Declare click-through URLs in ads

Authorized Buyers policies require buyers to declare click-through URLs for creatives booked through both the user interface and real-time bidding (RTB).*

Delivering creatives via the user interface

Use third-party served creatives only

Ad Exchange no longer supports the hosting of static images uploaded via the interface. Use third-party served ads for all creatives.

Delivering creatives via real-time bidder (RTB)

Accurate click-through URLs must be declared in the bid responses. Declared landing pages must be fully working and crawlable by AdsBot. To ensure that the landing page is crawlable, you may need to add the following line to the robots.txt file:

User-agent: AdsBot-Google

Disallow:

This crawler only checks to see if landing pages are compliant with the advertising policies.

Each HTML snippet in an RTB bid response must render to a single, unique creative, and the click-through URL must be declared. This click-through URL is checked against the associated creative. The HTML snippet should render for at least four days after the impression to prevent disapproval of similar creatives.

Dynamic creatives and click-through URL declarations

Dynamic creatives typically combine multiple image and text elements in real-time to create the most compelling offer for a given user based on targeting and user parameters. When created, these creatives might have correspondingly dynamic click-through URLs in order to track the relative effectiveness of each permutation, or they might have multiple click-through URLs that lead to different landing pages depending on the user interaction.

With Authorized Buyers, we require every creative to have a declared click-through URL in order to enable certain features (e.g., advertiser and advertiser category blocking) and to ensure the quality of the landing page (i.e., scan for inappropriate content). With dynamic creatives, it's not always possible to declare all of the click-through URLs. To address this, Authorized Buyers requires that buyers limit dynamic creatives to a single root advertiser and declare the root advertiser as the landing page.

Example 1: An advertiser, “booksforsaletoday.com” has a dynamic creative that will offer different books based on the time of day. Each time a different book is offered, the corresponding landing page is changed. Book 1’s offer goes to “booksforsaletoday.com/book," Book 2 goes to “booksforsaletoday.com/book2.” In this scenario, the creative is allowed to run on Authorized Buyers. The declared URL should be “booksforsaletoday.com.”

Example 2: A marketer has two different online businesses, a dating site and a news site, that are run independently with the domains of “ourdatingsite.com” and “ournewssite.com." The marketer would like to create a dynamic creative that oscillates between these two offers based on time of day. In this scenario, a dynamic creative is not allowed. Instead, the marketer should deploy two different creatives and target them via the user interface as two different ads, or use real-time bidding and reply with the specific creative that should serve.

Example 3: An advertiser runs an ad with multiple social network buttons for sharing some content: Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Each of these buttons, with their appropriate URLs, counts as a click-through URL and must be declared. Note that no resources can be loaded from these domains directly, they are merely links which the user must choose to follow.

Destination URLs must be between 12 and 2048 characters and cannot use a numeric IP address.

Reasons why Google can't crawl your landing page:

  • Page not found (404 error): You gave us a wrong URL so the page returned this error.
  • Invalid URL: Your URL contains invalid characters or does not have the format of a valid link.
  • Page requires authentication: The URL is protected by an authentical protocol.
  • Hostname not resolvable: We were unable to resolve the hostname of your server to an IP address.
  • Private IP: Your website is hosted behind a firewall or router.
  • Timeout reading page: The server took too long returning the page.
  • Geo blocking: The landing page is blocked for some geographic locations on server side.
  • Too many forwards or redirects: Landing pages must have less than 10 redirects. Work with webmaster to reduce the number of redirects. Learn more about web forwarding
  • Page content: The landing page includes a search engine that returns no results when the page loads. If the landing page starts a site search, make sure the site search engine returns a result, or the crawler may consider the page invalid. Work with the site's webmaster to return some default search results instead of showing an error page or a message such as "No results".
  • URL syntax: The landing page URL includes a pound sign (#). Authorized Buyers system is unable to process URLs with pound signs. Either remove the pound sign from the URL, or use a different landing page.

Best practices

  • Update your landing page to a valid URL.

  • Make sure the landing page is live.

  • Make sure the landing page isn't hidden behind a login, firewall, or router.

  • Make sure the landing page has a robots.txt file that allows crawling by Googlebot and Google Adsbot.

  • Make sure the landing page has text and isn't only images.

To check if a page is crawlable, try searching for the page using a search engine. Next, check if you have a robots.txt file, and remove any lines that disallow Googlebot or Google Adsbot crawlers. Robots.txt Specifications.

* When declaring a click-through URL for sites that optionally require a login, ensure that the landing page is publicly available and accessible without a login.

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