Ask an Expert: What is “parallel tracking” & how does it affect me?
All about Google’s new “parallel tracking”
Back in May, Google announced that parallel tracking will be required as of October 30 for all advertisers using third-party click measurement systems within Google Ads.
Attention to parallel tracking has intensified recently due to some of Google’s announcements – like this one on Twitter – that speak to updates related to the forthcoming fall deadline for advertisers to make the switch. Many of our clients use Google ads, so understandably this attention has resulted in a few inquiries from customers seeking to learn more about our platform’s compatibility with Google’s new parallel tracking.
Because of the timeliness and importance of this topic, we turned to none other than CallTrackingMetrics Co-Founder and CEO Todd Fisher to set the record straight.
What is parallel tracking?
“Parallel tracking” is a term that describes Google’s new way of monitoring clicks through their service. Broadly speaking, parallel tracking is one of many efforts by Google to speed up page load, particularly on mobile devices.
Here’s an example of how it works. Imagine you search Google for “call tracking”, and hover over one of the first results, CallTrackingMetrics. Check out the url shown in the lower lefthand corner of the screen – see how the link is about to take you directly to our website? Well, with Google’s old system of tracking, it would have routed to Google’s server first, and then to our site. This was how Google monitored and measured the clicks that their hosted links received.
In order to route users to their destination faster, Google is now sending clicks to third-party websites immediately. At the same time, they’re sending information about that click to their own server. These two actions are happening simultaneously, thus the term “parallel tracking”. This way, Google can continue to track clicks, while also loading pages much faster.
- Note to developers: Parallel tracking is made possible, in large part, due to the new sendBeacon browser function
How will this affect me as a CallTrackingMetrics user?
The short answer? It won’t.
Okay, now here’s the long answer.
We are aware of some other call tracking companies who first route clicks through their own server prior to sending them to their final destination. That’s how they are able to measure and monitor those clicks, just like Google used to.
The good news is that we never supported that solution to call tracking, and never will.
So I don’t have to worry about this at all?
Nope! We’re all good here. It’s definitely good that you checked to make sure, however, since if we were another call tracking provider, we might be facing a huge problem!
Parallel tracking resources
If you want to learn a little more about parallel tracking, here are a few great resources we’ve found with more information: