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Google Adword Issue Found With Landing URLs
Random but some parts of landing urls are scrambled
supercod




msg:1127158
 7:57 pm on Jan 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

What's happening is that the end part of URL's are being messed up, actually they being reversed.. what this means is that deep links are not working and in some cases tracking is not working at all, as people can't make it to the site correctly.

Now this is not something you can see all the time. So I am not sure if it's just a few data centres effected or a few machines effected in a few places.. who knows.

Anyway the people who notice the most I guess will be people who track keywords used in clicks, and I suspect mostly affiliates will be able to do this.

Again, this issue is not being seen by all and some people who do see it don't see it all the time.

I know not allowed to give out URL's so I can't give you an example on this. But if people like to do their own checks see what happens.

 

supercod




msg:1127159
 8:17 pm on Jan 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

I found it happens most at these locations.

So if do a search on these locations

[66.102.11.99...]
[216.239.57.104...]
[216.239.53.99...]

where you see "x" put your keyword, be easier with one word keywords.

type in keywords for merchants you have deep links or tracking id's for.. and see what effect these locations have on the links.

Note to Mods: if this is wrong to post URL's please delete but I think it will help Google and other people understand the problem better if they can actually see it. Here is hopping it gets fixed quickly.

hacktic




msg:1127160
 8:19 pm on Jan 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Got the same Problem with a few of my adds.

Example:
Click should lead to
[track.nonexistant.tld...]

but instead the add leads to

[track.nonexistant.tld...]

supercod




msg:1127161
 8:27 pm on Jan 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yeah that's what I am seeing.. I see it more as I work for an Affiliate Network so can check thousands of account. No idea who to report it to, thought this place would help pass the message along.

hacktic




msg:1127162
 10:14 pm on Jan 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

This is getting expensive!
Add by Add is changed to wrong destination URLs.
They are correct in my adwords account, but the destination url is wrong on displayed adds.

So i pay for clicks to non existant pages, people click 10-20 Times cause they only get 404's .....

Looks like it will be a long night, watching my error logs and shuting Adds down once they got fubared.

edit:
i see more and more Adds being affected by this, i would suggest you all check your errorlogs / displayed adds if you use some kind of tracking in your destination url

eWhisper




msg:1127163
 10:25 pm on Jan 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Have you checked these ads from another machine to make sure that it's not your machine that's having the problem?

hacktic




msg:1127164
 10:27 pm on Jan 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

yup, tried several machines and my webserver logs also show the wrong URLs.

too bad that i'm not allowed to post example search results ...

Dynamoo




msg:1127165
 10:52 pm on Jan 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've had about 18% of AdWords clicks fail this way since 1200 GMT today. That's only the traffic I see *landing* however, it may be that some isn't getting to my site and my stats aren't up-to-date on that.

Most of my traffic is from the UK.

I can't quite figure out the pattern, but it seems to be consistent for each URL. At some part of the URL string, the remaining characters are reversed. It seems to be random.

Dynamoo




msg:1127166
 11:28 pm on Jan 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's probably best to report some examples to Google directly, but here's some examples reformmated from my error log. The URLs are ficticious, but the length of the elements and positioning of elements is the same (so I've change widget-2001.htm to ABCDEF-1234.htm).

Visitor IP:
84.66.x.x
AdWords sends visitor to:
[widgetmeister.co.uk...]
Correct URL is:
[widgetmeister.co.uk...]

Visitor IP:
203.144.x.x
AdWords sends visitor to:
[widgetmeister.co.uk...]
Correct URL is:
[widgetmeister.co.uk...]

Visitor IP:
81.156.x.x
AdWords sends visitor to:
[widgetmeister.co.uk...]
Correct URL is:
[widgetmeister.co.uk...]

Visitor IP:
80.176.x.x
AdWords sends visitor to:
[widgetmeister.co.uk...]
Correct URL is:
[widgetmeister.co.uk...]

AdWordsAdvisor




msg:1127167
 12:58 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Sorry all, to be so late to this party. It's been one of those busy days in which I am away from my desk more that in front of it.

So, thanks very much, supercod, for the heads up.

I saw the earlier posts here, and before leaving for a bunch of meetings, I pinged the tech team with the examples provided. Just got back and I don't have a lot of details, but evidently there was in fact a limited glitch, which should be resolved shortly.

Again, many thanks to all for the sharp eyes, and to supercod for the initial post. ;)

AWA

NoCarrier




msg:1127168
 2:01 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just got back and I don't have a lot of details, but evidently there was in fact a limited glitch, which should be resolved shortly.

Are you sure? Because It's still not fixed. My domain name is scrambled 50% of the time. So when they click on the ad, I get a "domain name not found" error message.

Look at the URL it's creating..

[google.com...]

[felmth.noitalucajeelamef...] Is obviously not, the correct URL. :(

AdWordsAdvisor




msg:1127169
 2:12 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

...which should be resolved shortly.

Are you sure? Because It's still not fixed.

Hi, NoCarrier. I'm essentially passing on what I've understood from engineering - and I've learned (from being wrong way more than once!) that it's best if I don't speculate too precisely on the exact timing. ;)

I'd give it at least a few hours yet, though. I'm truly sorry that your account is affected by this, and assure you that is being worked on as a priority.

Thanks for your patience.

AWA

NoCarrier




msg:1127170
 2:46 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks AdWordsAdvisor,

I paused my all my campaigns, I don't want to lose more money. I hope they are going to compensate for that "glitch". That's if the clicks were still being counted.

Qui Gon Jinn




msg:1127171
 3:57 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Is Google going to communicate the problem to ALL advertisers?

TrustNo1




msg:1127172
 5:03 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Still not fixed. Everybody should check your ads, i just paused all mine. I expect some kind of credit because of this problem. Since it's a glitch on Google's part and we're paying for clicks that lead to nowhere on some occasions.

tsinoy




msg:1127173
 5:40 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

yikes.. that's probably why I've got suddenly so much click on a couple of keywords... cost that had been running up 3x or 4x... gulp!.. I'm gonna pause it for now...

does google give rebates on these?

For the first time I have more adwords click than what is registered at cj.

Eathan




msg:1127174
 7:47 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

AWA, the question of refunds on wasted clicks is pretty important.

Not only are advertisers paying for bad clicks, they're losing sales they would have otherwise received on quality traffic. The least Google can do is credit all advertisers for the messed up clicks they were charged for. For many advertisers, that's the least that'll be accepted...

Dynamoo




msg:1127175
 8:08 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

It looks like this may have been fixed now, I'm not seeing the same errors on the search queries I tested on.

Dynamoo




msg:1127176
 8:41 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

OK, working with the stats I've got it looks like perhaps 27% of clicks were being misdirected between the first error at 12:13:23 GMT and 23:34:44 GMT when I paused my campaign.

To be clear.. that's 27% of visitors coming to my site and getting a 404, and doesn't include people getting a corrupt URL and ending up floating in cyberspace. From the statistics I have, well I can't piece that data together at the moment.

Perhaps other people have other bits of data they can share.. but IMHO that much visitor loss is significant for many AdWords customers.

andystowell




msg:1127177
 9:04 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

My worry is that many smaller advertisers who do not keep a close watch on adwords conversions may not realise there has been a problem.

I hope that Google identify the erroneous clicks and compensate all advertisers, not just those who complain.

The same applies for those running hundreds/thousands of campaigns, you probably have not had the time/inclination to check all the landing URLs but still shouldn't be paying for the erroneous clicks.

Andy

Dynamoo




msg:1127178
 9:05 am on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've also noticed quite a bit of evidence of visitors trying the ad more than once after they get their 404, so this will be increasing the loss to advertisers.

Qui Gon Jinn




msg:1127179
 4:13 pm on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Is anyone interested in what Google have as an explanation as it hasn't been forthcoming yet or will this thread just disappear and lost ad spend simply accepted?

When we spoke with client services the person we spoke with didn't initially know, but confirmed there was a problem when they checked with tech. They said they would get back by Monday.

I just hope they inform all advertisers not just those who complain.

Yes it's an accident, but right thing is to communicate to all & not spin it saying its only a handful of advertisers or say words like localised.

[edited by: Qui_Gon_Jinn at 4:20 pm (utc) on Jan. 7, 2005]

supercod




msg:1127180
 4:18 pm on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

If it's effected even a small percentage of the ads shown the other day, is that not millions of dollars lost by advertisers.. and will Google credit people back a percentage of the spend from this day or even give a full free days credit as no one seems to know what the real extent of what happened was?

bakedjake




msg:1127181
 4:20 pm on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

It was still happening as of 7:30 AM EST this morning.

It affected 30% of our traffic from Google AdWords yesterday.

It seemed to manifest itself mostly with partner URLs, but we did have a couple of actual G search ads affected.

It seemed to manifest itself mostly with two word queries, but other sizes were affected.

Jeez... and I thought it was my misspelling campaign that really took off. ;-)

[edited by: bakedjake at 4:29 pm (utc) on Jan. 7, 2005]

Eathan




msg:1127182
 4:29 pm on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Jeez... and I thought it was my misspelling campaign that really took off. ;-)

LOL!

Adam_T




msg:1127183
 4:37 pm on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

They should at least refund, i need to check my account to make sure this wasn't affected too badly, luckily i have paused 200 or so ads after xmas, so i only have a bout 20 or so running - I'm sure however there will be a clause in the contract somehwere that excludes them from refunds, etc.

FromRocky




msg:1127184
 4:53 pm on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Now I know what wrong with my yesterday AdWords stats. Higher clicks than normal but less page impression (~25% less). At first I thought my server was down sometimes yesterday but it was not.

AdWordsAdvisor




msg:1127185
 5:08 pm on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's probably best to report some examples to Google directly...

Absolutely correct, Dynamoo - true in this case, or any similar case. So, if this is still happening in your account, please contact support, and ask that your email be forwarded to the tech team.

However, when reporting on anything that appears to be a glitch, please be certain to give us enough info to research. Typically, needed info would include things like:

* Account ID or the email address associated with the account
* Campaign(s)
* Ad Group(s)
* Creative (if you have more than one)
* Keyword(s) (if URL is per keyword, in this case)
* what exactly is happening
* when it is happening, and when it is not - if known
* when it started - if known

As a general principle, the more info we have, the quicker we can get to the bottom of it.

yikes.. that's probably why I've got suddenly so much click on a couple of keywords... cost that had been running up 3x or 4x... gulp!

Tsinoy, I can't really picture how there could be a connection here, but I'll pass your comment on.

AWA, the question of refunds on wasted clicks is pretty important.

Agreed, Eathan. And if this is a concern to anyone, please write to support from within your account. Again, be as specific as you can be.

It was still happening as of 7:30 AM EST this morning.

Thanks for the heads up bakedjake. Since this is the first time I've heard this morning, I'd ask you (or anyone for whom the problem is still occuring) to please write AdWords support, and ask that your email be forwarded to the tech team, per a request by AdWordsAdvisor on WebmasterWorld. This is not at all widespread, and it is very important to have an actual case of the problem to examine, in order to troubleshoot.

Many thanks to all, and again, my apology for the problem!

AWA

Eathan




msg:1127186
 5:28 pm on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Agreed, Eathan. And if this is a concern to anyone, please write to support from within your account. Again, be as specific as you can be

I think this is a concern to everyone, and like most I am hoping Google will clean this up without me having to spend hours going over logs and documenting every click. We run 1000s of words on many different sites on several webservers in several locations. To find and document any problems would be a daunting task.

Like most, I'm hoping Google will take a proactive approach to fixing the problem for all, whether they complain or not, rather than on a case by case basis.

bakedjake




msg:1127187
 5:30 pm on Jan 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

I really don't care about the refund (heads up advertisers: you should do or default to something if your tracking URLs fail, much like a custom 404 error page), I just am very curious as to why it happened.

This 48 message thread spans 2 pages: 48 ( [1] 2 > >
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