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Keyword Destination URL stops working - again

clicks now use ad url - why?

     
7:38 pm on Aug 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I already wrote about this in March:
[webmasterworld.com...]

I have lots of adgroups with lots of keywords and every one has its own keyword destination url because of tracking purposes. This worked for over a year, but today for one certain keyword it stopped working. All clicks on this keyword now use the ad url.

I didn't change anything and have no idea what could be the reason. Also, all the other keywords are still fine. Only this one uses the wrong url.

Any ideas what could cause these problems?

Now it happens again. Lots of clicks don't use the keyword destination url but the ad url.

As I did back then, I mailed support and am waiting for a response.

- Jan

8:50 pm on Aug 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If you have broad match keywords, it could be that the system is determining what ad is relevant -- and the AdWords system doesn't limit its search to one Ad Group. If it finds that another ad IT deems "better", and it happens to be located within a different campaign and/or ad group in your account, then it could pull the ad located in the other campaign. This could be why the keyword level URL isn't working...ask your rep about it
9:11 pm on Aug 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Yea, I've had that happen too, and I entered an item about it - I think I used football and soccer as examples - I would find ads for one campaign running on words from another, through broad match, even though I'd used that exact match in the other campaign. I guess it's just one of the side benefits (?!) of broad match.
9:20 pm on Aug 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Thanks ppcbuyers and netmeg, but nope, all keywords in these accounts are exact match (and have destination URLs). I also get the creative id (by using {creative}) so I know from which adgroup the click came.
9:24 am on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I found a technical workaround (quick&dirty) for this problem:

1. Your keyword destination URLs need to contain {creative} and {keyword}
2. Your keywords have to be exact match
3. Your system has to know creative id, relations between creatives and keywords (adgroups), real keyword click urls
4. Match the click to a adgroup using creative id
5. Search for the keyword you got from {keyword} in this adgroup
6. Get the keyword destination URL Google didn't use
7. Be happy, keep tracking

Sorry if this makes no sense for most of you, but I'm sure there are some people out there trying to get around this problem, too. And while Adwords isn't reliably using the keyword destination url, this is the only way to get around it.

1:44 pm on Aug 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The workaround still works, but after 4 (!) mails my support team and the expert team where my problem was forwarded still don't understand what the problem is.

They still tell me my redirection on my server is broken and I should ask my host to help me. Well, it's our own datacenter and server rack, so I could try mailing myself and ask if the redirection is broken, but I don't think I will change my mind during time I wait for my own email.

Tried again to explain what is wrong and why it is a problem. Probably have to wait 3 days again until I get a message saying it's my faul plus some boilerplate mail explaining an Adwords functionality that has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Oh yeah, I am frustrated.

2:12 pm on Aug 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I dunno Sujan, I've never heard of anyone with your exact issue before. That's not to say that someone doesn't have it, but I've never seen it or heard of it. I don't think you're going to be able to solve it unless you can somehow talk to a Google tech.
2:56 pm on Aug 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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netmeg, I know it's an exotic problem. But still, it's a problem power users of Adwords have. I bet there are lots of others out there that are wondering why their tracking is broken, but don't know it's Google's fault.

And yep, probably talking to a tech guy directly would be the best way to solve this problem as is isn't very complicated if you really know the system.

7:48 pm on Sept 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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After weeks of back and forth with my new support person and the technical experts in the background I now have word from Google that there really is a "problem" that causes this behavior. It is however expected behavior, but they understand that is a problem for me, my company and other big advertisers so they will try to correct it.

Thanks Google!

- Jan

3:21 am on Sept 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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why dont you use an automated script to make duplicate pages at each desired url (thus solving the redirect issue)
6:41 am on Sept 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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There is no redirect issue, just Google using the wrong URL for some clicks.
6:58 am on Sept 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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so the page in the preffered url is static?
12:05 pm on Sept 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I have no idea what you mean with "preffered url", but no, both ad and keyword destination url are dynamic scripts for tracking that redirect to the real page.

But again, there was and is no problem with the redirect or anything, but Google using the wrong of the two destination urls.

8:22 am on Sept 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Read this thread yesterday, and having just generated a report from our own tracking server, it seems we're also seeing around 2% of traffic falling through the gaps and not following the keyword URL.

It's not the end of the World as we still have conversions, but frustrating as the user experience isn't as good as it could be - less targeted etc

Will keep an eye on this and report back when I see a change.

8:30 am on Sept 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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In addition, it seems the bulk of the terms are strings of two or three words, with the issue only affecting our 'cosmetic surgery' related network - I wonder if this could be something to do with a manual review of every destination URL given the sensitive subject matter, meaning only our main Ad has been approved at this time?
8:38 am on Sept 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Yes, something like this.

In my case it's about keywords with low search volume that display "active" but didn't trigger any ads because Adwords thought it wasn't worth it. Then when Adwords decides there is volume and starts displaying ads, somehow the keyword destination url isn't used. Could be related to your problem.

9:50 am on Sept 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Do your issues relate solely to the content network also?
10:22 am on Sept 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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No, search network / Google only.
10:16 pm on Sept 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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it might be a little risky - but try deleting the KW level urls, and then add them again..
11:00 pm on Dec 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I see the same issue with my site targetted campaign. The URLs are present at placement level but still Google is using Creative URLs.
10:32 am on Dec 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, I also still see this problem from time to time, but because of my hack (see above) it doesn't matter any more.
 

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