The BlackHatters learnt something new the other day (apparently this wasn’t covered off in the Google AdWords exam, haha!) in regards to the way that Google deals with international websites and Google AdWords PPC ads.

We were having issues with our ads being disapproved all the time because apparently the display URL and destination URL didn’t match…eventhough they did. After a lengthy discussion with Google it turns out it is due to IP redirects on websites. Let us explain…

Suppose you are an international brand (for the sake of this article, but we are just using them as an example) and when a visitor comes to your website from a different country they get redirected to their local site. So if you are in the UK, you get, if you are in France you get, etc. Well, if you set up a PPC ad directing traffic to with your display URL and destination URL to, you may find that you have your ads disapproved if your webmaster has put IP redirects on the website to locate where users are coming from and then redirecting them to their own countries site.

There have been recent cases where this has been happening to international brands where their ads are being disapproved by Google and here is the reason why. Google’s ad approval team isn’t sat in the country that you are necessarily in…more often than not they are sat in India. So when Google’s approval team check out the ad rather than going through to, then end up going through to Amazon India (okay, that doesn’t exist, but you get the idea) so they are disapproving perfectly legitimate ads because they are sat in India!

Google’s policy on IP Redirects is that they dont accept them – If you’re redirecting users to country-specific domains, we ask you to target an ad specifically to each location instead, so that you can make each ad’s Display URL domain accurately reflect the Destination URL domain in each respective country that you’re targeting.

So international brands have to either take out their IP redirects which is not great for their direct traffic to their website, or PPC campaigns all need to be split out so they are targeting each individual country seperately with individual campaigns to each country specific domain…meaning more work PPC optimisers in setting up their campaigns.

We thought we’d share this with people as it was news to us and hopefully it will prove useful to others who are having issues with having their PPC ads being disapproved by Google.

Brought to you by Black Hat PPC.

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  2. Matt says:

    Had problems with this before, especially with even totally legit lead gen offers. Sometimes the client can’t accept leads from a particular country and the campaign is targeted in the us. As a precautionary measure they geo redirect to something that accepts international traffic. The ad approval team in India then sees the geo redirect and disapproves the ad which is bogus because if the target audience is what we’re requesting (usa) then the geo redirect isn’t an issue. Of course, it would make sense the advertiser not have the redirect, but that’s only because Google still lets intl traffic through even with us having the settings nailed down. Gotta be a better solution… And I won’t even get into their problems with multiple tracking url hops…

  3. Chuck says:

    I have run into this problem as well. Its a shame they don’t have a better way of dealing witht he redirects.

  4. We’re having the same problems at work but the solution you are suggesting does not even work. We’re a canadian-based company trying to drive canadian customers to our canadian site. Because of trademark issues, any visitors coming from the US needs to be redirected to a separate US site. We do not want to drive traffic to this US site, only to our canadian one but ads get rejected anyways because of the no-redirect rule.

    Google needs to work something out.

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