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Do NOT change your URL in Adwords
If you do you will reset your account and lose everthing.
vphoner




msg:1133102
 3:08 am on Aug 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

I changed my URL in 30 adgroups and lost everything. Now paying 400% more to recover my words. Went from 1200 clicks a day to 100. I did not change any text in my ads, just the URL. This is insane. Google must be contacted by all of us that this is unacceptable by advertisers. Months of work and money down the drain.

 

FromRocky




msg:1133103
 3:58 am on Aug 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

The best way to do if you want to change URL in the ad-copies.
1. Add a new ad-copy with the same text but new destination URL

2. Select all keywords and change their landing URLs. This can done in three clicks. a) Hit a box at Keyword to select all, b)Hit Edit CPCs/URls, c)Type in your new destination URL at the top line and hit the errow down. Save change.
Done.

3. Once the new ad registers clicks, delete the old ads.

You can delete the individual URLs or leave them there. Your choice!

vphoner




msg:1133104
 4:29 am on Aug 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

The damage is done, anyway to reverse it? Why is my past CTR not helping me now with the new ad?

Also why is redirecting each keyword saving you from the mess that I am? I did make an identical ad with exact text and waited till I saw impressions on the new ad before deleting the old one. Google has a real problem here.

Thanks for your information.

eyeinthesky




msg:1133105
 4:35 am on Aug 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think this issue has been discussed many times before. I too learned the hard way but what can we do?

Google's reasoning is that a new URL is untested and therefore does not "deserve" the past CTR score. You can't really fault this argument because if the new URL is totally irrelevant, then why should it have the same CTR (and therefore ad rank)?

So everything is reset and you go to the past. Want to go back to the future? I really don't know how :)

vphoner




msg:1133106
 5:29 am on Aug 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

What does a URL have to do with anything? Can you explain their reasoning? Is it the keywords in the URL? Would this not create problems of people hogging all the good names, and making it unfair competition? Say you have a keyword you are bidding on called [sailboat]. Would it help your ad rank if you created a url like this?

www.sailboat.myurl.com or www.myurl.com/sailboat

Does the /sailboat help? I am really trying to get a handle on this. How did you get hurt doing this? Can you give me some details? Thanks....I am really hurting now. The people at google tell me that I have not lost my history and that it takes while for the system to recognize the new ad. From what I have seen so far, its reset me to zero.

eyeinthesky




msg:1133107
 5:54 am on Aug 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Ok, I see you don't get my point :)

Say your previous URL is:

www.bluewidgets.com

Surfers have been clicking on this URL for many months or years and obviously the ad displaying this URL would have acquired a good CTR. This means the contents on this URL is relevant to surfers (in Google's eyes).

Now if you change your URL to:

www.mybluewidgets.com

Google cannot know for sure that the contents in this new URL is relevant or not. Thus it cannot assign the same CTR to this URL. This new URL must earn its own CTR.

Hope this helps.

[edited by: eyeinthesky at 5:57 am (utc) on Aug. 27, 2005]

RonnieG




msg:1133108
 5:56 am on Aug 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't think it is the URL itself that is the issue, as much as whether the landing page the URL points to contains any of the same key words that the user entered and that triggered your ad. So if the user enters "bright blue widgets", and it triggers an ad whose landing page URL sends them to a page containing "bright blue widgets", or at least some combination thereof, then the relevancy score is higher than if they end up on a page that has none of those words.

So, even if a key word phrase and its associated ad text are relevant, or seem to be, if the user ends up on a page that has nothing to do with the user's search phrase or the ad text, the ad may never attain the necessary relevancy score to lower the CPC.

Another thing that this does, is keep advertisers from initiating a new ad that an initial manual review might find to be appropriate, then once the ad is approved, changing the landing page URL to something totally different, therefore causing the user to lose faith in Google's ability to get them to an appropriate site/page based on their search terms.

This is why I always make sure the landing page I will be using in a new ad is already set up and has appropriate content that closely matches my key words and ad text. It may start out at a slightly higher CPC rate, but Google quickly learns after a few clicks that the landing page is highly relevant. On a whole group of new ads I built recently, I believe that because the key words, the ad text, and the landing page Title, Description, and page content were all highly relevant, Google's minimum CPC suggestions were never more than .04US for any of the key words.

dmorison




msg:1133109
 7:56 am on Aug 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Surely this whole issue of the quality score being reset by changing the URL is simply down to the fact that you change the display URL, which is therefore paramount to changing the ad copy and could obviously have an impact on CTR.

I don't believe the textual contents of the landing page are any part of the quality algo, because;

ii) Even if there are and even if you pass the automated relevancy checks, I don't see it having any significant impact on CTR. The only feedback channel of page content relevancy into CTR would be repeat clicks from the same people - and lots of them.

iii) You can change the contents of your landing page whenever you want, it is either accepted by human review or declined.

danger




msg:1133110
 8:12 am on Aug 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

I had the same problem despite being specifically told by an adwords support rep that my CTR would be maintained. Several emails later they still won't accept that my CTR had been wiped out - I just gave up in the end. It's pointless trying to argue.

vphoner




msg:1133111
 3:40 pm on Aug 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Its not pointless. Call 1-866-246-6453. I think you press #2 for Google Adwords. Then ask for technical support and let them know in detail your problem and exactly what happened and how someone assured you it would not hurt your account. This is supremely important for you to call if we are to prevent this from ever happening. If enough people let them know, then they will know that this is a REAL problem. If no one calls them, then they will think the system is great. I have already made 5-6 phone calls and 20 emails. I think I will have 100 phone calls and 1,000 emails before this is resolved. I may even fly out there to get this resolved. My damage is so severe.

Even a tech guy at google said that he had never seen as bad a problem as mine. Everyone make the call. Let google know the system is broken and does not work as expected, if you were screwed by this.

Going from #2 to #38 with no warning is no system at all in my opinion.

cagey1




msg:1133112
 6:55 pm on Aug 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Not sure if this is still true, but in the "old days" Google actually had an human employee check the landing page of each new ad for relevancy before the ad was allowed to be shown network-wide. So changing the URL is a big event in Google's eyes.

patient2all




msg:1133113
 2:09 am on Aug 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Interesting points being made but...

I don't think the basic rules about changing ads (including display & destination URLs) has undergone any changes in all the time that I've been using AdWords.

The second you make any change to your ad text/display URL/destination URL, you're off the partner/content networks and the new ad CTR = 0. It can only gain CTR through a favorable click through rate.

I agree with Dmorison on
I don't believe the textual contents of the landing page are any part of the quality...

Your eventual ad CTR will win back that quality (hopefully).

However, Dmorison, when you say
You can change the contents of your landing page whenever you want, it is either accepted by human review or declined.
- I have to assume you mean that changing landing page URL, not content change by itself, will subject you to approval or rejection. You can change your landing page content whenever you want without Google knowing about it, just so that's clear to everyone.

-----
RonnieG,

As Dmorison commented on, what you're saying about your optimized landing pages is certainly a good practice to follow and probably earns you a good CTR based strictly on your efforts. However, I doubt the AdWords interface is going to the trouble of checking your ad(s) landing pages for these factors when determining your CPC.

I'd be interested in hearing any other supporting evidence for your theory.

Why, I had an ad that resolved to a 404 from day one and it was running (wasting my money) for about a month until I caught it. I'm not sure even during the human review every ad is checked. They're probably so overworked, they use a 1 in 3 method or something like that.

-----

FromRocky,

Your step 2:

2. Select all keywords and change their landing URLs. This can done in three clicks. a) Hit a box at Keyword to select all, b)Hit Edit CPCs/URls, c)Type in your new destination URL at the top line and hit the errow down. Save change.
Done.

I'm confused on the advantage of changing all the individual URLs to the new ad. How does this differ from just deleting the original ad since it won't be seen any longer anyway? The new ad still has to build a CTR and does an old ad with a good CTR, but no keywords pointing to it provide any benefit to your AdGroup? Or did I miss something entirely?

------

Of course, the age old advice is to let both ads run until new ad CTR >= old ad CTR, then the old ad can be deleted.

---

There was also much discussion a short while back about ad text relevency figuring into CTR (in addition to keyword CTR and Max CPC). I'm still not clear if that ever was verified as being fact or wild misinterpretation.

---

Finally, FWIW, perhaps I operate outside of the more competitive arenas, but I've noticed it only takes a day or two for me to build myself back to the position I was in at the same cost when I change ads. A Google rep told me the same thing when I jumped up and down about having to change a bunch of destination URLs when AdWords suddenly started stripping off page anchor tags during one of their "tweaks".

Sorry to be all over the place, but so is this thread :)

patient2all

dmorison




msg:1133114
 7:04 am on Aug 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

You can change the contents of your landing page whenever you want, it is either accepted by human review or declined.
- I have to assume you mean that changing landing page URL, not content change by itself, will subject you to approval or rejection. You can change your landing page content whenever you want without Google knowing about it, just so that's clear to everyone.

Exactly - I was referring (not very clearly!) to changing the contents of the landing page, not the URL, as more evidence of my argument that it is unlikely that page content is a factor in Quality/CPC.

danger




msg:1133115
 8:27 am on Aug 28, 2005 (gmt 0)


I'm confused on the advantage of changing all the individual URLs to the new ad. How does this differ from just deleting the original ad since it won't be seen any longer anyway? The new ad still has to build a CTR and does an old ad with a good CTR, but no keywords pointing to it provide any benefit to your AdGroup? Or did I miss something entirely?

if you change the url for an individual keyword, CTR isn't affected, so by changing the URL for each keyword, you effectively change the landing page for your whole adgroup without losing CTR. I learnt this the hard way.

The problem then of course is that all clicks go to the new landing page so you can't do any split testing without manually editing the URL's

Sujan




msg:1133116
 11:45 am on Aug 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

However, I doubt the AdWords interface is going to the trouble of checking your ad(s) landing pages for these factors when determining your CPC.

I second that! I'm watching my logfiles quite closely and I am sure there are no bots from Google coming to check what the content of your landing page is. I can be so sure, because sometimes there are absolutely no (0) hits on the pages for a long time after adding them as an ad.

Jan

vphoner




msg:1133117
 1:56 pm on Aug 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Ok, from the discussion that I read here, I have come up with the following nuggets of information:

[1] Change in the viewable URL and URL underneath is the most disruptive thing you can do to an ad, and you risk losing all CTR history for the keywords associated.

[2] There is no explicit warning by google to anyone written clearly that this can and will happen. Its not an obvious thing. Even for experts that have used adwords for years, but did not change URL till much later in the game. Like me, they learned the hard way.

eWhisper




msg:1133118
 9:47 pm on Aug 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Change in the viewable URL and URL underneath is the most disruptive thing you can do to an ad, and you risk losing all CTR history for the keywords associated.

ANY change made to an ad can effect it's CTR, performance, etc. Many will argue that changing a headline is the most disruptive thing you can do, and other's will argue it's the marketing message tagline. Really doesn't matter what you change, you're subject to having the new ad approved and syndicated with any change.

holyearth




msg:1133119
 2:43 am on Sep 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

ya really ANY change made to an AD will fubar you

but if you change a keyword specific URL you'll be safe....

luke175




msg:1133120
 5:44 am on Sep 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

One solution to this is to use forwarding. That way the old url (assuming you own it) can just forward to the new one transparently with Google ever seeing the change.

ronmcd




msg:1133121
 8:51 am on Sep 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

I agree, use forwarding if you need to change a url within the same domain, problem occurs if you need to change the domain itself. If you forward it to the new domain then google will eventually pick up the inconsistency in your display and destination urls and disable the ad.

toddb




msg:1133122
 1:17 pm on Sep 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

The keywords maintain the history. I change ads all the time and your ad loses it place ofr a day or two and once it is reviewed it comes right back.

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