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Welcome to the help center for DoubleClick Search, a platform for managing search marketing campaigns.  While the help center is available to the public, access to the DoubleClick Search product is available only to subscribing customers who are signed in. To subscribe or find out more, contact our sales team.

DoubleClick Search overview

How DoubleClick Search works

DoubleClick Search models an agency structure

Just as many advertising agencies maintain separate teams to manage search marketing for multiple advertisers, in DoubleClick Search, you can manage multiple advertisers under a single agency network.

Each of these advertisers contains its own group of engine accounts and campaigns, as well as its own set of users who can view reports and edit settings.

You can run reports for individual engine accounts, individual advertisers, or even an entire agency network (depending on the permissions that have been granted to your DS user account).

If you are a direct marketer, you'll still have agency with at least one advertiser. You can create multiple advertisers for different product lines or divisions in your organization.

DoubleClick Search exchanges data with search engines

DoubleClick Search (DS) has a direct API connection with several search engines. An API is a set of commands that computer systems use to communicate with each other. DS and the search engines use APIs to send a variety of information back and forth over the internet, such as campaign settings, keywords, and ads. Each search engine has its own API with unique behavior, including supported features, how often data is refreshed, and how often DS is permitted to access the API.

Once you connect DS with an engine, you can create and manage search engine marketing campaigns in DS and have the changes automatically copied to the engines. Likewise, you can make changes directly in the engines and import (sync) them into DoubleClick Search. To ensure that you don't forget to sync changes, it's recommended that you schedule syncs to occur automatically on a regular basis.

How DoubleClick Search acquires performance metrics

DS uses URL redirection to track performance metrics for individual ads, keywords, and other items that can specify a landing page URL or a URL template. URL redirection is a standard Web technique that directs a click through one or more services or vendors before landing on a web page. Each service or vendor may add information to the URL, or it may use information in the URL to track activity.

Here's an overview of the URL redirection process DS follows:

  1. A consumer searches for a product on a search engine.
  2. The seach engine displays an ad and reports an impression.
  3. The consumer clicks on the ad.
    The search engine reports a click.
  4. The consumer is redirected to the DoubleClick Search (DS) clickservers.
  5. DS records some tracking information and directs the click to the advertiser's landing page. 
    To acknowledge that it successfully directed the click to the landing page, DS reports a visit.

    Note that engines report Clicks, while DoubleClick Search reports Visits. The number of clicks differ from the number of visits when landing pages are unavailable, perhaps due to incorrect landing page URLs, connectivity problems, or spam filtering.

  6. The consumer makes a purchase and lands on the advertiser's confirmation page.
  7. The confirmation page contains a Floodlight tag that fires and reports a conversion.
    DS reports a Floodlight conversion.

Learn more about this process.

DoubleClick Search uses Floodlight tags to track conversions

Floodlight is the conversion tracking system for the DoubleClick Digital Marketing (DDM) platform. Like other conversion tracking systems, the Floodlight system consists of tags that track activity on your site, along with reporting features for adding conversion data to your reports. A DoubleClick cookie enables Floodlight to recognize repeat visits from a specific browser.

Because all properties within the DDM platform—Campaign Manager (DCM), Bid Manager, and DoubleClick Search (DS)—can use Floodlight, you can use a single set of Floodlight tags to track conversions from both display and search advertising. This prevents cross-channel conversion funnels from counting conversions more than once (for example, conversions that start from a display click and end with a paid search click will give last-click credit to the paid search click).

Floolight tags record data on a web page and then pass the data to a Floodlight activity.

Learn more about using Floodlight to track conversions in DoubleClick Search.

DoubleClick Search and other conversion tracking systems

DoubleClick Search can also report conversions recorded by other tracking systems, such as AdWords conversion tracking and Google Analytics.

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