A few years ago, Google decided to take drastic action in an attempt to clean up the Internet for good. Internet marketing was much easier back then. As long as you used your keywords on your website and you had enough backlinks from prominent and relevant sites, you could surpass any competitor, particularly if you used Google Adwords along with your SEO efforts. The problem is that some of the Adwords ads led to sites that were considered sub-standard, filler of fluff. Google decided to penalize Adwords advertisers that didn’t provide a valuable experience to users, essentially, and this became known as a Google Slap.
The Google Slap Penalty
Google’s primary goal is to provide a valuable experience to the search engine user. The Google Slap is intended to remove those Adwords ads that are considered lower quality. Websites that advertise counterfeit goods, ads that lead to pages where the content is sub-standard or ads that lead to landing pages that have nothing to do with the ad copy, these are just some of the Adwords advertisers that Google has penalized in recent Google slaps.
If you are unlucky enough to receive a Google Slap, all of your keywords will be hit with a 1/10 quality score. This means that your account is not considered banned and your ads will show up in the search results, they just won’t show as preeminently. They’ll be considered bottom of the barrel because Google has considered your account to be one that is or one that borders on SPAM.
Google will typically send you a message letting you know what they don’t like about your ad, your site, your domain or any other element of your Adwords campaign and you’ll typically be given a set time to fix the infraction.
Oftentimes, the problem is not what even related to what you’re advertising now. Some advertisers have discovered that they were being penalized for sites that they advertised for years ago. To make matters worse, nothing is ever really deleted in Google Adwords. The accounts you are no longer using merely remain paused. They never go away.
If you have been hit with a Google Slap and you aren’t able to fix the infraction and you’re wondering if you should close your account and start anew, again, nothing is ever deleted.
The best way is prevention. Avoid a Google Slap by remaining on the up-and-up in all your endeavors. Read Google’s Adwords policy thoroughly so that you know what’s accepted and what isn’t.
If you have been hit with a Google Slap and you want to know how to fix it, you may want to try the following. These are actual accounts of Adwords advertisers that have received a Google Slap and got the Slap reversed.
Getting A Google Slap Reversed
Google isn’t being a bully when it’s slapping sites. Again, the company is trying to clean up the Internet and of course comply with the FTC. Make sure you read these guidelines and take action so that all of your sites are compliant.
Wait To Contact Google
If an old site is hit with a Google Slap and you no longer use it, make sure it’s worth it to you to contact Google. Google staff may look at your existing domains extra carefully once you call them over to your account. If the site in question gets a 1/10 quality score and you don’t care about it, it might be best to let it be.
Contact Google Support
If a domain you’re currently promoting gets hit with a 1/10, submit a support ticket to Google asking for specific actions you can take to make your domain compliant. The last thing you want to do is tear into them about why you shouldn’t have received a slap at all. Be respectful and you’ll be more likely to receive an answer.
Don’t Ask Questions
You may be tempted to ask why Google wants what it does. It’s best to just make your sites compliant by doing what Google asks of you and go on. Again, extra scrutiny is never good. You just want to continue advertising your business and complying with Google quickly and respectfully is the best way.
Getting a Google Slap is no fun. If you get one, you must prove to Google that you can be an upstanding advertiser that focuses on providing quality for the consumer. Otherwise, Google will slap you and possibly ban you altogether.
If you’ve never received a Google Slap, good for you. It might still pay to go through each domain on your account, even ones you don’t use anymore, to make them compliant, just in case. A Google Slap is serious business and if you can avoid them, your business will be much better off.