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DoubleClick Search overview

How DoubleClick Search works

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 systems use to communicate with each other over the internet. DS and the search engines use APIs to send a variety of information back and forth, such as campaign settings, keywords, and performance metrics. Each search engine has its own API with unique behavior, including supported features, how often data is refreshed, how often DS is permitted to access the API, and so forth.

Once you connect DS with an engine, you can create and manage search engine marketing campaigns in DS and have the changes automatically pushed 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

DoubleClick Search uses URL redirection to track performance metrics for individual keywords and other items that can specify a landing page URL. Here's how the process works for keywords:

  1. For each keyword in the engine account, DS provides a unique tracking URL called a clickserver URL.
    In engine accounts that support shared templates, DS puts its clickserver URL into a template, and the engine itself manages the process of assembling a tracking URL for the keyword. In accounts that don't support shared templates, DS replaces the keyword's landing page URL with its clickserver URL. Learn more about clickserver URLs.

    The clickserver URL contains specific identifiers for attributing metrics back to the keyword.
    DS replaces the landing page URL with its clickserver URL.

  2. When a customer clicks an ad, the clickserver URL directs the click to DoubleClick Search.
  3. DoubleClick Search uses the identifiers in the clickserver URL to trace the click back to the keyword. Then DoubleClick Search directs the customer to the original landing page URL you specified for the keyword.
    DS redirects to the original landing page.
  4. DoubleClick Search uses the engine's API to periodically acquire performance metrics, such as clicks, impressions, cost, click-through rate. The identifiers from the clickserver URL are used to attribute the search engine metrics to the keyword.

Learn more about this process.

DoubleClick Search uses Floodlight tags to track conversions

To track conversions, you can add a Floodlight tag to a page on your site. When a customer clicks a search ad and lands on a page with a Floodlight tag, the tag sends data about the conversion to DoubleClick Search.

Because DoubleClick Search is part of the DoubleClick Digital Marketing platform, Floodlight tags are shared between DoubleClick Search and DoubleClick Campaign Manager (DCM), a system for serving display ads. That is, you can use the same set of Floodlight tags to track conversions resulting from both display and search advertising. This reduces the number of tags you need to maintain and prevents your conversions from being counted twice.

Floolight tags record data on a web page and then pass the data to a Floodlight activity.
Learn more about how this works.

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.

DoubleClick Search models an agency structure

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.

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