What is Parallel Tracking?

On March 31st 2020 Google will reactivate parallel tracking for all search ads. After a test run in 2019, it was decided that parallel tracking would initially only be mandatory for search ads. From April 2020 onwards, the use of parallel tracking for google ads will be reactivated for all customers.

With parallel tracking, users are immediately redirected to the final URL after clicking on an ad, while the click measurement takes place in the background.

This is how parallel tracking works:

  1. The user clicks on the ad
  2. The user hits the landing page

Background processes:

  1. The Google Ad Click Tracker is loaded
  2. The tracking URL is loaded
  3. If you use multiple click trackers, additional redirects may be loaded.

Without parallel tracking, users go through at least one redirect after clicking on an ad before reaching the target page. It therefore takes longer for users to reach the landing page.

This is how tracking works without parallel tracking:

  1. The user clicks on the ad
  2. The Google Ad Click Tracker is loaded
  3. The tracking URL is loaded
  4. Any additional tracking URLs are loaded
  5. The user sees the landing page

Source: Google Helpcenter

Why is Parallel Tracking an issue for your marketing tracking?

Many attribution solutions on the market work with so-called redirect tracking. With this method the user is first redirected to the corresponding server of the ad server when clicking on an ad. Thus the campaign information are collected on the ad server and the user is redirected to the landing page. Parallel tracking means that Google calls up the landing page directly and calls the redirect to the ad server in parallel. To prevent multiple calls to the landing page through parallel tracking, the target URL in the redirect is replaced by a Google URL. In this case the ad server redirect is not longer leading to the landingpage URL which can cause a loss in user and touchpoint information.

Is parallel tracking also a problem for Adtriba?

No. Adtriba does not use redirect tracking to track marketing touchpoints and gets the campaign information either from the URL or from the referral information. Thus, Adtriba does not expect any impact from parallel tracking.

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