What is Parallel Tracking?


Recently Google announced that parallel tracking will be required for all accounts starting October 30th 2018.

So What is Parallel Tracking?

Parallel tracking exists to serve a third party tracker and the final URL at the same time, rather than sequentially. This saves load time and gives users a better experience.

The key phrase in the above definition is “third party tracker.”

Google sent out an Ads announcement email to all advertiser in July 2018 with the subject line Important: AdWords parallel tracking will be automatically turned on.

Unfortunately, this email wasn’t very clear about this requirement and didn’t do the best job of explaining this important detail. The net-net of the email was: this parallel tracking requirement will only apply if you’re using a third party click tracker like Marin, Kenshoo, or something like Pardot’s Google Ads integration.

Does Parallel Tracking Effect Me?

Parallel tracking only effects you if you’re using a third party click tracking tool.

If you’re using a “standard” setup and just sending traffic to a website with no click tracking tools, (Google Analytics is not a third party click tracking tool) parallel tracking will not apply.

What if I am using a third party click tracker?

Google’s recommendation is to reach out to the third party providers and find a solution.  

A few of the bigger names have posted some instructions on setup. The following are what we have found today; we will update when more third party click trackers provide documentation.

Have more questions about Parallel Tracking or Google Ads?

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