In this video, I help explain what parallel tracking is and how it can affect you.
Some of the questions I want to go over by the end of this video are:
1. What is parallel tracking?
2. How did AdWords function before parallel tracking?
3. How does AdWords work now with parallel tracking?
4. Why is parallel tracking mandatory by Google now?
5. How will this change affect me?
To start off, parallel tracking just stands for a form of tracking where not only the tracking link is clicked on, but rather the tracking link clicked on simultaneously with the final URL.
To understand this a little better, I would need to explain how AdWords tracking worked before this change.
Previously, before parallel tracking, the way clicks worked in AdWords was that people searching for keywords and coming across your ad would actually click on the tracking link you had in the tracking template in Google rather than the final URL.
So when creating your ad, you would have an option to add the final URL, and the tracking link in the tracking template.
The only reason you really used the final URL was twofold:
1. In the case that you weren’t using a tracking link, you would just enter the final URL and that’s what people would click on
2. Google would verify that your tracking link final destination matched the final URL, which was their main concern for safety and ad violation concerns. If they matched, the final URL was pretty much useless and people would only click on the tracking link.
However the issue here was that when users clicked on the tracking link, sometimes there were a few redirects occuring before landing on the final URL, thus taking away from the optimal client experience as it took time for the users to access the final URL page.
Therefore Google came up with a solution: parallel tracking.
The way this functioned was simple.
Rather than have the USER click on the tracking link and be redirected until eventually landing on the final URL, now GOOGLE would click on the tracking link and just make the user land straight to the final URL.
Therefore, while the user clicks on your ad and goes straight to the final URL, Google simultaneously, or *in parallel* would click on your tracking link.
So now instead of the user going through all the redirects, Google does, which doesn’t matter since Google works for it’s users.
The click Google does matches that of the user, so the location/IP/etc.. will be the same for your tracking needs if that’s your concern.
So that answers the first 4 questions.
Why did Google install parallel tracking? To speed up loading times.
How did it work before and after? Well I showed all that.
So now, for the main question: how does it affect YOU?
Well if you are using tracking links to track your AdWords ads… then it really won’t affect you whatsoever.
The way a tracking link works is that when someone clicks on the link, you start generating stats and data through that link.
So before, when the user would click on your tracking link and your stats increased, now GOOGLE clicks on the tracking link instead.
Doesn’t matter who clicks it – a click is a click and you will see the stats show up for your links either way.
Therefore, you are really not affected.
The ONLY way you may be affected is if instead of using a tracking link you are tracking your website/funnel through code that you add to the pages.
That code will fire when someone accesses your page, tracking link or no, so now that page with your code on it will be accessed twice – once from the user, and another time from Google.
So just keep in mind that if you are using code on your pages to track, you will now see one unique click, and TWO total clicks for each click on your ad – one unique and total click from the user, and one non-unique (since it shares same IP/location/details as the user) and total click from Google.
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