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Understand Google's advertising policies, including ad approval status and account suspension
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Tracking URL's

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

OK, I need a little bit of help for a client. One of their partner businesses in another Country got shut down (suspended) for cloaking but they weren't given exact examples of what happened. We're panicking incase it was tracking redirects that broke the rules.

I'm just panicking about our tracking redirects but I think it's ok since we're on the same domain.

We have tracking URL's the redirect to the final URL in a clients Google Adwords Account.

Here's the example:

https://subscribe.example.com/3432423/keyword - tracking URL
Redirects to -
https://subscribe.example.com/C102349/keyword - final URL

This is done so we can track visits in our internal system.

Is this breaking policy?

Also - follow up question:

If for some reason we have downtime on our subscribe.example.com URL it then redirects to example.com as a default.

Does this also break policy?

Greatly appreciate any help that can be given.

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Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author Cian M
January 2017

Tracking URL's

[ Edited ]
Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭

From a policy violation standpoint there won't be an issue. Lack of relevancy can hurt your quality score, but won't be a violation (as long as nothing on the page is in violation).

 

Now, the only issue I could see is if the redirect isn't immediate, your ads may be rejected because when Adwords randomly checks the final url, if they see a 404, they will disapprove your ads.

 

Even then, they aren't constantly checking the ads. So as long as the 404 isn't happening for an extended period of time, the odds aren't great it would check at the exact moment the 404 happens.

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Tracking URL's

Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭

A redirect is not an issue. Cloaking is something different. It's essentially presenting one page to the search engines and presenting something different to a real visitor.

 

The second question is also not against policy. You are on the same domain so you are fine as long as the same content is being presented across the board.

Tracking URL's

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

The same content is always presented but in the case of a 404 it would go to our main domain's homepage. I think this might be an issue. It wouldn't be related to the landing page just our business. 

 

I know, really we shouldn't be getting 404's but when there's downtime our companies lead gen software auto-redirects to our homepage. It shouldn't really be an issue as it would only happen once in a blue moon. 

 

Thanks for the reply David. 

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Cian M
January 2017

Tracking URL's

[ Edited ]
Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭

From a policy violation standpoint there won't be an issue. Lack of relevancy can hurt your quality score, but won't be a violation (as long as nothing on the page is in violation).

 

Now, the only issue I could see is if the redirect isn't immediate, your ads may be rejected because when Adwords randomly checks the final url, if they see a 404, they will disapprove your ads.

 

Even then, they aren't constantly checking the ads. So as long as the 404 isn't happening for an extended period of time, the odds aren't great it would check at the exact moment the 404 happens.

Re: Tracking URL's

[ Edited ]
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 5
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆

Hi Cain, 

 

Redirecting is not the problem, it is an accepted and normal use of the platform and was also addressed and improved in the change from destination url to upgraded urls (tracking template + final url).

 

As stated before me, redirecting itself is not the cause, but cloaking as you yourself stated.

Cloaking; using dynamic DNS to switch page or ad content; manipulating ad text or site content in order to bypass our automated system checks; restricting access to so many of your landing pages that it makes it difficult to meaningfully review your ad, site, or account -Google Support

The issue you are describing seems to stem from a redirect gone wrong or one that is doing something strictly forbidden in the quote above.

 

I would urge you to test the landing page with Googlebot user agent and others to see if the page Google gets back, if any, is different from the one other users are seeing. You might be unknowingly show something different to Googlebot even if the page is working and they do not get a 404 page. 

 

If that is the case - fix this issue.

If not - try and get in contact with your Google Rep.

 

Hope that helps Smiley Happy

 

 

Tracking URL's

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

@Cian M

Cloaking or any other webmaster guidelines violation is one of the most severe violations on the AdWords  list of Policies.

As already mentioned by @David G and @David G - redirect is legit, and  most likely not the reason.

Google does not disclose the tools/ signals it uses to dictate the violation.

I am afraid d that there is no way back from this, and suspension is for good. 
Sorry

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Tracking URL's

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Ok, I've a bit more piece of mind that our campaign is fine. Thanks for getting back everyone. Really appreciate the help. Our Google rep seems happy with everything in our account as well so... back to business.