Back in February of this year, Google announced a change to their AdWords policy regarding multiple display URL domains per ad group. The change basically prohibits advertisers from running ads in the same ad group that send users to multiple domains.

When I learned of the update, I (mistakenly) assumed that the policy referred to active ads only. Lately, I have started finding out that my initial assumption was very wrong.

I’m in the process of working with a client who has dozens of different domains in their AdWords account to migrate those domains down to one central domain. To implement the migration, I started pausing their ads to preserve the history, duplicating those ads, and changing the display and destination URLs before taking them active.

I posted phase one of our domain migration yesterday, and all of my new ads were immediately disapproved.

Let me reiterate that all of the active ads in each ad group were sending traffic to one domain. However, there were multiple paused ads in the same ad group sending traffic to old, outdated URLs.

All active ads in all of the affected ad groups were disapproved, because essentially, the ad group was violating the updated URL policy for containing ads, active or paused, that sent traffic to multiple domains.

I checked with my Google rep on this, and he let me know that from now on, all ads in ad groups with more than one domain will get disapproved. Further, he said the best thing to do would be to delete any non-conforming urls.

Another way to get your ads running again would be to pause entire ad groups where you’re testing ads with new domains, duplicate the keywords and negatives, and add your new ads to a new ad group. Neither way is ideal, because you’re not keeping the established history that your ads and ad groups have built up.

I found the disapproved ads because I was checking back on my implementation. Unfortunately, there is no notification when ads are disapproved, so we just have to be on the lookout for it. You can use the filters feature in the new AdWords UI to find all ads that have been disapproved at once.

If you’ve tested multiple domains in the past, it might be a good idea to check your account to make sure your ads are still running!