How DS works
DS 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 allows one system, such as DS, to communicate with another system, such as AdWords or Bing Ads, over the internet. The search engine APIs convey a variety of information between DS and the engines. Examples include: campaign start and end dates, keyword bid updates, and performance metrics.
Once you set up a connection 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 DS.
Each search engine has its own API with unique behavior, including supported features, how often data is refreshed, how often DoubleClick Search is permitted to access the API, and so forth.
How DS acquires performance metrics
DS uses URL redirection to track and acquire performance metrics for individual keywords and other biddable items. Here's how the process works:
- When DS traffics a keyword to the engine, it replaces the keyword's landing page URL with its own tracking URL, known as a clickserver URL.
The clickserver URL contains specific identifiers for attributing metrics back to the keyword.
Learn more about this process.
- When a customer clicks an ad, the clickserver URL directs the click to DS.
- DS uses the identifiers in the clickserver URL to trace the click back to the keyword. Then DS directs the customer to the original landing page URL you specified for the keyword.
- DS periodically acquires performance metrics from the engines, 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.
DS 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 DS.
Because DS is a component of the DoubleClick Digital Marketing platform, Floodlight tags are shared between DS 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.
Learn more about how this works.
DS and other conversion tracking systems
DS models an agency structure
In DS, 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.