AdWords sets parallel tracking deadline & will warn advertisers using HTTP landing pages

Google made two announcements on Thursday. One impacts advertisers using third-party click measurement systems. The other affects advertisers who haven’t converted their sites to HTTPS yet.

Parallel tracking will be required October 30

Google has been working on several initiatives to improve landing-page load times, particularly on mobile. One of those efforts is parallel tracking. Introduced last year and made available earlier this year, parallel tracking will be required for all advertisers using third-party click measurement systems this fall, Google announced Thursday. Here’s what you need to know.

Parallel tracking helps speed up landing-page load times by separating tracking parameters from the landing page URL. Rather than loading the tracking URL, AdWords click tracker and any redirects before the user sees the landing page, with parallel tracking, the user can go straight to the landing page while the tracking functionality loads separately.

Parallel tracking will be required for all accounts using click measurement systems starting October 30, 2018.

If you’re using a click measurement system and have already confirmed it is compatible with parallel tracking, you can opt into it in the “Tracking” section at the account-level Settings in AdWords. It will apply to Search Network and Shopping campaigns for now.

HTTPS Chrome

In February, Google announced Chrome would begin marking all HTTP pages as “not secure” beginning in July 2018 with the release of Chrome 68. That warning will eventually become more prominent with a red icon and label as shown below. Other browsers also have various warnings when a site is not secure.

On Thursday, Google said it has taken several steps for advertisers to manage the transition:

  • Enabled HTTP Search ad clicks to automatically be redirected to HTTPS when it “knows” that your site prefers HTTPS. This will begin rolling out the week of June 11.

  • Launched Ad version history to allow advertisers to update landing page URLs from HTTP to HTTPS without resetting performance statistics.

  • In the next few weeks, Google will start to warn advertisers in AdWords when they’re using HTTP addresses for landing pages.

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