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Google Ads & Tracking

If a partner works with a brand to promote products via Google's ad services, such as Google's Comparison Shopping Services external-link-alt-solid.svg, then it may become necessary for both the partner and the brand to take certain steps to ensure an optimal tracking experience on

Why your tracking is affected

Google Ads has a tracking feature called parallel tracking external-link-alt-solid.svg which speeds up page load and minimizes click drop-off from users who follow an ad link to a brand's product page. While traditional tracking involves redirecting a user via a tracking provider (like before sending them to a brand's website, parallel tracking sends a user directly to the destination and tracks clicks in the background.

For users, cutting out the redirect step means that the partner will not be attributed for clicks, as won't get an opportunity to read the tracking link's clickId. If you are able to turn off Google's parallel tracking, follow the instructions under Turn off parallel tracking.

If you are unable to turn off parallel tracking, there is a workaround that requires both the partner and the brand to action the following steps:

Turn off parallel tracking

  1. Log in to your Google Ads account.

  2. In the lower-left corner, select cog-solid.svg Admin → Account Settings.

  3. On the Account Settings tab, select Tracking to expand the drop-down menu.

  4. Select toggle-off-solid__1_.svg [Toggle off] Parallel tracking and then Save.


Partner-side action: add tracking link destination

The destination domain that you add to your tracking link needs to be certified by Google for use through Google Ad services as a 3rd-party click tracker.'s tracking link domains and are Google-certified, but if your brand’s tracking link happens to have a different domain (that doesn't fall in the list of certified trackers), you can request to have it certified by reaching out to support. Once the domain is certified, follow the steps below:

  1. Ensure that the brand has enabled deep linking to the certified destination.

  2. Follow the steps to create or get a tracking link.

  3. Add the u parameter to the end of the link followed by {the brand's certified landing page}.

Brand-side action: set up direct traffic

In order for direct tracking to work, your tracking integration with must be either via UTT tracking or PageLoad API. If this is true for your account, follow the steps below:

  1. Navigate to PartnersPartners.

  2. Hover your cursor over the partner whose traffic you want to view. Then select ellipsis-h-solid__1_.svg [More] TrackingDirect Traffic Tracking.

  3. Set up your Rules to identify the traffic using the Identification rules reference below.

  4. Select Save.

    Identification rules
    • There are three ways to identify traffic—by Landing Page, by Referring URL, or by both. As a Referring URL is not always available, setting up Landing Page rules is recommended.

    • Each identification rule additionally requires a matching rule, so stricter or more lenient combinations can be set (e.g., contains, starts with, does not contain, etc.).

    Landing Page


    Landing Page URL

    Identify traffic based on landing page URL or porting of it.

    Landing Page Domain

    If your program has multiple domains and a domain for each partner (known as Unique Domains), then make sure to set rules.

    See the Rules reference in Set up Direct Traffic Tracking for more information.

    Landing Page Query String

    Match by the parameter name only, regardless of the parameter value.

    For example, adding a link with a dynamic value, AID= , so you could match (exactly matches, contains, starts with, etc.) AID parameter name.

    Landing Page Parameter

    Use when the landing page parameter is a fixed name=value pair.

    For example, if you want to track when Partners send traffic to, then input partner in the first box, select contains or exactly matches from the drop-down menu, then insert 123 the last box. also supports multiple values by separating the values with a comma (and regex external-link-alt-solid.svg queries).

    For information on how to identify traffic using Referring URL only, or both Landing Page and Referring URL together, see Set up Direct Traffic Tracking.

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