What is Parallel Tracking and how will it affect you

 

From the 30th October Google will be making its Parallel Tracking functionality mandatory across Google Ads accounts (Google’s rebrand of Adwords and related services). This functionality has been opt-in over the past year.

Google claims the change is to reduce delays in redirecting users from a Google ad to an advertiser’s landing page, which should improve conversion rates (particularly on mobile). For Tradedoubler’s publishers that utilise Google Ads this should not have an impact on tracking but there are a few technical changes to consider.

 

What is Parallel Tracking

Unless you have already opted into Parallel Tracking, with Google Ads campaigns most users clicking on ads that link to a Tradedoubler advertiser are redirected through Tradedoubler servers and then onto the advertiser’s website (potentially via an additional advertiser redirect). With Parallel Tracking all Tradedoubler tracking will take place in the background (i.e. in parallel) and the user is simply redirected from a Google ad to the advertiser’s website.

Parallel Tracking utilises BeaconAPI – also known as send beacon – which can send asynchronous web requests to a web server.

 

Parallel tracking

 

The BeaconAPI is not supported by all browsers at this point and Google will use standard redirect tracking when BeaconAPI is not supported by the browser.

 

What does this mean for Tradedoubler’s publishers

There are some small changes required for Tradedoubler’s publishers when adding Tradedoubler tracking to a Google Ads campaign using Parallel Tracking:

  • All tracking links should use HTTPS, Google should apply this automatically but best practice would always be to use HTTPS Tradedoubler tracking links
  • Parallel Tracking does not support any browser side (HTML/JavaScript) redirects. We therefore advise publishers to update their tracking links to disable our cookieless tracking script (which utilises JavaScript) by adding the parameter f=0 or f(0) to their tracking link. Regular cookie based tracking will be unaffected. Taking the following example tracking links, please change the following:
    From: https://clk.tradedoubler.com/click?p=123&a=123&url=https://www.tradedoubler.com
    To: https://clk.tradedoubler.com/click?p=123&a=123&f=0&url=https://www.tradedoubler.com
    Or:
    From: https://clk.tradedoubler.com/click?p(123)a(123)url(https://www.tradedoubler.com)
    To: https://clk.tradedoubler.com/click?p(123)a(123)f(0)url(https://www.tradedoubler.com)

 

If you have any additional questions, please reach out to your local Tradedoubler publisher support team for advice and specific queries.

 

For further information see the following documentation from Google:

https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/7544674?hl=en

https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/7650215

 

Nick Morris has held various roles across Tradedoubler since joining back in 2009. He is Product Director working with Tradedoubler’s Stockholm based development team ultimately responsible for Tradedoubler’s product roadmap and strategy.

Nick has also worked across the digital marketing landscape with roles at programmatic tech companies and media agencies.

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