Big Google AdWords Change

It looks like your AdWords destination URLs must match your display URLs sometime in April (image is barely readible do to resizing, but it makes the point). The key words in the image are “without exception”.

AdWords Display URL Must Match Destination URL

Some may see this as a proactive opportunity and some might think this:

You are screwed

AdWords professionals and advertisers will definitely be busy starting… now, including myself. I’m guessing there is a grandfather clause in this.

I can see large e-commerce advertisers scrambling at this as well as larger corporations with set processes. At the same time, I can see consultants viewing this as more reasons to recommend unique landing pages and not just pointing ads to whichever page on the site seems most relevant.

I kind of like it, but definitely empathize with those who will be in living hell the next few weeks.

Any thoughts or input?

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7 Responses to Big Google AdWords Change

  1. I’m not real sure I ever understood the real reason for doing it that way–why would you not want people to see in the ad what site they were going to land on if they clicked the ad? Personally, I would be a little worried if I landed on a different URL than what I saw in the ad.

    Of course, I’m not always your normal surfer, either…

  2. Aaron Weiche says:

    I agree with Tony, why create user disconnect? Obviously many won’t pay attention to what they clicked to what the URL is, but why chance it. I’d be clicking back out as well.

  3. holly says:

    I think a lot of people use it to simply make the ad cleaner. If your landing page for the ad is deep in the site, it can make the ad look terribly sloppy or not fit at all. I am not sure I am a big fan of this change, however there are a lot of people who don’t use it to simplify the actual URL and instead put something irrelevant there. I wouldn’t say that is a great practice, but if they are willing to pay for clicks that won’t convert…who really cares?

  4. Paul says:

    Thanks for the comments to all! It appears I’m a month late to the party. Google has their information here. http://adwords.blogspot.com/2008/02/update-to-display-url-policy.html

    Looking at that box in the post, it implies that the display and destination URLs have to match exactly, with no exception. To me that means pages within the site as well.

    Apparently the exception is the main URL (www.YourCompany.com) has to match and the destination URL can be any page within the site… which seems like a ton of exceptions to me.

    Aaron, you have a blog!

  5. Aaron Weiche says:

    Way to keep investigating. I’m fine with the main URL being what is asked for and displayed. That said, I have noticed adds using a deceptive URL. Without this policy, who is to say I can’t just use someones URL … a trusted brand … just to get clicks on the ad. Thats not good.

    And yes Paul, I’m finally back blogging. Now I just need some posts with enough quality to earn a link on your blog roll. Thanks for noticing.

  6. Jennifer Lind says:

    I agree that this is a step in the right direction by Google, mostly to protect their visitors. A couple possible issues of concern: I wonder if this has an affect on tracking urls if you are using an outside service provider, even though you still ultimately land on the company url. I could see how this would be an issue. Another thought is how this negatively impacts companies with mirror sites. They may use one url with lots of keywords to advertise when the url actually redirects to the main company url.

  7. Paul says:

    Good points Jennifer. I initially thought the change had to do with the actual display URL within a site but I was incorrect.

    I’m not a big fan of mirror sites actually… at least not for SEO purposes. Although, I am a fan of niche sites within a main URL that’s unique to the search engines and the user.

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