Google Announces Upgraded URL Roll-Out

photoEarlier today, there was an official announcement on the AdWords blog about Upgraded URLs. What are they? Let’s have a look.

Tagging the Old Way

For those of you who have additional tracking implemented on the end of your click-through URLs, you know it requires a lot of time in Excel with bulk uploads. The aim of Upgraded URLs is to systematize some of that work through an interface that will help you append your tagging more efficiently.

Typically, the time suck would occur because every time you wanted to update the tracking on your destination URL, you had to re-create the entire URL – even if your base landing page URL was remaining the same. Added to that, you’d have to be re-reviewed every time you submitted these URLs, because the system saw them as “new,” despite nothing changing about the landing page itself, which would add on time to launch for Google reviewing them.

Tagging with Upgraded URLs

Upgraded URLs claim to help eliminate these issues, allowing you to set your “normal” URL, and then specify tagging needs separately so AdWords can append the two for you. It will also save time because it will no longer treat the same landing page as a new one, just because you changed some tracking parameters.

It can do this because there are now two areas where you specify to Google, “This is my landing page” and then “This is my tracking,” as opposed to the single destination URL field. As long as the landing page stays the same, it won’t have to be re-reviewed for approval.

You specify this information in two areas:

“Final URL” – This is the field where you put in the URL on your site the traffic will land on

“Tracking Templates” – This is the area that operates like a little tag manager for you. You input the values here that you want AdWords to append onto your URL for you. Like many other features of AdWords, you can create these and share them across different Campaigns, Ad Groups, or Accounts, so you’re not having to redo it over and over. You can use ValueTrak parameters, or specify custom parameters.

Speaking of ValueTrak…

Another nice announcement is that they’ve expanded the ValueTrak parameters that you can use. I was shocked before when I realized some very simple values such as Campaign and Ad Group weren’t included – but now they are! You can see a newly-updated list of ValueTrack parameters here and scrolling down to “Available ValueTrak Parameters.”

Timeline of Implementation

Google plans to start rolling out Upgraded URL functionality this week, and is encouraging all advertisers to be using it by July 1, at which point they will be automatically upgraded to the feature. If you use an external tracking platform, they also suggest you start working with them to scope out what this will mean for your account.