Channels

Custom channels overview

Custom channels allow you to track the performance of specific groups of ad units. You design your own custom channels and use them to view performance of ad units in ways that are meaningful to you. Here are a few examples of ways you can group and track ad units with custom channels:

  • Ad sizes and colors
  • Location of ads on a page -- left side vs. right side, embedded in content or above it
  • Page topics -- articles about sports vs. entertainment

You can also turn any custom channel into a targetable ad placement where advertisers can specifically choose to display their ads.

Creating custom channels

There are two ways to set up a custom channel to track ad units:

  • When you create or edit an ad unit, you can add a custom channel to track that ad unit.
    View instructions
    1. Visit the My ads tab.
    2. To add a channel to an existing ad unit, select that ad unit. To create a new ad unit, click "New ad unit."
    3. In the Custom channels section, click "Create new custom channel".
    4. Give your custom channel a name that clearly describes what types of ad units you are tracking with the channel and will help you identify it later. For example, car_pages or blue_skyscrapers.
    5. Choose any additional ad units to track with this channel by clicking "add."
    6. If you'd like this custom channel to appear to advertisers as a targetable ad placement, check the Targeting box and enter the requested details. Or, leave it unchecked to create a custom channel for tracking purposes only.
    7. Save your new custom channel, then continue to customize and save your ad unit.
    8. The performance of this ad unit will now be tracked with your new custom channel.
  • Create a custom channel, then add ad units to track with it later.
    View instructions
    1. Visit the My ads tab.
    2. From the sidebar, choose Custom channels
    3. Click "New custom channel."
    4. Give your custom channel a name that clearly describes what types of ad units you are tracking with the channel and will help you identify it later. For example, car_pages or blue_skyscrapers.
    5. Choose ad units to track with this channel by clicking "add." You can also return to this step to add ad units later.
    6. If you'd like this custom channel to appear to advertisers as a targetable ad placement, check the Targeting box and enter the requested details. Or, leave it unchecked to create a custom channel for tracking purposes only.
    7. Save your new custom channel.

Viewing reports for custom channels

Since you've created a custom channel to track the performance of specific ad units, it's important to know how to view a custom channel report.

  1. Visit the Performance reports tab.
  2. From the sidebar, select Common reports and click Custom channels.
  3. Click a custom channel in the table to view more detailed statistics.
  4. You can also add dimensions to segment your channel data.
    You can also combine the Custom channels report with the countries dimension. Data is available for this combination from March 9, 2013, onwards.