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SEA Question! Running beta version of eCommerce site - multiple URLs for adwords feed?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi All, 


Great community here, but I haven't seen this particular question answered... 


My company is starting the process to migrate to a completely new ecommerce platform, and this is going to change some things.  The product ID, product name, and price will all be the same - but the page structure and URL will be different.   We want to beta test the new site by giving a few selected existing customers a cookie, and using that to 302 them to the beta equivalent of that page.



//  --> //  

This has caused alarm among the marketing folks and their agencies, who claim that it is prohibited 100% of the time to redirect Adwords clicks for any reason.  


It's me vs. all the marketing and SEO/SEA experts in the company, but I guess I'm dumb because I just don't believe them.  This doesn't make sense to me.  Indeed, A/B tests, MVTs, beta sites, etc are very common and I doubt that Google would simply blanket disallow this.  


However, I could not find any documentation, including the Google Merchant Feed policies, that provide any caveats to permit testing.  


What can I do??


Thanks in advance for any help or creative derision, 





1 Expert replyverified_user
Marked as Best Answer.
Accepted by topic author Matt S
August 2016

Re: SEA Question! Running beta version of eCommerce site - multiple URLs for adwords feed?

Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star
The landing page URL in the data feed and the effective landing page on your website must be identical.

If it is different, your product will be flagged as a violation.

Not because what you want to do is not mentioned in the policy, means it's ok to do so. In the below policy you will see it says you need to have the landing page list the product. As you are redirecting, this is no longer the landing page. And thus a violation.

I recommend you take the advice from all the marketing and SEO/SEA experts on board.

If you want to test a new platform do this with Text advertising, not with Google Shopping.

Hope it helps
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Re: SEA Question! Running beta version of eCommerce site - multiple URLs for adwords feed?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thank you for your help, I'm satisfied by that answer.

It looks like Google Shopping just doesn't support testing of a new site. Since we can't un-migrate user accounts (and will have no way of knowing in advance who will click on what on Google), we'll have to look at suspending our SEA activities until the beta test is completed.

I hope someday Google will support legitimate alternate URLs for these sorts of scenarios; it's not like beta testing websites is an edge case.

Re: SEA Question! Running beta version of eCommerce site - multiple URLs for adwords feed?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Extra thing: the link provided actually does allow for different URLs in principal.  But just not in my particular scenario.


  • Your landing page must show a product offer that is essentially identical to the product listing you submitted to Google in your product data, regardless of the user’s device, browser, location, cookies, your ad targeting choices, or any other consideration. We understand that landing page design and URL can vary (e.g. mobile optimized page for mobile users), and our requirements are focused on the content and user experience. By essentially identical, we mean:
       - The offer must be for the same item; no substitutions are allowed.
       - Title, description, and images can be slightly different but they have to refer to the same item. Generic pages or search results pages are not allowed.

And further down: 

Some retailers have URL structures that provide stable landing pages that do not adapt content to user agents, user location, cookies, etc., such as:


In this case, submitting these stable URLs as ‘link’, ‘adwords redirect’ and ‘mobile link’ will ensure consistency.

So close!  If there was a legitimate alternate field for 'testing redirect', that'd be amazing.  Pay attention, Google devs!