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Google Adwords URL Tracking Update: Are You Ready

Katherine Jackman

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Do you use Google Adwords? If you’re currently running a Pay Per Click campaign with them, you need to know about Google’s recent changes to Adwords’ URL management.

Google announced recently that they had improved URL management in order to make tracking easier for your Adwords campaigns. Adwords URL tracking is used in conjunction with your Google Analytics account, and refers to adding unique identifiers to the destination URLs so better gauge the success of your campaigns and the traffic they receive.

How it works

So how does the upgrade work, exactly? Google is essentially replacing the destination URL section, the field where you enter your web address for people to click on and arrive at your landing page. If you use Adwords URL tracking, the destination URL feed is also used to track parameters that you’ve set up.

Instead of the destination URL field, the update will introduce the final URL field as well as a new field for tracking management. While your final URL can contain redirects, the domain name must match the domain name of your display URL.

Will this affect my campaign?

Google updates of any kind have a tendency to get people worrying, but this isn’t the same as an algorithm update. Rather than refining search, Google is simply trying to improve the Adwords experience for users, and with so many businesses currently running campaigns to give their rankings a boost, it’s likely that this update will have people sighing with relief. After all, who wouldn’t want a better way to track their campaign progress?

For people that have landing pages in place for existing ads, Google have assured users that they’re working hard to make sure that no one’s campaign progress is reset when the URLs are updated, so you don’t have to worry about starting all over again.

What do I have to do?

If you don’t use Adwords URL tracking then you don’t have to do anything at all; Google will automatically upgrade your URLs for you in July and your campaign will continue as normal. This will be done by copying your current Destination URLs to the new Final URL field for all of your ads and keywords. Adwords will also be updated to reflect this change, specifically the report columns that allow you to keep track of your data.

If you do use Adwords URL tracking, then Google is recommending that you upgrade your URLs before July 1st, which is when the change rolls out. Once July 1st comes around, be sure to check that your final URLs have been upgraded as Google stated and that the URLs appear as expected for your campaigns. Google has also announced that later this year the final URL field will be the only landing page option for your campaign. Direct URL will be around for a while longer, but eventually it will be retired in favour of this more efficient tracking field.

As well as providing professional SEO services , Zebra Internet Services offers pay per click management services to its clients, and as third party campaign managers we want to make sure that those campaigns remain successful. If your PPC campaign is being run by a third party, you should contact them to see if they are aware of the upcoming changes and work with them to get your URLs updated in time.

If you currently run a PPC campaign with us or would like to discuss the changes, you can call us on 0191 261 2252 or email us at


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