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  1. #1
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Paying For Errors Google Creates
    I'll do my best to keep this as close to a heads up and as far from a rant as possible. The other night it was pointed out to me that my AdWords ads were landing on error pages.

    I never click AdWords or AdSense, my own included, by habit, so had no idea this was happening. I checked the landing pages and they worked fine, so finally clicked one of my ads. I landed on a CF error page. The landing page URL had a variable appended that my system didn't recognize and it was throwing an error.

    I researched help at Google and found that they now practice "auto-tagging" of landing page URLs with a gclid variable (EX: YOUR-URL/?glid=jb5jb5j587cvjh). This feature is part of analytics and is turned "on" by default regardless of whether you use analytics on the site in question. It was this variable that my system was horking on.

    I emailed support asking when they started this and if they could refund my clicks during that time. They denied that Google appends variables of any kind, and refused to refund the error clicks. Support needs to read their own help material which clearly says that they do indeed add variables, and further explains how to turn auto-tagging off (it's hidden under my account/preferrences/tracking). I'm going to continue trying to get a refund for Google generated error clicks, but have a feeling it will be an uphill battle.

    Anyway, steering back away from ranting, I suggest you all test your landing URLs by appending ?gclid=87t87g787gjhg (or some other random string) to the end. If it works, I guess you're okay. If it doesn't, you're one of the "small percentage of websites" Google describes in their help material that don't accept arbitrary variables.

    Nice of them to default it to "on", knowing that us in the "small percentage" existed and yet not bother to tell anyone about it, including their own support staff. Grumble...

    D'oh! Slipped back into a rant there. Sorry.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  2. #2
    CPA Network Rep
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    November 10th, 2006
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    Have you contacted anyone at Google after that initial email? Definitely sounds like an issue that should be brought to their attention (possibly even in a public manner...)! I do wish you luck with this, sounds like a nightmare for sure

  3. #3
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Thanks for the support!

    I replied to the original email and will be calling them on Monday. I'm assuming the holiday means most of the higher up support staff are at home until then.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  4. #4
    CPA Network Rep
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    Yes I would imagine you're correct in your assumption there, Eathan. Keep us posted!!

  5. #5
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I checked some of Google AdWords ads and even searched my server logs, and I don't see anything similar. I also Googled adwords glid and very few pages turned up. I couldn't see any describing the problem you're facing.

    I'm wondering if this is something specific to you?
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  6. #6
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Michael, sorry, typo on my part in that first bit, it's gclid rather than glid. The first result explains auto-tagging.

    In any case, it may only be active on accounts that use analytics. As I mentioned, we don't use analytics on the site where the errors were first pointed out, but we do on a couple others. I mentioned this to a friend and he had the same variables showing up on his ads, but he also uses analytics on his account.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

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