Report on Google Analytics data

Introduction and important details

If you use Google Analytics to track activity on your site, Google Analytics can share some of the data it collects with DoubleClick Search (DS). Once DS receives this data, you can do any of the following:

  • Use DS reports to see which keywords, dynamic targets, and other biddable items lead to Google Analytics transactions and goals, including session goals.

  • Use Google Analytics data in a DS bid strategy. You can create a bid strategy that maximizes transaction and action-based conversions reported by Google Analytics. In addition, Google Analytics provides powerful session-level engagement goals that a bid strategy can work to maximize.  For example, you can use a bid strategy to maximize sessions that last more than two minutes.

  • Use the Google Analytics data, formula columns, and automated rules to automate your workflow.

  • Apply Google Analytics attribution models for insight into the keywords that don’t directly drive performance but are part of the funnel that leads to a purchase.

Important details about Google Analytics data in DS

Parallel tracking is not supported

DoubleClick Search cannot report Google Analytics metrics for AdWords accounts that use parallel tracking.

To match ad clicks with Google Analytics sessions, DS adds the gclsrc URL parameter to the final URL before redirecting to the advertiser's site (this parameter is in addition to the gclid parameter that AdWords adds). With parallel tracking, clicks are not redirected through DS, so DS can't add the gclsrc parameter.

Learn more about compatibility issues with AdWords parallel tracking.

Data is available for...

Google Analytics data is available in DS reports for the following items:

Google Analytics data is not available for the following items:

  • "Mobile app installs" campaigns, app extensions, or other app-promotion interactions
  • Search terms report or paid and organic report
  • The bid strategies summary page

Only data associated with DS visits

Google Analytics only sends data for activity that occurs during a visit recorded by DS. For example:

  1. A customer clicks a paid search ad that was trafficked by DS.

  2. The click redirects through DS before landing on the advertiser's site, and DS records a visit.

  3. When the customer lands on your site, Google Analytics either starts a new session or adds metrics to an existing session. Then Google Analytics sends data that occurs during that session to DS.

Google Analytics doesn't send data about other activity on your site, such as sessions that start from direct traffic or sessions that start with a paid search ad that is not managed by DS.

Learn more about how Google Analytics determines which users sessions are associated with DS visits.

Paid search metrics in Google Analytics

If you want to see paid search activity in Google Analytics as well as in DS, you'll need to take additional steps, depending on the type of engine account or on the level of service you've set up in Google Analytics:

  • AdWords: To view metrics associated with AdWords clicks in Google Analytics, sign in to AdWords and link Google Analytics to the AdWords account. This feature is free for all Google Analytics accounts.

  • Bing Ads: To view metrics associate with Bing Ads clicks in Google Analytics, talk to your Bing Ads account representative for information on linking Bing Ads to Google Analytics. Be sure to let the representative know that you've also linked DS to Google Analytics. This feature is free for all Google Analytics accounts.

  • DS data in Google Analytics 360: If you use the DoubleClick Search Reporting Integration in Google Analytics 360, you can view metrics associated with DS visits in Google Analytics, instead of metrics associated with AdWords clicks and Bing Ads clicks. The number of clicks can differ from the number of visits when landing pages are unavailable, perhaps due to incorrect landing page URLs, connectivity problems, or spam filtering.

    With the reporting integration enabled, the data you see in DS and in Google Analytics 360 will match exactly. To set up this feature, contact your Google Analytics 360 Account Manager.

    Data in DS may be different from data in Google Analytics

Important: If you don't link AdWords or Bing Ads to Google Analytics or you don't enable the "DS data in Google Analytics" feature, you won't see paid search activity in Google Analytics.

Metrics in Google Analytics may not match DS

If you set up the free link between Google Analytics and AdWords or Bing Ads, you'll see data that AdWords or Bing Ads send to Google Analytics. This may be slightly different from the data DS has for the same campaigns for a few reasons:

  • DS displays data associated with DS visits, while Google Analytics displays data associated with AdWords clicks.

  • DS and Google Analytics use different systems for counting conversions and attributing conversions to days. Learn more.

  • DS only shows Google Analytics data starting from the day you link DS to Google Analytics. If your Google Analytics report starts before the day you linked DS to Google Analytics, the data won't match.

  • You may be using different attribution models in Google Analytics and DS, or you may be viewing a different group of goals and transactions. 

Important: Make sure the advertiser's web server or redirection service doesn't strip the gclid and gclsrc parameters from landing page URLs. These parameters are added automatically for AdWords accounts when you enable auto-tagging and for other accounts when you link your DS advertiser with Google Analytics. If the parameters are removed, Google Analytics  will not attribute visits to your search campaign, and the metrics in Google Analytics will not match DS.

Rollup properties and source properties

If you use Rollup reporting in Google Analytics, link your DS advertiser to a rollup property instead of a source property. If you try to link to a source property, DS will automatically link to the rollup property instead. If a property that is currently linked to DS is added to a rollup property, DS will change the link to the rollup property.

If needed, you can create a view in Google Analytics to filter the property's data, and then specify the view when you link the property to DS.

After you link to an Analytics property, if you move the property to a different Google Analytics account, the link continues to work.  

Unsampled data in DS

While reports that you see in Google Analytics sometimes show sampled data, the Google Analytics data in DS reports is unsampled.

Manual URL tagging in AdWords accounts

If you override autotags generated by AdWords with manual tags:

  • DS will still be able to report on Google Analytics data, since DS does not rely on the data in UTM URL parameters (though it does require the GCLID parameter).
  • In Google Analytics:
    • The DoubleClick Search reports will function correctly, since these reports do not rely on the data in UTM URL parameters.
    • If you add DoubleClick Search dimensions and metrics to custom reports, you'll see the same values that you find in the DoubleClick Search reports, which are not affected by manual tags. If you add Source, Medium, Campaign, 
      Search Term, or Ad Content to custom reports you'll see the data you specified in the manual tags. 
    • If the utm_source and utm_medium parameters specify any value other than "google" and "cpc", the AdWords reports will not attribute sessions to your AdWords campaigns. These reports use the data you specified manually instead of the original data from the autotags.

Removing the DS link

If you remove the link between DS and Google Analytics, here's what to expect:

  • In DS: you can no longer see Google Analytics data in DS. Google Analytics reporting columns will no longer be available. To any bid strategies that used Google Analytics data, it will appear as though the number of Google Analytics goals is zero, and that any revenue from transactions is zero. 
  • In Google Analytics: if you linked AdWords to Google Analytics, you'll still see the data AdWords is sending to Google Analytics.

If you re-link DS to Google Analytics:

  • If you re-link to the same Analytics property, you'll see all of the historical data that was collected when you were linked previously. And you'll see new data starting from the day you re-enabled the link. You won't see data about activity that occurred while the link was removed.
  • If you link to a different Analytics property, you won't see the historical data associated with the old property. A DS advertiser can only show data for one Google Analytics property at a time.
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