Is Google AdWords Really Enforcing The URL Policy? No!

Apr 10, 2008 • 8:11 am | comments (8) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google AdWords

Since mid-February we have been reporting that Google to Lay Down the Law on AdWords Display URL Policy. We have issued reminder after reminder, heck, even Google posted reminders all over the place - sometimes in big red backgrounds:

Google AdWords Warning

But it appears, from what I am hearing in the forums and from back channels, that Google has not yet enforced this rule. Advertisers are reportedly still getting away with having their display URLs not match their destination URLs. What happened to the strict enforcement of this rule?

Here are some reports from Sphinn and WebmasterWorld. What seriously shows a sign that nothing is happening are the few complaints in the forums. Actually, I haven't seen anyone impacted or complaining about being hit by this rule. I have seen people complain that this rule is not being enforced.

From the Sphinn thread, Bill Hartzer said:

We have received word that ReachLocal is not affected by the new Google AdWords display URL policy. More coming soon...

ReachLocal has a huge client base, so if true - and I believe it is true - then what is going on?

From the WebmasterWorld thread:

Absolutely no changes whatsoever. I'm still seeing old ads with violations. New ads with violations are also being created. When I report yet another keyword with three ads going to the same website, the CSRs hum and haw and then say they'll escalate it to the "specialists"....then nothing gets done about it.

And my test ad that I launched a few days ago is still running. Nobody has visited the destination URL since a few minutes after I launched it, so either ads are not reviewed or they're reviewed by monkeys that don't understand English.

I'm normally fairly respectful, but at this point I'm convinced that idiots are working in the AdWords team. Did everyone with half a brain cash in their stock options and flee to Facebook?!


Google, are you going to enforce the display URL rule or not?

Forum discussion at Sphinn and WebmasterWorld.

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04/10/2008 10:53 pm

I think the line moved a little today. ReachLocal forwarded a statement by Google on this issue. Read it <a href="" rel="nofollow">here</a> That reads like spin to me. I don't like the decision Google made because it gives a competitive advantage to large advertisers; since they did not define a process for how I or any SMB might use this if tracking is done using proxy technology. I don't argue that the result for the end user is the same... I argue that that is justification to make a bad decision in favor of a large advertiser. Things don't go from good to bad overnight... people would freak out. No, things go from good to bad gradually and always with very good justification. And that line moved... just a little bit... today.


04/11/2008 04:03 am

I understood it that all NEW ads would would be enforced on April 1, existing ads may slip under the radar for awhile.


04/11/2008 01:22 pm

I had some ads disaproved this morning with good reason. I think in time all will be discovered.


04/11/2008 03:40 pm

The problem I have is that Google made a policy, said that they were going to enforce it "without exception" and then does not enforce it and comes back later and says that they do not enforce it. Is this a policy or isn't it a policy?

Michael Madden

04/16/2008 10:40 pm

I manage a large company's Adwords campaigns and have been hit HARD by the new ruling. To claim they're not enforcing it AT ALL is erroneous. Why they're enforcing it in some instances, and not across the board, is anyones guess. Be prepared eventually for a major disruption in your campaigns if you continue formatting the old way, though. It's proven to be a major hassle for me.

No Name

05/06/2008 02:02 am

They appear to be enforcing it pretty strictly at the root domain level, but not as much at the page level, where exceptions can be granted for things like tracking paramaters, page names that are too long, etc.


05/09/2008 04:55 am

I had another question about violations. Is it legal for a large corporate entity to place multiple adwords for the same website to displace competition? Look for example at a SF urgent care search. For Urgent care in San Francisco. The same company and website occupies the top two lines, san fran oncall. I thought this was an adword violation. If you also look closely two other of the sites are downtownmedical and fastdocs which are the same company, but have two different websites. The answering machine says both names and the address and suite number are one in the same. Would this be an example of two companies doing the same thing, but one trying to hide it a bit. Seems odd to me. Thanks for any responses.


08/20/2008 02:40 pm

I try to abide by the new rule, but Google does not allow enough space to include my company's particular page URL, so it is impossible for me to abide by this new rule. The site is written in aSP, so each URL is a bit lengthy.

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