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I was nicely prompted to learn this when I editied an ad , possibly by adding some keywords.
Lo - I got an email telling me the ad wasn't approved due to a bad URL.
OK, so I go in and fix it - and then do a spot check - and about 30 - 40% of the ads are getting 404's.
Good for Google. Bad for me and my client.
I guess we paid for all those clicks to 404's.
Is there an auto analysis tool to make sure this NEVER happens again?
(yes, I know, build a custom 404 page - and I have my tech working on that = but this isn't really a solution)
I'm working on a large set of AdWords campaigns and adgroups and I am finding a large number of URL's that are pointing to pages that don't exist.
...and about 30 - 40% of the ads are getting 404's.
Your using url's and you've no idea whether they exist or not? Doesn't your client know - don't you check them before using them?
Seems a wholly pointless exercise...
big campaign, many adgroups, dozens of different landing pages, inability to get the server people to do the 404 trick...
seems that Google is not retaining the changes we make even after we save them - so it is a long, manual process of going back to recheck, etc etc.
wish there something than just plain old elbow grease and time to simplify and speed up the process.
Good for Google. Bad for me and my client.
chewy, broken URLs are pretty bad for everyone concerned, including Google.
Why? Well, it is really important to Google that AdWords users have a good experience, so they'll trust the ads and continue to use then.
Clicking on an ad and getting a 404 message is not a great user experience - and does not exactly inspire confidence in either the advertiser or Google.
This is why ads with broken URLs will be disapproved - so they won't show any longer and create a poor user experience, while also wasting the advertiser's budget.
I fully concur, I can understand why a new ad would be disapproved and rightly so. In fact, these 404's are costing us money every day untill we get all of them fixed! (Never mind that we fix them and then find some miraculously unfixed the next time we check...)
And I well know how to identify and fix bad links on regular pages.
Please, is there a way for the case where an existing ad happens to be pointing to a page that disappeared for one reason or another, for the 404 to trigger Google to tell us? We didn't know this happened until weeks later and only learned accidentally!
I know this sounds ridiculous, but in truth, this is a real time sink. I am working on a large campaign where this exact thing happened and I can manually find the bad urls - but this is something that a computer should be doing automatically not a human...
All I am asking is that there be a button or a report or something that will, in batch mode, check all the urls in a campaign and indicate which campaigns and adgroups contain links to non-existing pages.
(now I go back to manually inspecting my adgroups, one by one... ever hopeful...)
Meanwhile, here I am again doing the edits.
I am finding that I have to do them ALL over again...
I am quite positive that I am saving these - and I am getting this nice litte error window stating "the document contains no data" as it "saves" and takes 30 - 40 - 50 seconds or so.
Forgive me, I don't want to complain here but I must...
This is getting annoying!
I'm thinking out loud here:
Is it possible that your account is so overloaded with keywords that when you make changes it takes so long to update the page that it times out?
I'm sort of grasping at straws here, but I wonder if setting your date range to 'today' and hiding all inactive/paused/deleted Campaigns, Ad Groups, and keywords would help? In other words, ask the system to update the minimum possible amount of information.
Just a thought. In any case, I'm sorry for the frustration.
I find that certain times of the day are better for updating large accounts. For U.S. it's pretty much before 7am west cost time (before all the google people log on), after 8pm wst (although, after 6pm est the server load seems to start slowing down), and weekends (especially the mornings).
The best time to update an account is right after Google becomes active again after seeing the 'AdWords will be down in 10 minutes for 10 minutes' messages.
If none of the above work, try a different browser. Somedays IE seems to work better than Firefox (and vice versa). Clear all the cookies and cached pages so the browser is 'clean' before trying the updates. And of course, AWA's suggestions of minimizing all the data above is also incredibly useful to help speed the process.