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AdWords Ad Review and Marin URL Tagging – A Lesson

Published: October 23, 2012

Author: Todd Mintz

The following is anecdotal information. I have no way to prove what I’m saying. However, I’m less concerned with the “why” of the problem…I just want the problem to go away.
Two of my three clients are on the Marin platform. I like many things about Marin, and the longer that I use it, the more insights I get into how powerful a tool it can be for enterprise-level PPC account management.
However, there is one inadvertent aspect of Marin that’s become quite annoying and troublesome for me (and for the record, I don’t find Marin in any way culpable).
When our production staff creates new ads for a Marin client, they save them in a spreadsheet and then bulk-upload them through the Marin interface. Marin appends the URLs with its tagging and then pushes the updates to AdWords. All new ad URLs added to Google need to be reviewed (understandably).
However, Google doesn’t appear to be reviewing any Marin-tagged URLs algorithmically (which is a bit strange since I’m sure Google could figure out Marin’s tagging scheme). Instead, Marin ads seem to get sent to an “outsourced third party” team for “ad review” (I’m not privy to all the details).
On one of my Marin clients, I attempted to end one ad test and begin another (which affected tens of thousands of ads). It took eight days for all the ads to pass through the ad review process. Since I like to manage accounts nimbly and try out lots of new ideas quickly, waiting eight days for large-scale ad review is horrific.
Another PPC Associates account manager had the same experience I did. She emailed our team because she had some issues with new URLs in the account she was working on. She attempted to switch back to the original landing pages, but they all got caught in a long Google “ad review” process.
Later in the email thread, she mentioned that this was a “Marin” account, which caused me to discern that Google might be treating Marin tags differently. I thought I was having ad review issues related to the client’s service offering perhaps combined with the incredibly competitive nature of their marketplace. Nobody I reached out to about this issue mentioned to me that the tagging might have caused the ad review problems that I had been complaining about.
If you’re using Marin and you’re changing lots of ads, make sure you keep your old ads live and upload your new ads as paused until the new ads get all the way through ad review. I’d wait a bit before deleting the old ads just to be safe…because if you delete them and then have to re-upload them, they’ll get stuck in ad review (again) for who knows how long.  Hopefully, Google will quickly figure how to treat Marin’s tagging syntax appropriately and stop flagging it unnecessarily.
– Todd Mintz, Sr. Account Manager


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