Search Ads 360 overview

How Search Ads 360 works

Search Ads 360 models an agency structure

Just as many advertising agencies maintain separate teams to manage search and social marketing for multiple advertisers, in Search Ads 360, 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 Search Ads 360 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.

This article describes how Search Ads 360 reports on supported search engines within an advertiser. For information about how to report on your social engine campaigns and other search engines such as Naver in Search Ads 360, see the following articles.

Search Ads 360 exchanges data with search engines

Search Ads 360 has a direct API connection with several search engines. An API is a set of commands that computer systems use to communicate with each other. Search Ads 360 and the search engines use APIs to send a variety of information back and forth over the internet, such as campaign settings, keywords, and ads. Each search engine has its own API with unique behavior, including supported features, how often data is refreshed, and how often Search Ads 360 is permitted to access the API.

Once you connect Search Ads 360 with an engine, you can create and manage search engine marketing campaigns in Search Ads 360 and have the changes automatically copied to the engines. Likewise, you can make changes directly in the engines and import (sync) them into Search Ads 360. 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 Search Ads 360 acquires performance metrics

Search Ads 360 uses URL redirection to track performance metrics for individual ads, keywords, and other items that can specify a landing page URL or a URL template. URL redirection is a standard Web technique that directs a click through one or more services or vendors before landing on a web page. Each service or vendor may add information to the URL, or it may use information in the URL to track activity.

Here's an overview of the URL redirection process Search Ads 360 follows:

  1. A consumer searches for a product on a search engine.
  2. The seach engine displays an ad and reports an impression.
  3. The consumer clicks on the ad.
    The search engine reports a click.
  4. The consumer is redirected to the Search Ads 360 clickservers.
  5. Search Ads 360 records some tracking information and directs the click to the advertiser's landing page. 
    To acknowledge that it successfully directed the click to the landing page, Search Ads 360 reports a visit.

    Note that engines report Clicks, while Search Ads 360 reports Visits. The number of clicks differ from the number of visits when landing pages are unavailable, perhaps due to incorrect landing page URLs, connectivity problems, or spam filtering.

  6. The consumer makes a purchase and lands on the advertiser's confirmation page.
  7. The confirmation page contains a Floodlight tag that fires and reports a conversion.
    Search Ads 360 reports a Floodlight conversion.

Learn more about this process.

Search Ads 360 uses Floodlight tags to track conversions

Floodlight is the conversion tracking system for the Google Marketing Platform. Like other conversion tracking systems, the Floodlight system consists of tags that track activity on your site, along with reporting features for adding conversion data to your reports. A DoubleClick cookie enables Floodlight to recognize repeat visits from a specific browser.

Because all properties within the  Google Marketing Platform—Campaign Manager, Display & Video 360, and Search Ads 360—can use Floodlight, you can use a single set of Floodlight tags to track conversions from both display and search advertising. This prevents cross-channel conversion funnels from counting conversions more than once (for example, conversions that start from a display click and end with a paid search click will give last-click credit to the paid search click).

Floolight tags record data on a web page and then pass the data to a Floodlight activity.

Learn more about using Floodlight to track conversions in Search Ads 360.

Search Ads 360 and other conversion tracking systems

Search Ads 360 can also report conversions recorded by other tracking systems, such as Google Ads conversion tracking and Google Analytics.

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