Feb 20, 2008 115 reads by Navneet Kaushal

The Inside AdWords Blog announced that beginning April 1, 2008, AdWords will no longer allow redirects and vanity URLs in place of ad landing pages. This update is in congruence with Google's efforts to provide more relevant advertising results and higher quality experiences to users.

"We'd like to give you advance notice of an update to our display URL policy, which will take effect on April 1st," said Blake. "While the majority of advertisers will not be affected at all, action will be required from those who are."

After the deadline on April 1, no exceptions would be allowed with regards to the display URL policy. Furthermore, the policy will be "strictly enforced" irrespective of past approvals and applies to all the advertisers from the due date.

Strong emphasis has been laid on the match between the display URL and the destination URL or the Landing page URL. An example would be that if your destination URL is www.google.com, your display URL must also be www.google.com. The following would not be acceptable display URLs for an ad for www.google.com:

  • www.google.co.uk – because this URL leads to a different site
  • www.gogle.com – even though this URL simply redirects to www.google.com it is still not acceptable
  • www.gooogle.com – because this URL leads to a page showing content identical to www.google.com

For the advertisers who use tracking URLs within the destination field of their ads, only if the URL of their landing page matches that of their display URL, their ads will be approved.

An example would be:

Display URL: www.google.com/adwords

Destination URL: www.trackingurl.com/google123

–> Landing page URL: www.google.com would be acceptable

Display URL: www.google.com/adwords

Destination URL: www.trackingurl.com/google123

–> Landing page URL: www.trackingurl.com would not be acceptable

What about the sub-domains, are they still acceptable?

Yes they would be, and the additional text within the display will continue to be acceptable provided the top-level domain matches the URL of the landing page.

An example would be that the following display URLs are all acceptable:

  • sub.google.com
  • google.com/extratext
  • www.google.com/extratext

They are acceptable for the landing page URL below, as the top-level domain of google.com is matched:

In the wake of this update to display URL policy, it would be prudent for the advertisers to make any necessary changes to their ads in advance of the April 1st date. As after the due date if you are not compliant then you might risk a disruption by future disapprovals related to the policy.

A couple of weeks back Google disapproved of ads that lambasted politicians, see: Google AdWords Not To Allow Personal Attacks On Politicians.

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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