What is Parallel Tracking?

If you haven’t heard already, Google AdWords will roll out parallel tracking for all accounts starting October 30th. Parallel tracking streamlines the click tracking process in the least interruptive way possible. If you’re using AdWords, the current process looks like this:

A user clicks on your ad, they’re redirected to a landing page for tracking and then sent to the desired URL. 

All of this happens rather quickly. However, with parallel tracking, users are sent straight to the desired URL. No pause in the middle of the tracking process for a redirect. Instead, tracking goes on outside of the user’s actions.

Diagram of parallel tracking.

Google claims that this will decrease load times and save users “hundreds of milliseconds.” Although the change will barely be visible to most users, parallel tracking could help user tracking performance for mobile pages, especially if a user’s network isn’t up to speed.

Be aware that certain agencies and platforms that run custom tracking templates may not be compatible with parallel tracking. This could result in your tracking or landing page not working once you turn on the parallel tracking setting. Tracking templates allow you to enter tracking information (like UTM parameters) to tell AdWords, or your tracking provider, how to assemble your URLs.

You can set up URL options at the ad group, campaign, and account level. This will allow you to update tracking information without resubmitting every ad for approval. Use the “Test” button to check that tracking is set up correctly.


How to Implement Parallel Tracking

Making the switch is pretty easy. Just follow these simple steps:

  • Sign in to your AdWords account
  • In the navigation menu, click All campaigns
  • In the page menu on the left, click Settings
  • Account Settings > Tracking
  • Turn on the “parallel tracking” setting

Ultimately, parallel tracking serves to improve the user experience. Users will get to your site quicker, and you’ll see better performance for your PPC ads. All those milliseconds add up!

This news follows Google’s announcement about SSL certificates. Websites without an SSL certificate will be tagged as “not secure” starting this month with the release of Chrome 68

These changes are just two steps towards a safer and more efficient web. Security is our number one priority. Talk to us about installing an SSL certificate!

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