"Duplicate Sitelinks Found In File Or Waiting To Be Sent To Publisher"

When bulk uploading a sitelinks file, rows may fail with the following error message:

Error: Duplicate sitelinks found in file or waiting to be sent to publisher.

 

This will most likely be found with a Google 'create sitelinks' file which contains duplicate sitelinks. A duplicate sitelink contains identical link text as another sitelink, even if it's linked to a different campaign or ad group.

What Causes The Issue?

The issue is that a Google sitelink belongs to the feed in that account, rather than belonging to the campaign itself. Creating two identical sitelinks in the feed will mean that Google is unable to determine which version of the sitelink should be linked to each campaign.

Google Ads Editor prevents two sitelinks with duplicate Link Text from being uploaded, but the platform is able to treat sitelinks with identical Link Text differently -- as long as they are not exact duplicates. This has resulted in in a couple of possible workarounds which you can use to avoid problems.

Possible Workarounds

If there are no duplicates in your upload file, be sure that you post any Held or To be sent jobs in the Activity Log to the publisher (by clicking Post Now in the Activity Log). If there are still duplicates found, there are two workarounds you can choose from, as follows:

Workaround One

If the same sitelink is being used for multiple Campaigns, rather than creating duplicates, create one version and share it with the other campaigns:

  1. Create a new sitelink for one campaign either using bulk upload or via the Ad Extensions sub-tab.
  2. Post this new sitelink to Google.
  3. Navigate to the Ad Extensions sub-tab for a given campaign.
  4. Export your Google sitelinks to get the Sitelink ID of the newly created sitelink.
  5. Bulk upload Account, Campaign, Sitelink ID to share the sitelink across the other campaigns.

Note:

  • Any future changes to the shared sitelink will be reflected in all campaigns sharing the sitelink.

Workaround Two

If you do not want the sitelink to be shared, you can ensure that each row in the bulk file is different (ignoring the Campaign column, as explained above), so that there are no duplicates.

For example, if your bulk file currently only contains the mandatory columns: Account, Campaign, Link Text and Destination URL, you can:

  • Add the optional column Device Preference and All to one of the duplicates.
  • Add the optional column Start Date and today’s date to one of the duplicates.
  • Add both All and today’s date to one of the duplicates.

Note that there is no change to what's created using the above, it simply means that that you have specified the default rather than the platform adding it. Each bulk row is not identical, so each sitelink can be distinguished from the others.

Alternately, you can amend the URL so that it is different, but still sends visitors to the same landing page. To do this:

Note: URLs should not contain any spaces and it is best to remove any other special characters that were in the campaign name from the URL. You should check that the amended URL still sends visitors to the correct landing page before uploading.

Example Of Fixed Bulk Sheet (Using Workaround Two)

Here is a sample of a bulksheet with previously duplicated sitelinks that are now different enough to not trigger the error message:

Account Campaign Link Text Destination URL Device Preference Start Date
Google Campaign 1 Dupe text http://www.dupeURL.com    
Google Campaign 2 Dupe text http://www.dupeURL.com All  
Google Campaign 3 Dupe text http://www.dupeURL.com   2013-11-13
Google Campaign 4 Dupe text http://www.dupeURL.com All 2013-11-13
Google Campaign 5 Dupe text http://www.dupeURL.com?cmp=campaign5    
Google Campaign 6 Dupe text http://www.dupeURL.com?cmp=campaign6    
Google Campaign 7 Dupe text http://www.dupeURL.com?sl=20131101&cmp=campaign7    

More Information

  • Note: it is possible to share sitelinks across campaigns, but to do this you will need to upload a bulk sheet that includes the Sitelink ID.
    • Also note: When creating brand new sitelinks you will need to create the first instance of that sitelink so that you can find the ID and share it with other campaigns. 
  • You can find more information about Bulk Sitelinks functionality by reading our Help article.

Written by Marin Software

Last published at: June 30th, 2023