What Will Google’s Upgraded URLs Mean for Advertisers?

Last week Google announced that they would be introducing improvements to AdWords’ URL management. The new feature is called Upgraded URLs, and is currently available for those who wish to manually upgrade, otherwise the full implementation will occur on the 1st of July this year.

What does it do?

Through AdWords, advertisers can currently use tracking codes to gather information on the specific keywords and devices that trigger conversions. This is done through the Destination URL field.

The new Upgraded URLs feature creates two fields, one for your Final URL, which redirects consumer clicks to the landing page, and a separate one for a tracking template, containing the campaign tracking information.

Shared tracking templates will give advertisers one central location to manage tracking information, allowing for quick adjustments that will be pushed to the entire account. Advertisers will still be able to make changes at an individual level through Keyword, Ad and Sitelink level templates.

Who will it effect?

If you are an advertiser who updates their tracking information manually in AdWords, this upgrade will affect your campaign.

Now, for advertisers that use a third-party tracking system, such as DoubleClick, which automatically syncs tracking details, most of these changes will not affect the way you manage your campaigns.

What are the benefits?

For advertisers that use a third-party tracking system which requires manual implementation into AdWords, there are several advantages. Firstly, there will be less time spent managing your URL tracking information with AdWords shared tracking templates. Furthermore, all of this is done at scale.

There are additional insights to be gained with the new ValueTrack and custom tracking parameters. For instance, you would now be able to see which user from your remarketing list converted and which territories have the most clicks.

When previously using Destination URLs, any time an advertiser had to make an update to their tracking information at Ad level the URL had to be re-reviewed. This caused the ad to pause during the review process which could potentially cause a loss in business. Furthermore, all of the ad stats would then be reset.

Advertisers will not have this problem with Upgraded URLs, as everything keeps running when adjustments are made through the shared tracking templates, removing the risk of losing business.

Changes to Advertising Policy

There are three changes to the advertising policy to be aware of:

    • The Final URLs within your Ads will now be required to match the domain of your Display URL, otherwise the ad may be disapproved. Your Final URL can still contain redirects with that domain.
    • Within AdWords reporting the “Destination URL” column will be renamed “Final URL.”
    • There will be no more support for the {copy} ValueTrack parameter in the near future.

If you are concerned with how Upgraded URLs will affect your campaigns, we would recommend getting in touch with your third-party provider. Google has also produced a URL migration guide which provides useful information on upgrading methods.