Google Ads users know Oct. 30 is the actual witching hour — when their landing pages need to speed up enough to make consumers on mobile devices happy enough to stay.
That’s the day when the search engine giant is introducing “parallel tracking,” which sends visitors to pages while allowing tracking to run in the background and catch up, instead of making users wait for the click to be counted.
As Google Ads Help explains it:
Here’s what parallel tracking looks like:
• Customer clicks your ad
• Customer sees your landing page
At the same time, in the background:
• Google Ads click tracker loads
• Tracking URL loads
• If you use more than one click tracker, additional redirects may load.
Parallel tracking had been an option for Search Network and Shopping campaign traffic, Google Ads Help states. But AdWords API is emphatic:
“Starting October 30, 2018, parallel tracking will be required for all Google Ads accounts.”
Marin Software states on Oct. 18:
• 53% of mobile users leave a site that takes longer than three seconds to load.
• Parallel tracking will speed up landing page load times — by up to five seconds — for users coming from your Google Ads.
The math is clear: When Google’s parallel tracking rolls out … many advertisers will gain more visitors and see a bump in campaign performance as a result.
Unprepared for Google Ads Parallel Tracking?
Google Ads Help says marketers may already be prepared for parallel tracking and not know it. They should check with their click measurement providers "to make sure their system is compatible with parallel tracking." Marketers whose systems are incompatible will find that out as soon as they turn parallel tracking on. Google Ads Help says their click measurement or landing page will simply stop working.
In a guide updated on Sept. 17, Google AdWords API states:
To ensure parallel tracking works correctly:
1. Ensure that your tracking server uses the HTTPS protocol, and that any internal redirects you have set up at your end use HTTPS.
Will This Change Mess Up Marketers' Ads?
No, Google says. But you should've given yourself more time, if your ads need to be reviewed again.
Here's the more technical way Google AdWords API puts it in the Parallel Tracking FAQ page:
If I add or edit the URLs in Google Ads will my ads be paused and re-reviewed?
If you make the change at groups levels (accounts, campaigns, ad group), current ads will continue to deliver, but the re-review process is initiated in parallel. Unless the ads fail re-review, there is no further change or action needed. If you make edits to the ads themselves, ad delivery will be paused until re-review is complete. In most cases, re-review will be completed within a couple of hours, but it could take up to 24 hours.
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
Related story: Optimize Social Media Marketing for Ad Conversions