Ever try navigating within your PPC account and seen this?
It’s affectionately called the “red bar of death” by PPC advertisers, and it used to show up relatively infrequently. Starting about a month ago, I noticed more and more tweets on the PPC Chat hashtag from people saying they were seeing the red bar of death. Most of the tweets at that time were from our friends in the UK and Europe, so I figured something was going on over there.
Then I started seeing it myself, more and more. Then I saw this:
Mountain View, we have a problem.
It seems as though everyone is seeing the Adwords red bar of death:
It’s gone beyond ridiculous at this point. Twitter users point out that the issue happens in nearly every instance of Adwords daily usage: in every browser, navigating from one campaign to another, filtering, segmenting, editing… the list goes on. And nothing we do seems to make it go away for more than a day or so.
Adwords has maintained near-silence the whole time this has been going on. Last week, after the tweet I sent in the image above asking why the silence, they finally sent me a direct message on Twitter.
The DM contained a link to report the problems I was having. Finally! I thought. We can all get a resolution on this, if for no other reason than to bombard Adwords with form fills from the sheer number of PPC pros having this problem. So I tweeted out the link.
I promptly got another DM from Adwords – this time, asking me to delete the tweet. Why? Because apparently they handle these issues on an individual basis, so the form was meant for “specific cases” only.
Fair enough. But newsflash, Adwords: TONS of users are having the same problem, and it’s gone on for weeks! Why create a form meant for single users when this is a nearly universal problem? It almost seems like you’re underestimating the extent of the issue.
To their credit, Adwords did send me a public link to contact support, and I deleted my earlier tweet and sent this out instead. But this is just a link to their general support options. We all know how well that works (i.e., it doesn’t). Meanwhile, we’re still getting the red bar of death and other errors on a daily basis.
Hey Google, in case you haven’t noticed, the holidays are fast approaching. PPC advertisers need to get all their holiday campaigns teed up, launched, and managed. We don’t have time for continual outages and errors. Several people said they couldn’t access their shopping campaigns at all yesterday. That’s a major problem.
This fiasco is yet another indication that Google may be getting too big to fail. And it’s not the first time we’ve gotten terrible support from Adwords. But this goes beyond silly feature announcements and uneducated reps. This is a system-wide, worldwide outage that’s been going on for at least a month.
Adwords, it’s time to step up and fix the platform that’s your bread and butter. Now.
What about you? What have you done when you’ve gotten the red bar of death? Has Adwords reached out to you individually? Are you noticing any patterns in when it happens? Share in the comments!