Wow, there seems to be a lot of talk about some rule changes for Adwords display urls that is kicking up a bit of a stir. The original article was from over at PPC Hero blog – Google updates adwords display url policy.

As of April 1, Google will be making significant changes to their enforcement of display URL policies. The “Policy Team” has taken a stricter stance on the relationship between display URLs and destination URLs — and they will be allowing few exceptions to their rules. In short, if your destination URL is www.example.com, your display URL must be www.example.com. Just to alleviate any confusion: display URLs are what is displayed in your ad text – destination URLs are where your ad text leads post-click.

To me there has been no change. The ad level destination url has always had to of directed traffic to the same TLD as the display url to pass manual approval. Googles ad policies can be seen here.

So for example –

Display url – www.ppcblog.co.uk
Destination url – www.ppcblog.com

Would never pass manual ad approval. Or at least if your not working from an agency account/MCC.

So, I cannot see the fuss with the “rule changes” or envisage them really impacting many people. There are still plenty of ways around them –

  • Taking advantage of companies multiple TLD’s (that do not redirect) to display two ads per SERP
  • Redirects (after manual approval) or cloaking
  • I-framed landing pages

I wrote about some of these blackhat PPC methods.

In theory, you should NEVER have been able to use ppcbloggy.com as your display url in an effort to display for ppcblog.co.uk even with a redirect. Bridge pages and redirects have never been allowed and I have had adverts banned quite a few times due to this (testing obviously).

Although obviously they do work if you implement them after manual approval with the correct technique.

So Shoemoneys posts about dominating the entire SERPS still may or may not be caught depending on the method used. It worked because they had different domains as the display url and were either simply taking advantage of the period between manual and auto ad approval using multiple Adwords accounts… (which will get caught in the end)

OR

They complied with the rules (display and destination urls match) and then added a redirect after the manual approval (without amending the advert) which will still not be picked up until someone points it out. Google need to pick up redirects after manual approval to spot these things…

So there is no confusion here, this is only for TLD’s. You can still play with the / of display urls even if the page does not exist.

Example –

www.ppcblog.co.uk/Whatever etc

Discussion over at Sphinn.