Important Change to Google AdWords’ URL Policy Enforcement

Google Warning

If you’re currently managing a Google AdWords campaign, you may have already seen this pleasant little message greeting you as you logged in to your account. What’s it all mean?

Beginning April 1st, 2008 Google will no longer allow you to post a display URL in your Google ad that is not your own website’s real domain name.

That’s right. No more automatic redirects. No more bait-n-switch. Which (ehem!), of course, you weren’t doing anyway, right?

Now your display URL in your ad must match its destination URL (landing page URL), or risk the sting of another Google smackdown; like the rap on the nose of a naughty puppy with a rolled up newspaper.

So?

Well, smart marketers use redirects to test different domain names. They may run two or more concurrent ads that differ only in the display URL. This is done in order to determine which domain name may draw in more clicks. You see, you have to TEST everything: Headlines, descriptions, display URLs and of course, landing pages.
There is, however, something to be done. Now, I’m not talking about getting around Google’s TOS. This is a legitimate work-around that can be employed; especially, if you are A/B split-testing your PPC campaign ads.

You are A/B split-testing your ads, right?

Good.

OK, so here’s a quick-n-easy solution provided by Brian Todd of Perry Marshall Associates so that you can still have multiple domains without redirects.

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2 Responses

  1. Thank goodness. Those redirects waste a lot of time. (And when I was a newbie, they even got me in trouble a few times)

  2. Agreed. This is a good way to stay out of hot water with Google but you have to own all domains that you want to use. That’s the only drawback. I suppose it will make for better search results and user experience. That’s all Google is really trying to do.
    Cheers,
    Matt Moran

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