Blog categories

search Created with Sketch.
search Created with Sketch. Search this blog

Back to blog

Google Updates Display URL Policy


Google AdWords / February 20, 2008

If you’re currently running an AdWords campaign and have been actively testing various combinations of destination URLs and display URLs that differ from your actual landing page URL, you may need to review your campaign and update it to make sure your ads keep running.

On February 19th, Google announced an upcoming update to their display URL policy in response to advertiser and user feedback. Starting April 1st, Google will be strictly enforcing their existing policy that requires that a display URL match it’s destination URL.

Why are they doing this?

Many advertisers often use techniques such as vanity URLs with page redirects to try to increase CTR on their ads. When the user clicks on these ads, they are redirected to a completely different landing page under a different domain. Using this technique, an advertiser could test a multitude of URLs while simply funneling all the traffic to a single site. Although testing this type of strategy can lead to an increase in CTR, these exceptions that Google used to make did leave some risk for deceptive practices and may risk frustrating users and their confidence in the messages they see and the pages they are directed to. This change is clearly inline with improving relevancy and user experience.

Here’s an example from Google’s post for basic illustration of what is acceptable and what is not:

Destination URL is
Display URL must also be

Not Acceptable:
Display URLs is
Any of the 3 Destination URL scenarios: – this is a different site – the URL redirects to but still violates the policy – the URL leads to a page showing content identical to and you’d have to change the Display URL to to comply.

What about tracking URLs and sub-domains?

No problem here as long as the Top-Level Domain (TLD) of the landing page or the sub-domain match the TLD of the Display URL.

Display URL:
Destination URL:
Redirects to: Landing page URL:

Not acceptable:
Display URL:
Destination URL:
Redirects to: Landing page URL:

What should you do?

On average, most advertisers probably will not be affected by this update however it’s a good idea to review your campaigns. If you’re not sure if this update affects your campaign, we recommend that you take a second look at your campaigns to make sure your ads will comply before the April 1st deadline. As a start, make sure to read Google’s policy and once you have a clear understanding, go through the campaign and update any ads that will be in violation. Make sure that the TLD (top level domain) of your Display URL matches your actual landing page URL TLD.

Read it first:

Get every Bloom delivered fresh to you inbox

We will not spam you!



CEO @ Bloom


Know anyone interested in this article?

Recommend it

Help us spread the word