Search
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu

About 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 on one of your ads makes an in-app purchase in your app.

This article explains how linking Google Play and AdWords works. For instructions on linking the two accounts and managing the links, read Link Google Play and AdWords accounts.

Benefits

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 get all the power of a remarketing list — being able to show mobile app engagement ads to users of your app — without having to setup 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 you can learn which ads do the best job of driving these in-app purchases, and make adjustments to your campaigns based on this information.

Types of links between AdWords and Google Play

There are 2 types of links between AdWords and Google Play developer accounts. 

Data only

This is the standard type of link that’s established when AdWords and Google Play developer accounts are first linked.

With this link in place, AdWords can 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 also be able to set up conversion tracking to automatically track in-app purchases from your apps. Keep in mind that the AdWords account owner can’t make changes in the Google Play developer account itself, and vice versa. 

Data and account access

If you have administrative access to your AdWords account, and you’re also an account owner on the linked Google Play developer account, you’ll have the option to update the link to the “Data and account access” type. You’ll see this option in your AdWords “Linked accounts” page for Google Play after initially linking your accounts. 

Like the “Data only” link type, AdWords can receive remarketing data from Play, and conversion tracking can be set up to automatically track in-app purchases from your apps. In addition, with a “Data and account access” link, Google Play developer account owners can:

  • View AdWords account data in the Play console
  • Create AdWords campaigns from the Play console 
  • Add new users to AdWords accounts from the Play Console with permission to view AdWords account data and/or create AdWords campaigns from the Play console. These users will not be able to log in, or make any changes to, your AdWords account. However, once added from the Play console, these users are listed as users on your AdWords “Account access” page. Only the Google Play developer account owner, from the Google Play console, can to remove these users’ access

Sending or approving link requests

You’ll need administrative access to an AdWords account in order to request and manage links to a Google Play developer account. You can request to link with as many Google Play developer accounts as you’d like. If necessary, you can also re-send or cancel your link requests. Your accounts will be linked once the Play developer account owner approves your request. 

Google Play developer account owners can also request links to your AdWords account. These invitations will appear in the table on the “Linked accounts” page for Google Play in AdWords, and your accounts will be linked once you approve the link. 

After linking your accounts, you can view and manage your links on the “Linked accounts “ page for Google Play in AdWords. 

Unlinking your accounts

You can unlink your AdWords account from the Google Play developer account at anytime. The Google Play developer account owner can also do the same from Google Play.

Once the link is removed, AdWords remarketing lists based on apps in the linked Play account will be disabled, and any ads targeting those lists will stop running. Also, if you’ve set up a conversion action to automatically track in-app purchases, your account will stop tracking new conversions.

If you have a “Data and account access” link, you can also expect the following:

  • AdWords account access ends: All users that were added to the AdWords account through the Play Developer Console will no longer have access to the AdWords account. Existing users added from Google Play Developer Console to AdWords accounts will not be able to access the AdWords account.
  • AdWords account data removed from Play: To see campaign performance, people will have to be explicitly added to AdWords account. They will no longer be able to see the account activity and performance in the Play Developer Console.
  • No longer able to add AdWords user from Play: Once the link is removed, users in the Play Developer Console won't be able to add more users to the AdWords account from Play.
     

Tip

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.

Related links

Was this article helpful?
How can we improve it?
Sign in to AdWords

Get account-specific help and tips by signing in with your AdWords account email address, or learn how to get started with AdWords.