Guidelines for third-party click tracking services

The Google Transparent Click Tracker Certification program helps to protect users from click tracker abuse by enabling click tracker transparency. Below are the guidelines you need to consider to be compliant with transparent redirection requirements.

Click tracking guidelines

Provide visible query parameter

Click tracking URLs should have a visible query parameter that indicates the next immediate hop in the redirection chain. That parameter must be followed instead of using any other redirection target configured on the backend. The parameter value can be in URL-encoded format. If needed, a second parameter may be used to instruct the server to respect the parameter. It’s recommended that click-tracking providers work with Google to identify the correct transparency parameters and provide Google with advanced notice before any updates are made to these parameters.


Tracking URL:


Tracking URL:

Perform additional validation

The click tracking service may perform additional server-side validation to block unexpected redirection targets and help mitigate any redirection exploits.

Avoid unspecified intermediate click tracking domains

The next hop redirection shouldn’t proceed through any unspecified intermediate click tracking domains or subdomains, except those that your organization owns and operates.

  • If an intermediate hop is required to redirect users to internal systems, such as in the case of migration or acquisition, the click tracking provider should own and control the next hop domain. The next hop domain shouldn’t alter the nature of the redirect, and it shouldn’t be controllable by the click tracker's users (advertisers).
  • Protocol transitions from http -> https within the same domain are allowed.

Add partial modifications

The click-tracking service may partially modify the redirection target by adding additional, non-foreign parameters or expanding macros in the redirection URL, as long as the added parameters are specific to the click-tracking service and don’t alter the redirection target of nested click-tracking URLs.


Tracking URL:

Actual Redirection Target: (assuming click_id is a standard parameter appended for all customers) (assuming redirection_target is actually the transparency parameter for

Configure subdomains

You have the option to configure subdomains on the main domain to be used for click-tracking purposes. You can map them to click-tracking service providers of your choosing. You can also configure click-tracking directly on your final URLs (for example, as pixels). Such use cases are permitted and not within scope of these guidelines.


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