If you’re only advertising a certain website, and not managing it yourself, odds are that at one point one of the URLs your ads point to will not work. It happened to me, after a few years of no such issues whatsoever.
That is a violation of Google AdWords Destination URLs policy, which states, among others, the following:
- Your website can’t be under construction or link to an error page.
- Your destination URL can’t return an error status code beginning with a 4 or a 5 (such as a 405 error).
If you’ve been careful enough, you’ve asked your webmaster to make sure the website does not return an error status code for a page which does not work, or which no longer exists.
I for one, when I’ve noticed that on E-Commerce websites products get moved, or they get deleted, and I was not notified by the shop manager that they’ve moved or they’re no longer sold, I asked the developers to redirect the broken URLs to a search results page, which checked for products matching parts of the old URL. If http://example.com/widgets/blue/nice-blue-widget-medium-size.html was not available, the server redirected to http://example.com/search/nice+blue+widget+medium+size, and hopefully something similar was found, and a penalty was avoided. [Read more…]