Show Adwords Destination URL on Google

Often when I’m looking at the Google results pages (SERPs), I want to be able to see what landing page, click tracking software and advertising agency other advertisers are using. I also want to be able to check that my ads are going to the right page and they are being tracked correctly.
Normally, you need to actually click on the ad to see the landing page. And to see the click tracking software, you need to use a tool like Live HTTP Headers. This can be tedious and you only do it when you really have to.
What I really wanted was to be able to see the destination URL directly and show what advertising agency is running which ad.

So, I came up with two tools that work together to achieve this. One is called Ad Highlighter which changes the link color on any ads that are using click tracking software. The color changes depending on what software they are using. The second tool is called UnMask URLs. When you click this button on a Google search result and mouse over the link, the actual destination URL will appear as shown in the screenshot below.
Both of these tools are included in my free Firefox Addon called SEM Tools which you can download here.

After installing the Addon, try this search result or this one.

Google UK Search Result for "new york flights".

Mousing over the link shows us that Citroen is using DartSearch for tracking.

These tools also work on Yahoo and Baidu. Yahoo and Baidu make it especially hard to show the destination URL but the UnMask tool can still decode these URLs, although it takes a little longer to process.

You can test it on this Yahoo page or this Baidu page. Make sure to click the UnMask URLs button once you get to the page. You don’t need to press the button on Google but it will still work.

Yahoo US - "Las Vegas Hotels" Query

After pressing the "Unmask URLs" button we can see that MGMMirage is using Atlas,

If you would like to add or change which advertisers appear, you can edit the list yourself from the Options menu or just send me an email on the feedback page and I can add it to the next version.

Leave a Reply