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New Google Adwords Policy
additional policy from google adwords

 4:38 pm on Mar 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi Guys,

I just saw this message thru my MCC account. Frankly speaking, this requires a lot of work for revisions.

"Important Change to URL Policy Enforcement
Starting in April, display URLs for new ads will be required to match their destination / landing page URLs, without exception. Please adjust your URLs accordingly when creating new ads."



 5:02 pm on Mar 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Weird that it is not more detailed. ok nevermind it is Google so we can guess at what they mean by this as it was always the policy I thought.


 5:06 pm on Mar 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Why would you be worried? What revisions?

…new ads… Please adjust your URLs accordingly when creating new ads.

I don't like this part. I hoped it would cover ALL ADS, not just the new ones.


 5:24 pm on Mar 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

I just speed read through their examples of the change and I'm not sure I even understand it yet. I just hope it's not something where we will not have to jump through hoops over.


 5:34 pm on Mar 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Although the charter of this forum prevents me from linking to the Inside AdWords blog, there was a post there on this subject a little more than a month ago, entitled "An update to display URL policy".

Following that post there was at least one reasonably active thread in this forum, as I recall.



 7:27 pm on Mar 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi All,

I've just got this message too. But I'm confused:

However, this example would be unacceptable:

* Display URL: google.com/adwords
* Destination URL: trackingurl.com/google123
* Landing page URL: trackingurl.com

Hasn't this rule been in places for years? What's different now?


 8:21 pm on Mar 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

I too can't beleive it does not affect old ads. I mean this just encourages those that are already doing this on purpose to just start submitting these kind of ads like crazy up until April to try and get even more grandfathered in!

[edited by: Kobayashi at 8:22 pm (utc) on Mar. 21, 2008]


 3:08 am on Mar 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hmmmm.....vanity domains are a big part of my adwords strategy. I get a much better CTR when I use a display URL that closely matches the search query.

The first thought that comes to mind is that I'll probably end up turning a bunch of my vanity domains into mini sites that lead into my main site.


 3:16 am on Mar 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

"An update to display URL policy".

What was an update, please?

I know there was NONE, for sure.

What should be new is the technology expected to start running on Fools Day.

Oh my, save us all... I am praying for this to go right… shut down every possible invalid display URL.

I simply cannot understand how someone could use this (invalid display URLs) as a strategy. This policy has been there for more than three years now.


 2:32 pm on Mar 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

If they didn't grandfather in the old links, there would be a huge drop in revenue for an extended period of time. I don't know how strict they are, e.g. is

example.com/widgets - ad url
example.com/bluewidgets - destination url

invalid? If the above case is invalid, then I've got quite a few ads that would stop working. I don't even know how to find them all to update them.


 3:12 pm on Mar 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

Here they say that changing display URL may affect QS? Is that correct.


I always thought, that destination URL's affected QS. Live and Learn for me.

And if this is correct, this could lead to a fall in revenue for G and maybe that is why they are not pushing old establihed ads/ accounts to change them?

QS change could be a majot problem for many advertisers.


 5:17 pm on Mar 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

From the above link:

While no immediate action will be taken on existing ads, we encourage you to make the necessary changes to all ads within your account.

Why no immediate action will be taken on existing ads? What prevents Google AdWords to do it?

I thought about this and the only I could figure are those two:

- Google AdWords’ technical inability to find all these
- Google AdWords wanting profit from both VALID ads and those INVALID. The real profit here is the difference that VALID ad pays because of INVALID one.

I wish I could find a way to make Google pay back all those "pennies" they've gathered because of those price differences. This has almost become like a part of their “pricing” algorithm - using offenders to get more money.

I always thought, that destination URL's affected QS.

One would expect that. This just proves that display URL policy offenders, for last three years, have been profiting quite a bit, in many ways, compared to those that run their own sites. You DO IT WRONG, you pay less as your QS rocks. You DO IT RIGHT, you get minimum bid of $5 or more. You, the one that is doing it right, call Google and tell them about multiple offenders of the policy, Google says “thanks” and does nothing.

example.com/widgets - ad url
example.com/bluewidgets - destination url

This is VALID 100%.

We talk about example.com vs. example.net or badexample.com

My comments are about affiliates. I know there are merchants that use multiple accounts and invalid display URLs in order to run two or more ads at the time. That would fall under same category, bottom of the advertising.


 5:36 pm on Mar 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

Im not sure I understand what the difference between a destination url and a landing page url... is the landing page not my destination?

So what is the problem if my display url is www.widgets.com, and the destination/landing page is www.widgets.com/1.html.

Would that be against the rules?


 7:06 pm on Mar 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

To those asking what is ok, think of it this way. You got the display domain that shows up in the ad and the domain of the landing page one eventually ends up on after clicking the ad. So long as the top level domain in the ad matches the top level domain in the landing page you are ok.

This is accomplished in one of two ways. The simplest is to put the landing page URL as your destination URL when creating your ad. The other is to put a URL that automatically redirects to ones landing page as the destination URL. In either case so long as the page that the user ends up on has a top level domain that matches the one in the ad all is good.

[edited by: Kobayashi at 7:09 pm (utc) on Mar. 22, 2008]


 8:13 pm on Mar 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

Kobayashi but wasn't this always the way it was? I do not see what has changed?


 8:25 pm on Mar 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

Nothing has changed, except Google is saying "We really mean it this time. But only for new ads."


 8:47 pm on Mar 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yes, that is always the way it was but previously they did allow certain "exceptions" to this policy which as far as I know were never made public until this notice when they gave two examples including "redirects and vanity URLs". So the change is that the exceptions they made public and who knows what others will no longer be allowed for new ads.

I don't know exactly what they mean by redirects as their example of what will continue to be permitted includes what I would think is called a redirect / tracking URL but vanity URLs I assume mean a mismatched top level display and landing page domain if they are owned by the same company and related but that is just my guess and if right would explain one of the reasons for such widespread abuse.

[edited by: Kobayashi at 9:23 pm (utc) on Mar. 22, 2008]


 6:07 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have a URL that is 37 characters long. How will I be able to set up new ads for that long of a domain name? The URL will never match because the form only allows for 35 characters in the URL field.


 6:59 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Jhet, only the top level domain needs to match so just shorten the display URL


 7:12 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

I know, unfortunately the TLD for that domain is the long part. As an example Really-long-domain-name-for-the-company-i-work-at.com. The company name is in the TLD as is a keyword.


 7:43 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

I see, well in that case all I can think of is to register a shorter domain - maybe the same one without the keyword.


 8:01 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hm, I had not thought to try that. It might be possible for me to point another domain name at the site as well as the current one but will that cause issues with the sites current rankings?

I'll have to dig deeper to make sure there are not any adverse effects but thank you for the idea. :)


 8:50 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think pointing a shorter domain to a longer domain is one of the things they are going to disapprove.

In my adwords ads, I use a domain that matches the search query as closely as possible. They are all domains I own. I never use a fake or invalid domain.

furry-blue-widgets.com -> redirect to bluewidgets.com
soft-blue-widgets.com -> redirect to bluewidgets.com
tall-blue-widgets.com -> redirect to bluewidgets.com

Doing this sometimes doubles and triples my CTR for my adwords ads.

My understanding is that this will no longer be allowed. The domain the user ends up on needs to match the domain listed in the Display URL of your adwords ad.

My solution at the moment is gonna be to take furry-blue-widgets.com and make it a small website that hands the user off to bluewidgets.com when the user gets into the cart.

I figure you have be cautious when making multiple websites so you don't get duplicate content penalties. Either have to make new content or use the robots.txt file to prevent the search engines from indexing the new site.

I figure this rule change will help me in the long run because I will be willing to put in the effort to use this rule to my advantage. Most of my competitors won't. The more specialized knowledge required to be successful at adwords the better for those who are willing to learn how to do it.


 8:51 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi Jhet and others - just a quick note:

I would not necessarily recommend doing what I am going to suggest below, except in cases in which it is the only solution - because some folks think it looks weird, and thus maybe less 'trustworthy' somehow - but you could delete the www in the URL.

In other words you could use:


Instead of:


Would that do the trick for you?

If not, please contact AdWords support directly, and ask for advice using with the actual URL as an example. ;)



 9:32 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Without the www to the end of the .com my domain is 41 characters long. Right now I have the company name abreviated as our company initials.

When buying another domain name was mentioned I had thought to just point both the regular domain name and short domain name to the current IP address. But to be safe I'll do as AWA suggests and give AdWords a call :)

Thank you all for the information!


 11:43 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

AWA, could you please clarify the part about vanity domains?

Does that include subdomains?

If my landing page is on:

Which is longer than 35 characters.

And the display url I specify in the ad is:

Would that be a problem? Is that now considered a vanity domain?

What if I create another host just for a redirect to use with that ad.
The display url of the ad would be:

to fit the 35 characters

While the actual destination url still

would redirect to

in case someone actually copies and pastes the url from the ad.

Would that be acceptable?


 12:26 am on Mar 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

bcc1234, that answer is covered in the blog post at [adwords.blogspot.com...] . Read the "Are sub-domains still acceptable?" section.

The example there would apply to your case like this...

Display URLs such as the following:


would all be acceptable for the landing page URL below, as the top-level domain of mycompanynameinc.com is matched:



 4:33 am on Mar 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

It doesn't seem like this is a new policy as much an announcement of stepped up enforcement of it when posting ads. After talking to the Google rep, I interpret this to mean the top level domain of the landing page has to match the domain displayed in the ad.

I always thought this was the policy and the obvious variations from it just slipped through editorial.

One client has:


Google let us use company1.com company2.com company3.com as the display URLs since they are 3 different retail chains that have some overlap in what they sell but with this policy, the domain setup has to be changed so that an ad with company1.com as the display URL must now land on company1.com instead of company1.corporatebrand.com.


 4:44 am on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

This is nuts!

As others have pointed out, this has been the policy for at least a couple of years. But Google hasn't enforced it.

Now, for the n'th time, they say that they really, really, really, really, really are going to really enforce it.


This time for sure!

We mean it!

We aren't kidding around.

Not gonna let anybody get away with it any more!

Except those that are grandfathered.


 5:05 am on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

I would leave it to see what happens after Fools Day.

Sooner or later someone from his forum will catch a NEW ad that sneaked through, which, based on latest announcement from Google, should not happen.

Then, folks like me will continue calling and emailing about ads that have already been there (with invalid display URLs).

If none of these two gets any better, the only thing that can seriously put a foot onto Google’s neck is a happening on the court for a really huge amount of money.

I don’t see any other way of resolving it, if AdWords’ policy team continues failing at this ratio after April 1.

As of now, yes, it is nuts. Completely.

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