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Parallel Tracking For Google Display Ads: Just The Facts

July 22, 2019 Sarah Cavill

As of July 31, 2019, parallel tracking for Google display ads will be mandatory. Advertisers using third-party tracking parameters will be required to make the switch, if they haven’t already. Google has been moving all ad types over to parallel tracking throughout the year – search ads made the switch last fall – and announced the deadline for display ads several months ago, allowing ample time for click measurement providers and advertisers to pull the trigger and enable parallel tracking.

What Is Parallel Tracking?

Google Parallel Tracking

Google asserts that even a one-second delay in mobile page load times can decrease conversions by 20%, for that reason they have been developing ways to mitigate those delays. “With parallel tracking, users will head immediately to your landing page after clicking your ad while their browser processes URL tracking requests in the background. We've seen this help users on slower networks reach landing pages up to several seconds faster,” said Google when parallel tracking was introduced.

Faster connections can mean more engagement with customers and, ideally, conversions.

Why Is Parallel Tracking Important To Marketers?

According to Marketing Land, parallel tracking will become the standard for third-party measurement. Microsoft Advertising is currently testing a beta version of parallel tracking, and Google will be adding video ads to the list of units that require parallel tracking later this year, making it essentially a requirement for all ad types. For marketers, communicating with third-party tracking providers, confirming that they are compatible with parallel tracking should be a priority, since faster load rates could be the difference between a conversion or a frustrated user.

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Associate Content Manager, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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