About linking Google Play and Google Ads

Want to make it even easier to show your app promotion ads to the right people? Start by linking your Google Ads account to the Google Play Developer account for your app. You’ll be able to use advanced targeting techniques based on who already has the app and who still needs to download it — which can make your ads even more effective. You’ll also be able to track when someone who’s clicked on one of your ads makes an in-app purchase in your app.

This article explains how linking Google Play and Google Ads works. For instructions on linking the two accounts and managing the links, read Link Google Play and Google Ads accounts.

Benefits

When you link to a Google Play developer account, you'll get access to automatically generated remarketing lists for the apps published by the Play developer account. These lists will appear in the Shared library of the Google Ads account. You get all the power of a remarketing list — being able to show mobile app engagement ads to users of your app — without having to setup a remarketing tag. If you're a Google Play developer, see how to link to Google Ads from a Google Play Developer account.

For apps that use in-app billing, you can also use conversion tracking to automatically track when someone who’s clicked one of your ads makes a purchase in your Android app, without needing to add conversion tracking code to your app. This means you can learn which ads do the best job of driving these in-app purchases, and make adjustments to your campaigns based on this information.

Keep in mind: The Google Ads account owner can’t make changes in the Google Play developer account itself (or vice versa). 

Note: The Data and Account access link type will be deprecated soon with the launch of the new Play Console. Existing data and access links will continue to function normally in the classic Play Console while available, and then will function the same as data only links.

Sending or approving link requests

You’ll need administrative access to a Google Ads account in order to request and manage links to a Google Play developer account. You can request to link with as many Google Play developer accounts as you’d like. If necessary, you can also re-send or cancel your link requests. Your accounts will be linked once the Play developer account owner approves your request. 

Google Play developer account owners can also request links to your Google Ads account. These invitations will appear in the table on the “Linked accounts” page for Google Play in Google Ads, and your accounts will be linked once you approve the link. 

After linking your accounts, you can view and manage your links on the “Linked accounts “ page for Google Play in Google Ads. 

Unlinking your accounts

You can unlink your Google Ads account from the Google Play developer account at anytime. The Google Play developer account owner can also do the same from Google Play.

Once the link is removed, Google Ads remarketing lists based on apps in the linked Play account will be disabled, and any ads targeting those lists will stop running. Also, if you’ve set up a conversion action to automatically track in-app purchases, your account will stop tracking new conversions.

If you have a “Data and account access” link, you can also expect the following:

  • Google Ads account access ends: All users that were added to the Google Ads account through the Play Developer Console will no longer have access to the Google Ads account. Existing users added from Google Play Developer Console to Google Ads accounts will not be able to access the Google Ads account.
  • Google Ads account data removed from Play: To see campaign performance, people will have to be explicitly added to Google Ads account. They will no longer be able to see the account activity and performance in the Play Developer Console.
  • No longer able to add Google Ads user from Play: Once the link is removed, users in the Play Developer Console won't be able to add more users to the Google Ads account from Play.
     

Tip

If you use cross-account conversion tracking, then you can link your manager account to Google Play to automatically track in-app purchases at the manager account level. 

To use Google Play for remarketing, link the individual managed accounts to Google Play. User list sharing is not available at the manager account level.

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