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WTF Is Parallel Tracking? – Digital Gabe
Digital Gabe
Cutting Edge Commentary On All Things Media

WTF Is Parallel Tracking?

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Yesterday Google introduced parallel tracking as the default method for running 3rd party tracking on its Chrome browser.  By March’19 it will become mandatory for 3rd party tracking of display and video ads across all Google properties, so I guess it’s a good time for us to figure out what the heck this is.

Let’s start with the current state of things.  Right now when you click on a display ad with a 3rd party tag on it the tracking pixel logs the click first and then sends you to the URL you want to visit.  Depending on the tag being used, this can create latency (a time pause) while the two-step process is happening.  With parallel tracking the 3rd party tag loads in the background so you can be sent to the URL immediately upon the click.  Hypothetically this will speed up load times and improve the UX while still letting the tag do its work.

Parallel tracking sounds like a win all around.  However my guess is Google will find a few hiccups along the way, which is why they’re giving themselves a five month Chrome-only test window.

At least now you’re in the know. 🙂


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