Migrate Google Ads accounts to parallel tracking

View compatibility issues with Google Ads parallel tracking

While Search Ads 360 can track conversions and report clicks for Google Ads accounts that use parallel tracking, some Search Ads 360 features are not compatible with parallel tracking or may not work the way you expect. In addition, there may be other issues that are unique to your site or third-party tracking services that cause problems.

To help you find these issues, Search Ads 360 provides two reports:

  • The compatibility checker report, which shows potential issues with Search Ads 360 features. You can access the report from the engine account settings panel. This report is generated automatically twice a day, and after you run any of the migrations.
     
  • The URL test report, which can reveal issues that are unique to your site or third-party tracking services. You can download the report from the engine account settings panel. This report is generated automatically once a week.

View the compatibility checker report

Before you start:

If you haven't run a sync within the last 24 hours (either automatically through a scheduled sync or manually), sync the account. Wait a day after syncing, and then view compatibility issues.

Search Ads 360 automatically checks for issues in your account twice a day, and after you run any of the migrations. So be sure to view compatibility issues after migrating or making other changes to URLs or URL templates in your account

How to view the compatibility checker report

  1. Navigate to an advertiser.

    Steps for navigating to an advertiser
    1. Click the navigation bar to display navigation options.

    2. In the "Agency" list, click on the agency that contains the advertiser. You can search for an agency by name or scroll through the list.

    3. In the "Advertiser" list, click on the advertiser.

    4. Click Apply or press the Enter key.

    Search Ads 360 displays the advertiser page, which contains data for all of the advertiser’s engine accounts.

  2. Click the Engine accounts tab.

  3. Select the check box next to a Google Ads account.

  4. Click Edit and select Edit details….

  5. View the Google Ads parallel tracking section. If the View compatibility issues button appears: 

    1. Click the button to view the issues.

    2. Fix each issue as suggested in the tables below.

The report organizes compatibility issues into the following categories:

  • Error Incompatible: If Search Ads 360 finds incompatible features, you should not enable parallel trackingYou could lose tracking data, and landing pages that depend on tracking data may not function correctly.
     
  • Warning Partially compatible: If Search Ads 360 finds partially compatible features, review the way you're using the feature. You may find a workaround or be willing to accept the potential performance issue.

If the "View compatibility issues" button does not appear, your account doesn't have compatibility issues and you can turn on parallel tracking.

Next steps

  1. Download the URL test report and fix any issues.
  2. Optionally try parallel tracking in specific campaigns.
    If the campaigns perform as expected, enable parallel tracking for one or more accounts.
  3. Turn on parallel tracking.

Incompatible features

The following table provides details about incompatibility features Search Ads 360 may find in your account. 

Error If Search Ads 360 finds incompatible features, you should not enable parallel trackingYou could lose tracking data, and landing pages that depend on tracking data may not function correctly.

Issue Why is it incompatible? Recommended action

Google Analytics integration needs to be migrated

To match ad clicks with Google Analytics sessions, Search Ads 360 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 Google Ads adds). With parallel tracking, clicks are not redirected through Search Ads 360, so Search Ads 360 can't add the gclsrc parameter.

Migrate the conversion API, Google Analytics, and support for cross-channel remarketing

Conversion API needs to be migrated

When you activate the Search Ads 360 Conversion API, Search Ads 360 ensures that both the gclid and gclsrc URL parameters are added to the final URL before redirecting to the advertiser's site.

With parallel tracking, clicks go directly to the final URL, so Search Ads 360 can't add the gclid and gclsrc parameters or other parameters you may need to attribute conversions to ads or keywords.

If your landing pages only need the gclid parameter, enable auto-tagging in Google Ads. Auto-tagging adds gclid when an ad is clicked, so the gclid parameter will be available to the landing page, even if you use parallel tracking.

If your landing pages need the gclsrc parameter, migrate the conversion API, Google Analytics, and support for cross-channel remarketing. This will ensure that the gclsrc parameter is available to your landing pages.

Cross-channel remarketing needs to be migrated

When clicks redirect through Search Ads 360, Search Ads 360 recognizes if a keyword or ad is being used to build a remarketing list in a search or social engine. Search Ads 360 then adds a remarketing list ID to the final URL so the engine knows to add the cookie to a remarketing list. 

With parallel tracking, clicks on Google Ads search ads go directly to the final URL, so Search Ads 360 cannot add the remarketing list ID.

Using social clicks to re-engage customers through the social, search, or display channels is supported with parallel tracking, since social clicks still redirect through Search Ads 360. 

In addition, using search clicks to re-engage on other channels is supported for engine accounts other than Google Ads, since those clicks still redirect through Search Ads 360.

Migrate the conversion API, Google Analytics, and support for cross-channel remarketing

SA360 macros need to
migrate to custom parameters

When clicks redirect through Search Ads 360, Search Ads 360 replaces any placeholders for Search Ads 360 macros with relevant values before forwarding the click to the final URL. With Google Ads parallel tracking, clicks are not redirected through Search Ads 360, so macro placeholders aren't replaced with the relevant values.

Migrate Search Ads 360 macros to custom parameters
Campaign Manager macros in URLs or URL templates When clicks redirect through Search Ads 360, Search Ads 360 replaces any placeholders for Campaign Manager macros with relevant values before forwarding the click to the final URL. With parallel tracking, clicks are not redirected through Search Ads 360, so Search Ads 360 can't replace macro placeholders with the relevant values. Remove Campaign Manager macros
URL templates contain a redirect URL that starts with http

The URL template you enter in Search Ads 360 is trafficked to Google Ads as a tracking template. When you enable parallel tracking, all tracking URLs in your URL templates need to start with HTTPS. Any tracking URL in a URL template that uses HTTP will be ignored by parallel tracking.

If you have multiple tracking URLs in your Search Ads 360 URL templates, make sure all of them start with HTTPS.

Note if you sign into Google Ads, you'll see that the tracking templates start with the Search Ads 360 clickserver URL. The clickserver URL may start with HTTP because Google Ads automatically converts the first tracking URL to use HTTPS. But any tracking URLs you entered in a Search Ads 360 URL template will appear after the clickserver URL and so must use HTTPS.

Before you turn on parallel tracking, review your URL templates in Search Ads 360 and make sure any third-party tracking URLs start with https://.

Partially compatible features

The following table provides details about partially compatible features Search Ads 360 may find in your account. 

Warning If Search Ads 360 finds partially compatible features, review the way you're using the feature. You may find a workaround or be willing to accept the potential performance issue.

Issue Why is it partially compatible? Recommended action
URL tracking templates are specified

When you enable parallel tracking, URL parameters defined in URL templates may not be available to your landing pages, depending on how you've constructed your URL templates.

See the technical details about URL handling in parallel tracking.

Move any URL parameters that your landing pages require from URL templates to a Final URL Suffix or your landing page URLs.
 
This warning always appears if your URL templates contain anything other than a URL placeholder such as {unescapedlpurl}.
 

You can ignore this warning if:

  • You have moved all URL parameters that your landing pages require to a Final URL Suffix or landing page URL.
  • The URL test report does not report the "Tracking parameters may not reach the landing page with parallel tracking turned on" issue. If you don't see this issue in the report, then all URL parameters defined in your URL templates are available to your landing pages.
Natural Search is enabled

Search Ads 360 Natural Search relies on an exclusion parameter to distinguish paid search clicks from natural search clicks.

With parallel tracking, clicks go directly to the final URL, so Search Ads 360 cannot add the exclusion parameter before redirecting to the landing page. In this case, Natural Search would attribute all visits to natural search.

Do one of the following:

  • Use gclid as the exclusion parameter. When you migrate your account, auto-tagging in Google Ads will automatically be enabled and the gclid parameter will be available to your landing page.
  • Move your exclusion parameter the final URL or Final URL Suffix.
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