AdSense Beta Testing Third Party Tracking


Jensense reports that Google is beta testing third party tracking on image ads:

We will be working with a number of different 3rd parties during the course of this experiment, since different advertisers use different third parties to measure effectiveness. Google will not have any access to the 3rd-party cookie information, and these 3rd parties do not collect or track any individually or personally identifiable information. Of course, publishers can opt out of this if they so choose. Finally, this is an experiment, and we will evaluate the results of this experiment in a couple of months to figure out how to proceed.


Umh.. wasn't that the firm

Umh.. wasn't that the firm that recently bought Urchin?

And now they don't trust "the-sotftware-formerly-known-as-Urchin" to do their ad tracking for them, or what?

yes, but

The interesting part is the inclusion of third party ad servers, and by inference, third party media buys.

I suppose that this is a precursor to their inclusion as a means of increasing ad inventory.

The "gotcha" is the need for participating sites to review their privacy policies to ensure that they are still consistent with the actions of the new services.

This will be trouble

I've run direct ads on my site tracked via 3rd party servers when working with media companies selling Fortune 500 ads and that's when all hell broke loose.

Setup was something like this:
* My site displayed the ads and tracked the clicks locally and relayed to media company.
* Media company tracked the clicks and relayed to advertiser
* Advertiser tracked clicks too
* Media company tracked ROI via bug inserted into advertiser page

You can imagine that my tracker showed 100% of the clicks, media tracker showed less, and the advertiser showed even less. They were always tracking 5%-10% less than I was sending them thru this daisy chain of ad servers and the problems were many.

* My ad server was embedded so I reached all visitors, even those with javascript disabled
* Sometimes visitors never made it thru the media company server due to routing problems
* The ROI tracker didn't work many times due to various issues such as javascript disabled, Norton Firewall, etc.

The point was none of the problems were MY issues as I handed off valid clicks that were fumbled after they left my server so who's responsible for that, me or the media company, or the advertiser? Needless to say, we ended up in a pissing contest. I gave them more ads to fill in the gap, which pushed out other customer ads runs, and never ran another ad campaign with them again.

Hope Google doesn't run into the same mess but you know they will and AdSense advertisers will take the hit when we don't get paid for those recorded clicks.

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