Besides a healthy amount of confusion stemming from Adwords changes and algorithm functionality, there have been a few more “permanent” implementations thrown in lately. The recent “update to the display URL” which restricts to a greater extent how one can play with what the user glances at while clicking on an ad, has, been causing confusion. Here is what Google says about it from adwords.blogspot.com:
In response to advertiser and user feedback, and in an effort to provide more relevant advertising results and a higher quality experience for our users, we have made the decision to no longer allow certain exceptions with regards to our display URL policy. This includes, but is not limited to redirects and vanity URLs. This policy will be strictly enforced regardless of past approvals and will apply to all advertisers, beginning on April 1st.
In line with our existing policy, we will continue to require that your ad’s display URL match its destination URL (the URL of your landing page).
There is essentially not much that is brand new here, Google does not like it when you use other peoples URL’s. This practice has always been disallowed, and there is no realistic scenario in the future where it would be. Although the telephone game has really set in amongst advertisers, I have been hearing things such as:
- Google will no longer allow our tracking URL’s
- If your destination page has variables in it, or is a /index.html it will need to be exact in the display
- It is the end of the world
Fortunately, for advertisers, none of these scenarios is likely. First, Google states specifically that they DO allow tracking urls in the destination, just like before. The only stipulation is the final landing page must match the base URL of the destination. Straight from Google here:
I like this example, it actually works against both rumors mentioned above. You can see that, not only is it ok to redirect initially, extra characters after your base url are ok. When you take it all into consideration we are mainly looking at a stricter policy to your base URL, your domain name.
Let us know about your experiences with this Google update in our comments!