The Skinny on Google’s Upgraded URLs

googleupgradedurlsToday, July 1st, Google rolls out the new upgraded URL feature, which has been in Beta since last summer.

The purpose of this new feature is to divide the traditional Destination URL field into two parts – a final URL and a tracking template. Right now, advertisers use the destination URL for the URL of their landing page as well as including tracking parameters and redirects for tracking. With the new upgrade, advertisers will benefit in 3 ways:

  1. Less time managing destination URLs.
  2. Reduced site crawling and website load time.
  3. Faster ad reviews.

With the upgraded URLs, advertisers will specify two pieces of information to form the whole URL – the final URL and the tracking information. The final URL is the landing page for your ad. Final URLs can contain redirects within your domain but not redirects from third party domains (mainly ad management platforms).

Destination URLs changed to Final URLs

The tracking information contains the values you’d like to be tracking on an ad click. Setting up the tracking in a template allows you to specify how AdWords should assemble your URL. Tracking templates can be set up and the keyword, ad group or campaign level, with the most specific template trumping the higher level template (Ex: keyword tracking template trumps campaign level). Within the template you can also specify custom parameters.

Adding Custom Parameters to Final URLs in AdWords

 

 

Upgrading Your URLs

In the URL below, the portion highlighted in blue are tracking parameters and the portion in red is the landing page where we’re sending traffic.

http://www.thirdpartytracker.com/rd&url=https://roirevolution.com/blog

To create an ad URL for this page we would set it up in AdWords like this:

Final URL: https://roirevolution.com/blog

Tracking Template: http://www.thirdpartytracker.com/rd&url=

Then we could add on any custom parameters that we desire to track!

3 Parts to the Google URL Upgrade

Using the Google Help Center’s Migration Guide you can easily determine how to best move through the upgrade process. The chart below shows different upgrade groups depending on what kind of destination URLs you’re using in your account:

Google URL Upgrade Groups

After finding your upgrade group, see the Google Support center for your options in upgrading your URLs. For most groups you can upgrade the URLs directly in the interface or using the new AdWords Editor.Upgraded URLs in AdWords Interface

For advertisers not using any 3rd party tracking or additional parameters in URLs, it’s as easy as selecting Upgrade URLs in the AdWords interface.

Destination URLs for keywords, ads and sitelinks will need to be upgraded before the July 1st deadline or advertisers run the risk of their ads being stopped from serving. (If you are noticing an unusual decline in traffic, be sure to check to make sure to look into this issue as part of your troubleshooting.)

Starting today (the deadline date), destination URLs will not be able to be edited or created. Any new URLs in the account must match the new URL format. Google will automatically upgrade any eligible URLs without cross-domain redirects. Advertisers will also be alerted of any ad group that could not be upgraded.

For more information on transitioning your URLs, watch this Google Hangout Video with the Upgraded URL product experts from Google or feel free to reach out to our paid search team for help!