Having your website hacked is stressful enough, but what this means in terms of your ads on AdWords? Unfortunately, this means they will be suspended. But the story does not end there.
There are various repercussions to hacked websites – all from the website being broken or defaced to your appearance in Google Search being affected or being blacklisted. Having these resolved is a rather standardized procedure that might take some time, but has a straightforward solution.
Having your Ads suspended is a bit of a David against Goliath situation where the resolution will vary from case to case.
The Google AdWords team tends to be “late” to the party. This would mean your site might get its Adwords Account suspended after you already cleaned the website. This also means they will be really late in clearing your website status and treat it as hacked long after it has already been cleaned.
Google AdWords team is difficult to contact and does not work 24/7. This basically means that you will not get your situation sorted during weekends which prolongs the whole procedure even more.
What to do?
If you are sure your website has been cleaned, request a review. This will take a bit of time and you will have to chase the AdWords team, but this part is not something you can avoid.
There is a GREAT chance they will after that first request say your website is still not clean. Take a deep breath and (only if you are sure the website is clean) request a manual review and for the case to be escalated. What helps is to provide them with virustotal.com report stating your website is clean and if the Google Safebrowsing and Search console status are reporting the website as clean as well.
If this does not help, and often it does not, take one more breath, arm yourself with patience, and insist on the aforementioned reports to prove your website is clean. They will give in at some point so it is about keeping your calm and insisting on getting the website manually checked.
Why is it so difficult?
We don’t have real inside information, but it seems that they keep scanning the site from its index or some cached version on their side and not the real thing. Once the site is indeed scanned by humans and not some automated scanner, the Google AdWords team does in our experience return the site as clean and allows the Ads to run again.
It is a David against Goliath scenario, but as that story goes, David does win in the end!
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