Facebook Bans Advertiser Pushing Google+ Follows

Michael Lee Johnson thought he was being a good marketer using Facebook ads to garner more followers over at Google+. His idea worked, though not as he expected.

Hundreds of new Google+ users are now following Johnson's account, but it isn’t because of his ad. Rather, it’s because it has been revealed that Facebook banned his ad account.

Facebook Bans Google Plus Ad

He went on Google+ and asked people what they thought of his idea before he ran it. Interestingly, Facebook offers an option of putting your ad in front of people interested in Google – who knows how long that will last now that they are in competition.

Is Mark Zuckerberg protecting his number one follower status on Google+, or is Facebook just banning ads for Google's new social network competitor?

Facebook has already blocked migration tools allowing users to port their connections at Facebook over to Google+. Now it appears they are getting aggressive in the ad department.

As Johnson notes on his Google+ page, Facebook banned his entire advertising account and gave the following reason - or lack of reason:

"Your account has been disabled. All of your adverts have been stopped and should not be run again on the site under any circumstances. Generally, we disable an account if too many of its adverts violate our Terms of Use or Advertising guidelines. Unfortunately we cannot provide you with the specific violations that have been deemed abusive. Please review our Terms of Use and Advertising guidelines if you have any further questions."

The advertising guidelines at Facebook state they "may refuse ads at any time for any reason, including our determination that they promote competing products or services or negatively affect our business or relationship with our users."

Banning his entire account seems a little stiff and suggests Facebook is actually concerned with Google's current social project.

Johnson has gotten more than he could ever have hoped from this Facebook ad. One of his posts at Google+ has 984 pluses, is being shared over 1,000 times, and has 350 comments. If Facebook had just let this one go, it may not have gotten so much attention.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.