New Adwords Policy – Ad Group Display URLs

February 24, 2009

Google will be implementing a new change to their display URL policy during the week of February 24th.  In an effort to provide “more relevant results and a high quality experience for our users”, all display URLs within an ad group must have the same top-level domain – with no exceptions.  Google has listed the following example:

Allowed
www.example.com
www.widgets.example.com
www.example.com/widgets/redwidgets/
www.example.com/index.html

•    Because the top-level domain remains constant, all URLs would be allowed to remain unchanged.  

Not Allowed
www.example.com
www.example.widgets.com

•    The top level of this URL has changed from “example” to “widgets”.  This will cause the ads to be disapproved if left unchanged

What does this mean for my campaigns?  What actions do I need to take and how difficult will it be?  If you are an advertiser and are utilizing a 3rd party vendor to manage your paid search accounts – you don’t have to do anything.  You just have to make sure they are aware of the policy change and verify they are taking the necessary steps to update your ads.

If you are handling your paid search account on your own, these changes can easily be made in Adwords Editor.  You have 2 choices:

1)    Update all display URL’s in an ad group
•    Select an ad group in editor and click on the “Ads” tab.  From there, you can update the display URLs in bulk

2)    Create new ad groups
•    If you want to keep the display URLs in their current state, but they violate the new policy, you can create a new ad group and shift your keywords and ads

If your account is structured properly, this change shouldn’t be that much of an issue.  Changes like these highlight the importance of a more granular campaign and ad group structure, which gives you the ability to target your reporting and optimizations.