Via illuminea, I’ve been handling the PPC for some clients, and recently came across two interesting problems I thought I’d document because they’re likely common to others: a) the error, “Placement URLs need to be provided in valid URL format” and b) what the heck anonymous.google.com is.
1) Google AdWords provides a misleading error called “Placement URLs need to be provided in valid URL format.” In fact, the problem is not that your URL’s format is incorrect, but rather the amount of folders in your URL is over 2. WeDriveLeads explains more.
2) Some sites sell ads both directly to advertisers as well as via third parties like Google. If they want to hide the fact that they’re selling via Google as well, they might choose to appear as an ####.anonymous.google.com URL. You’ll still see data on the particular placement, but you won’t know what it is.
The issue with that is that unless you can view where your ad appears, the quality of traffic can vary and you wouldn’t know. This is very bad for CPM advertisers, but also affects CPC advertisers indirectly since they’ll need to spend more time managing such placements. Alternately – and I suspect this is what many will choose – I think you can just exclude anonymous.google.com and avoid the headache.