes sense that it’d be done for brand new accounts or accounts that get complaints (account profiling?), but for a legitimate IR Top 500 merchant that has easily driven a million dollars to Google over the years, taking them down is a non-sensical practice.

This isn’t a unique or even a really new scenario, as a Google search reveals but certainly a practice that we feel should become antiquated.

*Not really, but they may as well have

About the AuthorTien Nguyen is a co-founder of CPC Strategy and deals with data feeds in his waking hours and often in his sleep. He spends his free time with Rubik's cubes while rooting for the underachieving Raiders and UCLA sports teams where he graduated with a mathematics/economics degree. See all posts by this author here.