Okay…geeky blog post coming…you’ve been warned…

The BlackHatters were interested earlier this week when we were searching for the term ‘cocktails’ in Google (don’t ask!) If you Google ‘cocktails’ you get the following SERP delivered…

Coktails SERPWe were particularly interested in the Smirnoff ad…

The display URL is www.youtube.com/Recipes but when you click on the Headline of the ad it goes through too…



Smirnoff Age Gate


Which was interesting as in Google AdWords your display and destination URL’s need to match in order for your ad to be approved in Google.( See Google page on Google Display URL Approvals Here.)

Q. So how is Smirnoff’s ad got a different display and destination URL and their ad has been approved???

But here is where it gets even stranger…

If you click on any of the sitelinks on the Smirnoff ad - Discover More Drink Recipes - YouTube Drink Recipe Videos - Smirnoff Cocktails

They all go through too… http://www.youtube.com/playlist?annotation_id=annotation_751869&feature=iv&list=PL683E1B5C1586BBFF&src_vid=rVWqabxZGrA


smirnoff you tube


All the sitelinks are going through to You Tube (to the same landing page, the Smirnoff You Tube channel) which Google says you shouldn’t be doing and sitelinks will be disapproved, but also they are going to a different domain to the headline of the ad??!?!

We know that Google AdWords allows advertisers to link to their Facebook, You Tube, Google+, etc, pages from sitelinks, if you can prove that you are the rightful owner of that page and it is enhancing the user experience. But this is the first time we have seen the headline of the ad not matching the display URL and all the sitelinks going off to the same domain as the display URL (are you keeping up?)

We dont really know how or why Smirnoff’s ad is being approved. There is probably a concession made by Google on this and its all perfectly fine (if you know, drop us a comment.)

But still, if you liked a conspiracy theory…you could say that this is misleading to users and not actually enhancing user experiences by sending users clicking on and ad to an age gated alcohol site when they think are they going to watch some kind of video on You Tube…hmmm…

Brought to you by Black Hat PPC.

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  1. Hi
    Thanks for this nice post.
    This can really be misleading if destination url and display url is not relevant.

    Thanks again

  2. Ben Samuels says:

    Wow – A compeltely new way of doing things

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