Fake Google Adwords Display URL

Fake Adwords Display URL? I did not think it was possible, but I finally ran across a Google Adwords ad using a fake display URL. I was looking for a Canon p-150 scanner. I thought I was going to land on BestBuy.com, but instead landed on a Weebly.com page which then redirected me to Amazon.com  (Check out the screen shots below)

While I won’t talk about the ethics of this or how Google missed a display URL that does not match a destination URL…this is some slick marketing. I doubt the individual or entity could be identified by anyone without a court subpoena.

Adwords Display URL


Fake Google Adwords Display URL

Directed me to a Weebly.com web page below.

 Adwords Display URL

Typically has to match up with the destination URL unless using a tracking service of some type.

Again, this is a pretty slick marketing tactic. I’m not sure if there is any legal precident of using a corporate domain / sub-domain name to fake out consumers into thinking they are going to a corporate website and then land on an affiliate page.

Once the cookie is loaded, the affiliate will get the sale if the visitor makes a purchase.

Have you run across fake Google Adwords display URLs? or do you use fake display URLs in your marketing? Any Internet attorneys that care to comment on any possible legal issues resulting from the use of this tactic? Comment below or sign up in top right hand corner of this page for email updates.

For more information on Google Adwords display URL policy – click link

Here’s interesting point with regard to Google’s display URL policy for Adwords. There is nothing covered regarding the use of false or misleading display URLs.

3 thoughts on “Fake Google Adwords Display URL”

  1. Rather than a fake url, there is a good chance that Best Buys website was hacked and redirected to this other site. Seen it happen.

  2. “Dan Says”

    So you are saying someone hacked BestBuy, and redirected the website to a specific product advertised using Google Adwords to another website? I doubt that would happen.(Not saying it cannot)

    It makes more sense that someone was actually using a fake display URL in the screenshot above and Google just never audited this account before it was caught.

    Their intent worked on me…I thought I was going to BestBuy’s website, but ended up somewhere else.

  3. Looking through some post, I never responded to this; No, BestBuy was not hacked and there is no editing of the URLs in the screen capture.

    What I am saying is that a Google Adwords advertiser intentionally used a fake / misleading display URL that in turn brought the visitor to a Weebly.com page loaded with Amazon offers.

    I seriously thought Google would have caught this immediately, but shows you there are holes in the platform.

    It would be interesting to run a test to see how long it actually would take Google to catch something like this.

    On a legal note, I wonder if companies like BestBuy or any other big brand would have the ability to sue for damages.

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