7 Questions You Should Be Asking About New AdWords URLs

By Amanda West-Bookwalter | @Amanda_WestBook | Senior Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing

Changes to AdWords are nothing new coming out of the Google camp, but it’s a pretty mixed bag with positive and not so positive changes. So, when you heard about new AdWords URLs, you were probably scratching your head and trying to figure the whole thing out. Well, scratch no longer (really, you’ll get a blister)—we’ve got you covered!


Did you hear about Google taking away your destination URLs?!


That may be a little unnecessarily dramatic, but it can totally feel that utterly life ending if you don’t read the fine print. Ultimately, you’ll save time that you would have spent making lots of URL tracking updates. Yeah, you’ll have to find a new hobby, but it’ll also reduce crawl and load times as well as cut down on the editorial reviews that happen every single time you change your tracking.


Did you know what was happening every time you updated your tracking URLs?


You were losing the history of the ad. Yeah, you could see the “removed” ad’s data, but you didn’t have the benefit of continuing with the ad’s quality score, rank, and a streamlined history of data. Each time you changed the URL, you’d have a new “removed” ad with a chunk of your data attached to it.


Alternatively, you could pause an ad, copy it, change the URL, and then resume the new ad. You would still be able to view the paused ad’s data, but you’d be losing precious time.


Did you hear this is going to be forced on you?!


Gasp! Yup, Google won’t support the old destination URLs and the new “final URLs” at the same time for much longer. So, like people who bought all their DVDs as HD DVDs in the early 2000’s, you have to just adapt and move on.


How exactly are the final URLs different than destination URLs?


The way we’ve been using destination URLs is to simply enter where you want your users to land, which includes all the tracking data. Now, however, you’ll enter those two things separately. Google wants your landing page URL in one place and the tracking stuff in a different place. Together, they will form the final URL.


Now, with the new URLs, you can update the landing page URL if you want to change where the ads land, which WILL create new ads, but you can also just change the tracking, which will NOT create new ads and let you keep your ad history. Updating your tracking won’t trigger a new ad review, so you can rest easy that there won’t be down-time if your landing page URLs are already approved and you’re not editing them at all.


If you want to see what the input of these two things looks like, find the original Google AdWords announcement with screen shots here.


How long do I have before this is forced on my account?


They’re rolling it out now, and everyone will have to use the new system around July 2015!


When should I make the switch?


Well, it’s up to you, really. Making the switch might create new ads and make you lose all your history. You know, that thing that Google made this update to avoid in the future. Here is a guide Google made to help you figure out how you should upgrade.


How do I feel about this upgrade?


This question doesn’t really hold much water, since Google likely doesn’t really care how you or I feel about it. It’s like a force of nature, uncaring and neutrally moving forward. However, I think we all have reason to celebrate with this update. If you weren’t using all the advanced tracking, this doesn’t really affect you much, and you don’t really need to do much, either. If you DO have lots of tracking, this will vastly improve lots of stuff for you, but will impact you the most in the short term.


So, the more you benefit from this update in the future, the more it’s a bummer in the short-term. Bummer, but at least it’s not the other way around.




There are a lot of things that Google does to really agitate those of us referred to as “power users”, meaning we care about things like enhanced campaigns and being able to distinguish and segment data. Honestly, this is a change made FOR the power users, so we should be totally psyched about this. It enables us to have sophisticated tracking methods without losing ad history. Let’s all sit in a circle and sing kumbaya on this one, guys.