What is Parallel Tracking in Google Ads?

Estimated Reading Time 3 minutes

Come October, Parallel Tracking will become a mandatory field for everyone in Google Ads.

How Google’s click tracking works:

It’s simple, you choose the landing page URL you want a user to visit when clicking your advert.

 

link from square to square

 

How click tracking currently works when using a tracking template:

 

When you use a tracking URL template, Google builds the landing page URL so that the click goes to to the tracking server first, and then redirects to your landing page, so it can capture the tracking data.

 

5 squares of how ad words work

Parallel Tracking:

 

This is a new way of handling tracking requests. This feature is designed to speed up the process from a user clicking your advert to landing on your page. It will now send them directly to the the landing page instead of via the specified tracking URL, which will now work in the background. See diagram below:

 

the new update

 

Sounds good right? Although there are some things you will need to be aware of:

  • Parallel tracking only supports server level redirects meaning every URL in the redirect chains must support HTTPS. This means if your website does not support HTTPS you will no longer be able to get your custom tracking data!
  • Per Click ID’s are used by some tracking servers to enable for the tracking parameter to be read and stored. This will no longer be possible with parallel tracking as the call to the tracking server will no longer forward to the website.
  • If you use {lpurl} valuetrack parameter Google will replace your {lpurl} with a substitute URL. This URL will then ensure your web page doesn’t get pinged twice (once from the user and once from the parallel tracking redirect).
  • If your server depends on cookies being written in first-party context you may need to make changes your end. With the intelligence behind parallel tracking, the cookies are written to the main browser jar instead of the trackers domain.

 

Not sure if this is going to affect your tracking? Get in touch and let us take a look under the hood.

Jenny Farnfield
Jenny Farnfield graduated from Southampton Solent University with a 2:1 Degree in Advertising, and brings extensive commercial, digital and marketing acumen to the team at Digital Clarity. Jenny has been recognised by both UK Search Awards and the Ecommerce Awards. Jenny is also IDM certified, and utilises a rigorous, granular approach to digital marketing. With over 6 years’ experience, Jenny digs deep to find solutions and uses an immersive approach in her accounts, turning numbers and data into actionable solutions for her clients.
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