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Linking Google Play and AdWords

Want to make it even easier to show your app promotion ads to the right people? Start by linking your AdWords account to the Google Play developer account for your app. You’ll be able to use advanced targeting techniques based on who already has the app and who still needs to download it – which can make your ads even more effective. You’ll also be able to track when someone who’s clicked one of your ads makes an in-app purchase in your app.


Google Play

Why link AdWords to Google Play?

When you link to a Google Play developer account, you'll get access to automatically generated remarketing lists for the apps published by the Play developer account. You'll get all the power of a remarketing list – being able to show mobile app engagement ads to users of your app – without having to set up a remarketing tag. If you're a Google Play developer, see how to link to AdWords from a Google Play developer account.

For apps that use in-app billing, you can also use conversion tracking to automatically track when someone who’s clicked one of your ads makes a purchase in your Android app, without needing to add conversion tracking code to your app. This means that you can find out which ads do the best job of driving these in-app purchases, and make adjustments to your campaigns based on this information.

What happens when you link Google Play and AdWords

  • Either the AdWords account owner or Play account owner can ask to link the accounts. New account link requests will appear in your AdWords account on your "Linked accounts" page, which is located in the Settings drop-down menu.
  • Once the account owner has approved the request, AdWords will automatically create remarketing lists for the apps published in the Google Play developer account. These lists will appear in the Shared library of the AdWords account.
  • For Android apps that use in-app billing, you’ll be able to set up conversion tracking to automatically track in-app purchases from your apps.
  • Both the AdWords and Play account owners can remove the link at any time. Neither party can make changes in the other linked account: for instance, the Google Play developer cannot pause or start campaigns, or make changes to targeting in the linked AdWords account.
  • If the link is removed, the AdWords remarketing lists based on apps in the linked Play account will be disabled, and any ads targeting those lists will stop running. Your account will also stop tracking in-app purchase conversions.

Before getting started, check to make sure that you have access to the link settings for your account.

Check AdWords access level

Some links can only be added by someone who is both the owner of the Play account and an administrator of an AdWords account. To check your AdWords account's access level, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.co.uk.
  2. Click the Settings icon (), then select Account settings.
  3. In the navigation menu, click Account access.
  4. In the "Access level" column, look for "Administrative access".

If you don't have the right level of access, then you can ask the administrator of your AdWords account to grant you administrative access, or to link the accounts for you.

Note: Linking a manager account to Google Play

If you use cross-account conversion tracking, then you can link your manager account to Google Play to automatically track in-app purchases at the manager account level. 

To use Google Play for remarketing, link the individual managed accounts to Google Play. User list sharing is not available at the manager account level.

Types of links between AdWords and Google Play

There are two types of links between AdWords accounts and Google Play developer accounts. These will appear both as the link type in your Linked accounts page and in the Account access page.

  1. Data only: This is the standard type of account link, described above. With this type of account link, AdWords can receive remarketing data from Play. Once they're added to the AdWords account, the owner of the Google Play account can view or share only some of the data from the AdWords account.
  2. Data and account access: Like the Data only link type, AdWords can receive remarketing data from Play. In addition, once users have been added to the AdWords account, Google Play account holders can see AdWords account data in their Play Developer Console. They'll also be able to change settings in the AdWords account from Google Play, including adding more users to the AdWords account.

Linked account statuses

Link needs approval Needs your approval: The account owner from this Google Play developer account has requested to link to your AdWords account. You can approve or reject their requests.
Link is awaiting approval Awaiting Google Play approval: Your request has been delivered to the Google Play developer account. This status will update when they either accept or reject your link request.
Accounts linked Linked: Your AdWords account has been linked to this Google Play developer account and the remarketing lists for the apps in the account have been activated.
Link has been removed Unlinked: Either the AdWords or Google Play account owner has unlinked the accounts. To relink these accounts, send a new link request to the Play account owner.
Link has been removed Declined: Your link request was declined by the Google Play account owner.

 

Request to link AdWords and Google Play

In your AdWords account, you can request to link with as many Google Play Developer accounts as you’d like. You’ll be able to manage these linked accounts on your “Linked accounts” page in AdWords.

  1. Click the gear icon (), Account settings and click Linked accounts.
  2. Under “Google Play”, click View details >>.
  3. Click the red + Account button at the top of the page.
  4. Enter the email address of the owner of the Google Play Developer account that you’d like to link.
  5. If you’d like to add an additional message, add it to the box below.
  6. Click Send request.
Approve Google Play link requests

Developers in Google Play can also request to link their apps to your AdWords account. These invitations will appear in the table on your “Linked accounts” page in AdWords.

  1. Click the gear icon (), then select Account settings and click Linked accounts.
  2. Click the grey View invite button.
  3. Review the invite text. Linking the accounts doesn’t grant administrative access to either account holder, and either you or the Google Play account holder can unlink the accounts at any time.
  4. To approve the link, click Approve.
  5. To reject this link, click Reject. If you want to link these accounts later, you’ll need to send a new link request.

Manage your linked Google Play accounts

If you've linked to a Google Play Developer account from your AdWords account, you can approve incoming link requests, cancel or resend link requests or unlink any Google Play accounts. You can see all of your linked accounts in the table in your Linked accounts page.

If the AdWords account has been created by the owner of the Play developer account, then the Play developer account holder will appear in your Account access page, but cannot be removed from AdWords.

Bear in mind

Google Play developers account holders with administrative access will be shown in your account access page. Bear in mind that when the Play account owner grants a user account access to AdWords from the Play Developer Console, that access can only be removed from within the Play Account.

Owners of the Play Developer account with Data and account access can add more AdWords users directly from the Play Developer Console. These users will have Read-only or Standard account access to the AdWords account.

Upgrading to data and account access

Play account owners users who have AdWords Administrator account access will see an option to upgrade from the Data only account link type to the Data and account access type. If you've already linked to a Play Developer account from AdWords using the Data only link type, you'll see this option in the linked accounts table under the "Actions" column.

Removing data and account access

When you remove the "Data and account access" link between the Play Developer Console and Adwords, this is what you can expect:

  1. AdWords account access ended: All the developers with access to the AdWords account through the Play Developer Console will no longer have access to the AdWords account. Existing users added from the Google Play Developer Console to the AdWords account will not be able to access the AdWords account.
  2. Remarketing data no longer supported: If the link has been removed, the AdWords remarketing lists based on apps in the linked Play account will be disabled, and any ads targeting those lists will stop running.
  3. AdWords account data removed from Play: To see campaign performance, people will have to be explicitly added to an AdWords account. They will no longer be able to see account activity and performance in the Play Developer Console.
  4. No longer able to add AdWords user from Play: Once the link has been removed, users in the Play Developer Console won't be able to add more users to the AdWords account from Play.
  5. Automatic in-app purchase conversions no longer tracked: If you’ve set up a conversion action to automatically track in-app purchases, then your account will stop tracking new conversions.
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