Google kindly informed me about a Google Adwords advertising account I had completely forgotten. After changing the name from Adwords to Ads, Google has searched its archives for unused accounts, and is closing them without warning. The last time I used the account was years ago, although Google is saying it will close all accounts that haven’t been used for 15 months.
Every Adwords / Ads account is a business account that is paid by a credit card. Google has received money from these accounts earlier, but still, the company wants to close the ones that haven’t been actively used recently. Why close the accounts? Security, fear of hacking, credit card data leaking into wrong hands, or what is the reason? Google doesn’t tell – I couldn’t find answers even on the company’s own pages.
Why haven’t I used the Google Ads account? In the early days of Adwords, specifying ads for desired keywords was easy and fast. As the ad system developed, it became so complex that we started using different accounts for different products. It was simply easier to track the performance that way. Also, fierce competition for keywords have in practice driven small businesses out of bidding for the best keywords.
As expected, getting a completely unexpected message about canceled business account that includes credit card information hasn’t gone down well with people who have used Google Adwords. The support thread for the Google Ads product has plenty of worried people who have tried to regain access to their accounts. The chaos is complete when someone in Switzerland is trying to contact support that only says “not available in Switzerland”, or someone else having to phone Google support four times.
The make my point clear: these are business accounts. Enterprises have paid Google for its advertising service. Of course, Google can choose to dump customers it doesn’t want anymore. How many will return? Usually, rejected customers don’t want anything to do with the company anymore, but Google is what it is. Some businesses believe there are no alternatives. OF course, alternatives exist.
That hassle is not for me. It is a waste of time. I removed the entire Google account.
What is the best alternative for a small business to advertise on the internet? Since our primary business is ebooks, I have tried marketing them on many different ad networks. It seems that there is no one ad system that would work for all products and for all customer segments.
Let someone who has deep understanding on a range of ad systems do it for you, or use some time to try out what works the best for your product and audience.
Recently, we have placed ads only on hand-picked web sites that we have contacted directly. The advantage is full control over the ad and a pretty good visibility on the audience who will see it. Adblockers don’t usually prevent web site visitors seeing these ads because they don’t come from ad networks (the ads don’t have the program code that reveals where they are coming from).