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Upgraded URL had a redirect

[ Edited ]
D L
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# 1
D L
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I am a little confused on the whole tracking parameter thing.  I have a few ads that have been running for quite some time with a lot of history.  During a fairly recent site redesign, I had to do a redirect for some of the original destination URLs.  I never changed those URLs in Adwords for fear of losing the history and all was fine until the upgrade.  I did receive the email from Google in June saying I qualified for the upgraded URLs and that I did not need to do anything.  However, my traffic in analytics, especially referral traffic, is way off.  Also, I have had a couple of gclid error messages in GA and after further research on that issue and the redirected URL issues, it seems the redirect is causing my analytics to report incorrectly and, I think, causing the gclid errors. 

Is my only solution to change the URL and lose my data history on those few ads (or create a new ad and pause the old)?  Or is there some other way around?  I don't get the whole tracking parameter thing just yet but, can I add, or append, that and keep the ads without losing the history?  I have since turned on auto tagging due to the gclid issues but please let me know if I am misunderstanding something here.  This is so frustrating and time consuming.

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Accepted by topic author D L
October 2015

Re: Upgraded URL had a redirect

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# 9
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@D L wrote:
Yes, that was the original dilemma because I did not want to lose that ad history. But, now it seems the best, and only, solution is to create new ads without any redirect and the issue of incorrect tracking and gclid errors should clear up. Correct? Tell me if I'm missing something.

You're not missing anything, that's correct. I'd definitely recommend for you to change your Ads and the user directly to the last page.

 

I really mean when I say that you don't have to worry THAT much about your ad history. Adwords is all about optimization, and that includes changes, so changes are expected. If you had good results from those ads in the past, I'm pretty sure that the new ones will keep up with no time Smiley Happy

 


@D L wrote:
What I'm not sure of is - when I create the new ads, do I add a tracking template or custom parameter to those? I went in to try to do a new ad and had to stop because I don't know what to do with those two just yet.

That depends on how your URL looks like.

 

Simple URL

Taking your example, you just have an URL such as "mysite.com/new-product-url.html", you don't have to use Tracking Template nor Custom Parameters. You just have to set your "Final URL" field to that URL, and you're good to go.

 

Tracked URL

If you have a URL with some custom parameters that looks like this:

 

mysite.com/new-product-url.html?source=google&keyword={keyword}

 

Then you'd have to use Tracking Templates. In that case, you would have this settings:

 

Final URL: mysite.com/new-product-url.html

Tracking Template: {lpurl}?source=google&keyword={keyword}

 

What that does is: Google will grab the website on the Final URL field and attach to your parameters in Tracking Template field. So basically it replaces "{lpurl}" with your Final URL address, composing your "full" tracked URL for the user.

 


@D L wrote:
It will be nice to get the ads cleaned up and reporting properly again. Adwords has changed so much in the last 2 years, its hard to keep up.

I agree with you, it can be a little overwhelming to keep up with all those changes, but think that so many advertisers don't even bother to keep up, so this gives you a good advantage Smiley Happy


Leandro Martinez | Basta1Click

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Re: Upgraded URL had a redirect

D L
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# 2
D L
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I should add, the redirects are on the same domain, just a different item page names.

Re: Upgraded URL had a redirect

[ Edited ]
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi DL, how are things?

 

I think I miss some information, but let me try to help.

 


@D L wrote:

However, my traffic in analytics, especially referral traffic, is way off.  Also, I have had a couple of gclid error messages in GA and after further res


When you say "way off" does that mean higher or lower traffic? The URL Upgrade shouldn't have anything to do with referral traffic in your Analytics, unless you have manual tagging on your URLs. Tell us if that's the case.

 


@D L wrote:

I did receive the email from Google in June saying I qualified for the upgraded URLs and that I did not need to do anything. 


Every account had to go through this update. Since there are so many different kind of URL tracking and 3rd party tools, depending on your tracking you had to change some of the things manually. The e-mail from Google was just to warn that you didn't have to change anything manually, and that your URLs was going to be updated automatically.

 


@D L wrote:

Also, I have had a couple of gclid error messages in GA and after further research on that issue and the redirected URL issues, it seems the redirect is causing my analytics to report incorrectly and, I think, causing the gclid errors. 


Which 'redirect' are you talking about? Does your website have a redirect or are you talking about some Adwords redirect?

 

You your website have redirects, it might be missing to pass GCLID along to the final page that the user will land on. This could cause the previous URL to appear as referral (which may explain the issue with it)


@D L wrote:

Is my only solution to change the URL and lose my data history on those few ads (or create a new ad and pause the old)?


You don't have to get so tight to that history. If your ads have good historical data, a few changes from time to time will not be bad for your Ad Group, and the new ads will resume the good performance much faster.

 

When you change anything on your ad, even just 1 character (for title, description lines and URLs), Google automatically create a new ad. A lot of people don't know that, but the ad that's being altered is deleted, and a new one with your modifications is created.

 


@D L wrote:

I don't get the whole tracking parameter thing just yet but, can I add, or append, that and keep the ads without losing the history? 


YES, when you use Tracking Template you can modify your tracking without sending your ads for approval again, but you need to pay attention because there are criteria for that to happen.

 

To keep your ad for going under review, you need to set Tracking Template on ad-group, campaign, or account level. If you set the Tracking Template on the AD LEVEL, your ads WILL BE sent for review.

 

You have everything you need to know here:

https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/6076199?hl=en

 


@D L wrote:

I have since turned on auto tagging due to the gclid issues but please let me know if I am misunderstanding something here.  This is so frustrating and time consuming.


It seems that this answer my first question, and probably you wasn't using auto-tagging before. In that case, if you have activated your Auto-tagging while still using Manual-tagging on your ads or keywords, your referral and gclid problem might here.

 

You cannot have manual tagging (Analytics UTMs parameters) and auto-tagging at the same time. This creates misleading information for Analytics.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Cheers,

Leandro Martinez

 


Leandro Martinez | Basta1Click

Re: Upgraded URL had a redirect

[ Edited ]
D L
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
D L
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thanks for your time!  My responses in blue:

 

When you say "way off" does that mean higher or lower traffic? The URL Upgrade shouldn't have anything to do with referral traffic in your Analytics, unless you have manual tagging on your URLs. Tell us if that's the case.

Traffic is lower in some categories such as referral.  Not saying this is the cause but I was told by a vendor that handles my tracking code for reporting purposes that having a redirected destination/final URL can cause some CPC to show as organic or, for the reporting to be skewed in some similar fashion.  I see that I posted above that I have since turned auto tagging on but I need to correct myself - I did not do anything with regards to the tagging, be it manual or auto, other than check the settings.  Sorry for any confusion there and please bare with me if I'm not totally up to par with all of this. The setting in Adwords>Preferences for Auto Tagging is set to YES. Also, I double checked G.Anaylytics under Property and the "allow manual tagging" is NOT checked.

 

 

Which 'redirect' are you talking about? Does your website have a redirect or are you talking about some Adwords redirect?

 

The redirect is on my website.  The destination URL in the affected ads have been redirected to a new URL within the same domain due to a site redesign.  They were redirecting and tracking fine until the recent Upgraded URL changes.  Now I have received a few GCLID errors and the traffic stats seem to be reporting incorrectly. 

 

You your website have redirects, it might be missing to pass GCLID along to the final page that the user will land on. This could cause the previous URL to appear as referral (which may explain the issue with it)

 

This is happening which is one reason why I started looking further into the whole Upgraded URL thing.


You don't have to get so tight to that history. If your ads have good historical data, a few changes from time to time will not be bad for your Ad Group, and the new ads will resume the good performance much faster.

When you change anything on your ad, even just 1 character (for title, description lines and URLs), Google automatically create a new ad. A lot of people don't know that, but the ad that's being altered is deleted, and a new one with your modifications is created.


@D L wrote:

I don't get the whole tracking parameter thing just yet but, can I add, or append, that and keep the ads without losing the history? 


YES, when you use Tracking Template you can modify your tracking without sending your ads for approval again, but you need to pay attention because there are criteria for that to happen.

To keep your ad for going under review, you need to set Tracking Template on ad-group, campaign, or account level. If you set the Tracking Template on the AD LEVEL, your ads WILL BE sent for review.

You have everything you need to know here:

https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/6076199?hl=en


@D L wrote:

I have since turned on auto tagging due to the gclid issues but please let me know if I am misunderstanding something here.  This is so frustrating and time consuming.


It seems that this answer my first question, and probably you wasn't using auto-tagging before. In that case, if you have activated your Auto-tagging while still using Manual-tagging on your ads or keywords, your referral and gclid problem might here.

You cannot have manual tagging (Analytics UTMs parameters) and auto-tagging at the same time. This creates misleading information for Analytics.

 

So, it seems that I will be creating new ads with correct URLs, no matter what.  I hear what you're saying about not getting too attached to ads.  However, they've been working for one of my most important categories and I've been hesitant to change it.  There are 3 ads running in that Adgroup and all 3 will need to be changed/recreated.

From here,

  • Should I leave auto tagging as Yes?
  • Should I add the Tracking Template to the new ads? (hoping I figure that one out)
  • For the example above with 3 ads in one important Adgroup - Should I go ahead and pause all 3 and create new ads or do one at a time as a precaution?

I am asking to hopefully resolve both the GCLID issue and traffic reporting issue by doing so.

I wish I could say these were the only 2 issues I'm currently dealing with, but, they are not.  Therefore, please let me know if I am misunderstanding anything here.  I truly appreciate your time and guidance.

 

Re: Upgraded URL had a redirect

[ Edited ]
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi DL,

 

Your tracking vendor is correct to say that "having a redirected destination/final URL can cause some CPC to show as organic" and I would add this depends. They can appear as almost everything like referral, email and other depending on how they've interacted with your site. That's why your redirect page be double checked to his if it's passing everything along to the last URL that the user will land on. This is something based on your redirect settings, and not Adwords.

 

I mean, you do have this flow: Adwords > Your Redirect Page > Final Page, so since "your redirect page" it's not handled by Google or Adwords, the problem it's on your side (or maybe your 3rd party tool if you use any to create the redirects).

 

Before I try to answer your questions, We must treat that:

 


@D L wrote:

I am asking to hopefully resolve both the GCLID issue and traffic reporting issue by doing so.


From what you've said, solving the GCLID thing will also resolve the traffic reporting. I'm do not know if you know that GCLID is and what it does, so I'll give a brief explanation. No worries if you already know Smiley Happy

 

GCLID is a Adwords parameters that appears when you have auto-tagging on. It's through GCLID that your Google Analytics account will be able to receive every information regarding users coming from Adwords. GCLID is kind of a encrypted way for Adwords to say: "Hey Analytics, This guy right here came from a Adwords campaign, by the Adversiter XXX, and he clicked on the keyword ZZZ, from the Ad Group HHH and Campaing WWW, etc".

 

So to make this clearer, on the perfect scenario you should have>

 

Adwords > Redirect Page > Final Page

 

where

 

Adwords will pass GCLID to Redirect page, and Redirect Page will pass GCLID to Final Page

 

Bottom line, since you have auto-tagging on, Adwords IS proving GCLID to Redirect Page, but it seems that sometimes your Redirect Page is not passing GCLID to your Final Page.

 


@D L wrote:

From here,

  • Should I leave auto tagging as Yes?

 

Yes, leave it activated.

 


@D L wrote:
  • Should I add the Tracking Template to the new ads? (hoping I figure that one out)

 

From what you've said, I would say that I don't know to at this time.

 


@D L wrote:
  • For the example above with 3 ads in one important Adgroup - Should I go ahead and pause all 3 and create new ads or do one at a time as a precaution?

 

For me, I'd go with all 3 at the time, so that they can start over from scratch at once Smiley Happy

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

 


Leandro Martinez | Basta1Click

Re: Upgraded URL had a redirect

[ Edited ]
D L
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
D L
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thank you!  I hope I can clarify the info:

 

Adwords > Redirect Page > Final Page

 

My version = Adwords > mysite.com/old-product-url.html > mysite.com/new-product-url.html

 

Yes, this is the set up I have had.  My site is hosted by Yahoo (no comments please Smiley Tongue) and any redirects are handled in a "Redirect Manager" withiin my backend Yahoo system.  Again, the redirect was working properly and the ad is redirecting to the proper landing page but the tracking is not happening as it should.  I am now getting, as you stated, that this is also where and why the GCLID errors are happening, correct?  With the new ads, there will not be any redirects within the URL.  I will just list the final URL to be the correct (new) page URL.  So that issue will be gone with the new ads.  

 

I'm going to have to get my head around the Tracking Parameter thing.  That's why I'm asking if I should do that on the new ads because I'm not fully getting it but I will study up on it and ask questions if I cannot grasp it.  Thanks again!

Re: Upgraded URL had a redirect

Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
Whoa, I think I've got the full picture now. Your dilemma is rather let the ads as they're now (going through redirect and causing erros) or creating new ads sending the user directly to the last page (without redirect). Is that it?

Leandro Martinez | Basta1Click

Re: Upgraded URL had a redirect

D L
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
D L
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Yes, that was the original dilemma because I did not want to lose that ad history. But, now it seems the best, and only, solution is to create new ads without any redirect and the issue of incorrect tracking and gclid errors should clear up. Correct? Tell me if I'm missing something.

What I'm not sure of is - when I create the new ads, do I add a tracking template or custom parameter to those? I went in to try to do a new ad and had to stop because I don't know what to do with those two just yet.

It will be nice to get the ads cleaned up and reporting properly again. Adwords has changed so much in the last 2 years, its hard to keep up.
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author D L
October 2015

Re: Upgraded URL had a redirect

Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭

@D L wrote:
Yes, that was the original dilemma because I did not want to lose that ad history. But, now it seems the best, and only, solution is to create new ads without any redirect and the issue of incorrect tracking and gclid errors should clear up. Correct? Tell me if I'm missing something.

You're not missing anything, that's correct. I'd definitely recommend for you to change your Ads and the user directly to the last page.

 

I really mean when I say that you don't have to worry THAT much about your ad history. Adwords is all about optimization, and that includes changes, so changes are expected. If you had good results from those ads in the past, I'm pretty sure that the new ones will keep up with no time Smiley Happy

 


@D L wrote:
What I'm not sure of is - when I create the new ads, do I add a tracking template or custom parameter to those? I went in to try to do a new ad and had to stop because I don't know what to do with those two just yet.

That depends on how your URL looks like.

 

Simple URL

Taking your example, you just have an URL such as "mysite.com/new-product-url.html", you don't have to use Tracking Template nor Custom Parameters. You just have to set your "Final URL" field to that URL, and you're good to go.

 

Tracked URL

If you have a URL with some custom parameters that looks like this:

 

mysite.com/new-product-url.html?source=google&keyword={keyword}

 

Then you'd have to use Tracking Templates. In that case, you would have this settings:

 

Final URL: mysite.com/new-product-url.html

Tracking Template: {lpurl}?source=google&keyword={keyword}

 

What that does is: Google will grab the website on the Final URL field and attach to your parameters in Tracking Template field. So basically it replaces "{lpurl}" with your Final URL address, composing your "full" tracked URL for the user.

 


@D L wrote:
It will be nice to get the ads cleaned up and reporting properly again. Adwords has changed so much in the last 2 years, its hard to keep up.

I agree with you, it can be a little overwhelming to keep up with all those changes, but think that so many advertisers don't even bother to keep up, so this gives you a good advantage Smiley Happy


Leandro Martinez | Basta1Click

Re: Upgraded URL had a redirect

D L
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
D L
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thank you so much for all of your help! I am new the community so I hope one star is good. I kept clicking hoping I could raise the "star level" for you. :-)

I am thrilled to know that I can just set the URL and I'm good to go. I do not have any special parameters on my end., just a basic URL. Thank you again!