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Miscellaneous

Google Adwords gets nasty on site links policy

Since the fourth quarter of 2012, Google have threatened to more actively police site links for paid search ads. The whole purpose of site links from a user journey perspective is to deep link to more in depth site content, over and above the main headline link. Many advertisers have been using site links when they really only have a website with one landing page but still taking advantage of the improved CTR that comes with more SERPs space occupied and a more eye-catching ad.

This comes from the initial problem of how site links are implemented in Adwords. A few years back there was much flagrant avoidance of site links editorial policy with advertisers using editorially disapproved copy elements and symbols in site links as Google had no automatic system for policing them, as they do for ad copy. In those days, Google had to manually check and disapprove site links therefore disapprovals were rare. Eventually Google integrated site links with their automated editorial policy checking tools however there are still many that slip through the net.

With a recent restatement by Google on their firmer stance on the linking policy, advertisers are checking their campaigns. However one tool advertisers need is a report that can pull site links complete with destination URL, preferably across accounts so that account managers can:
a) keep an eye on suspended links
b) bulk check URLs

In Google’s most recent statement on site links policy, even they admit there is no quick way to check site links adherence to the policy:

A quick way is to paste the URL of each sitelink in a separate browser window. Look at the page that loads and compare it with the others. Check that the URL is unique from the others and that the content meets the rule of thumb of 80% uniqueness

So if Google are serious about their enforcement of this policy and not just trying to kick up a fuss (apparently even Google can’t stick to their own policy), a site links report or bulk sheet is top of my 2013 wishlist.

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  1. Pingback: A Long Awaited AdWords Site Links Update « Big PPC Geek - February 9, 2013

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