Create click tracking line items

Click tracking line items aren't served by DoubleClick for Publishers but are instead served directly by your website or content management system (CMS). To create text line items that DFP serves, use the "Text ad" system-defined template. See Creative templates to learn how.

Click tracking line items consist of only text, usually hypertext, and not images. You would create a click tracking line item if you wanted to track clicks on textual ads built into your content, or to track clicks on image ads that are delivered by your content management system (CMS). Click tracking line items aren't served by DoubleClick for Publishers and don't count impressions but instead use a click command that you generate to register clicks.

Dynamic vs. static click tracking line items

There are two types of click tracking line items: dynamic and static.

  • Dynamic: The destination URL you enter on the creative's "Settings" tab is automatically inserted into the ad tag. When you pause a dynamic click tracking line item, or if it's before or after the creative's run dates, DFP doesn't insert the destination URL and the line item stops running.
  • Static: The destination URL is inserted into the ad tag via a content management system (CMS). You'll still need to enter an arbitrary URL into the Destination URL box on the creative's "Settings" tab, but your CMS will override it.
If a click tracker isn't redirecting, you can use the HTTP error code to help you solve the problem. If the click tracker is inactive, you'll get a "204: No Content" error. An improperly formatted click tracker will produce a "500: Internal Server Error." (When it's working correctly, the click tracker will generate a "302: Found" response.)

Create click tracking line items

To create a click tracking line item that you can easily report on and that your website properly serves, you first create an ad unit or placement specifically for your text link, create the line item in DFP, and then send the click tracking URL to your webmaster.

First, create an ad unit or placement for your text links

We recommend that you create at least one ad unit dedicated to your text links as that will easily let you distinguish them in your reports from other types of ad units. See Create an ad unit and Create a placement to learn how.

Since your organization serves text link line items, not DFP, ad units that you create for text links are only used for reporting purposes. If your organization uses text links in multiple ways (Flash click-through, hard coded on site, in conjunction with a third party, etc.) you could also choose to create a unique ad unit for those different modes. You can use whatever naming convention you prefer when creating the ad unit. We recommend setting the size to 1x1.

Next, create your text link line items

You must create a line item for each text link you want to serve.

  1. Create a line item.
  2. Under “Settings,” in the “Type” drop-down, select Click-tracking only.
  3. Enter the dates, click limit, and cost. The limit is the maximum number of clicks that DFP will track. Subsequent clicks redirect to the destination URL, but they aren't counted.
  4. Select the ad unit or placement that you created to specifically report on the text link line item, as mentioned above.
    Since DFP doesn't serve text link line items, they can't be targeted to specific audiences.
  5. Click Save and upload creatives (you will be entering the text link's destination URL on the Creative's page.)

  6. Enter a name for the creative (for example, you could use the exact text you'll use for the text link).
  7. Enter a destination URL.

    If you want DFP to insert the destination URL, enter it here. If your CMS will be inserting the destination URL, enter an arbitrary one here and your CMS will override it.

  8. Click Save and approve the order, if needed.

Last, create the click tracking URL and send it to your webmaster

You can generate dynamic click tracking URLs (ones that aren't set by your CMS) for both Google Publisher Tags (GPT) and legacy DART tags:

DoubleClick for Publishers will no longer support legacy DART tags after March 31, 2016.

If you are using legacy DART tags, you must re-tag using Google Publisher Tags (GPT) prior to the cutoff date, to ensure seamless ad serving on your site(s). Learn more

  1. Open the line item and in the "Generate click tracking link" drop-down list under the "Pause", "Add creatives", and "More" actions buttons, select an ad unit.

    The link displays below the drop-down list.

  2. Highlight and copy the link then send it to your webmaster.

If you want to append custom targeting that can be tracked in the Data Transfer “CustomTargeting” field, append custom criteria with the &t= parameter in the same format as non-Javascript tags. For example,  if I wanted to append key=value to this click tracking URL, you would add:

If you're using legacy DART tags, you can use the tag generator to create static click tracking URLs (ones that are set by your CMS). To do so, append the URL to the generated click command like so:;12345678;/1234/ad_unit?

The above click tracking URL would redirect to


Reporting on text link line items

Even though you can't target text link line items to audiences, non-targeted values will still be included in reports.

Text link line items have hard cut-offs. DFP will stop counting clicks on text link line items once their end dates pass even if the click limit isn't reached.

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