How to quickly detect broken links in ongoing ad campaigns?

Is the Google ad approval process enough?

No doubt, broken links in an ongoing ad campaign make you waste budget and just damage your brand. Firstly, you spend budget on ads directing to an unavailable page (e.g., product page). Secondly, customers become discouraged towards your offers. To be effective and generate conversions, an ad campaign needs to meet a number of requirements. One of them is a technically well-prepared ad with working links.

Does Google Ads detect ads with invalid links?

Yes. Google Ads has a feature that, among others, identifies ads that have invalid links. How does it work? Each new ad created in the ad manager has to reviewed to verify whether it complies with Google Ads policies. First of all, the ad approval process checks if there’s prohibited or restricted content involved. It’s also important for an ad to meet standards concerning format (including working links).

To verify all this, Google Ads thoroughly screens a new ad’s elements like header, content, keywords, images, and videos, as well as checks the URL that ad directs to. If the ad approval process finds an unavailable or invalid URL, the ad’s status will change to “Disapproved,” and the ad can’t be displayed anywhere. Eventually, you have to correct the ad to make it compliant with Google Ads policies and then send it for review again.

It seems that you’re done here. Any ads having broken links will be detected by the Google Ads approval process. An invalid ad isn’t run and you don’t spend money for nothing. Unfortunately, the ad approval process, despite its qualities, has also some faults, some of which we can be not always aware of.

These are two of the most important problems to deal with:

1. Extended review time

Usually, you get the results of an ad review within a few hours (one business day, though sometimes it’s from two to three days). If an ad is disapproved due to a broken link, the time required to run it extends. You need to correct such an ad and send it for another review. That is why it’s better to detect ads with broken links before Google Ads itself gets to review them. As a result, you save time and can kick off your ad campaign sooner.

2. Broken link detection is delayed

The ad approval process works as expected when you prepare your ads in your Google Ads accounts. It’s worse off if anything changed outside of the ad network; e.g., your site’s structure and links were modified during a campaign. Google Ads detects such changes with a considerable delay. In the meantime, your ads direct people to incorrect links (404 error) and you waste money.

Despite getting better and better, the Google ad approval process isn’t completely reliable. In such a situation the only solution is to take advantage of an external, high-speed monitoring tool that continuously identifies broken links — does the job. Thanks to this, you save time, avoid frustration, and can be sure that your ads always lead your potential customers to proper products or services.

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