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3rd Party Product Tracking for Google Product Listing Ads and Product Extensions

Posted on Thursday, May 17th, 2012 by Print This Post Print This Post

Categories - Featured, Feeds

Great, so you have already set up your Google Merchant Center and have all your products listing on Google Product Search, and don’t forget you’ve also enabled Product Extensions and Listing Ads to your AdWords campaigns. PHEW! Between your organic, CSE and SEM product campaigns, it can be a lot to measure. With all the incoming data, you need an easy way to organize and track it.

How do you differentiate and track clicks coming from organic Google Product Search listings or your Product Listing Ads and Product Extensions?

Use the “adwords_redirect” in your Google Merchant Center Feed! If the “adwords_redirect” attribute is present, Google will use that URL in the context of your Product Ads (Product Listing Ads and Product Extensions Ads)

The “adwords_redirect” can help you differentiate the keyword and source. Let’s explore how each option works:

Keyword:  Identify the keyword that matched your ad by dynamically inserting it into the URL.

  1. Input the product URL (FYI: it is the same as the link attribute in your Google Merchant Center Feed) and add kwd={keyword}

Example: http://www.yoursite.com/productname.html?kwd={keyword}

Just this month Google launched a new Value Track parameter ifpe:} and {ifpla:} that allows for more flexibility in creating tracking URLs that differentiate traffic from Product Extensions and Product Listing Ads. This replaces the previous {adtype} parameter.

  • For Product Listing Ads use {ifpla:[value]} that replaces [value] with any text you prefer for Product Listing Ads

Product Listing Ad or Extension:  Differentiate traffic from a Product Listing Ad and a Product Extensions Ad

  1. Determine the value you want to use to identify Product Extensions Ads

Example: You use “pe” to identify Product Listing ads, replace [value] with pe so it looks like {ifpe:pe}

  1. Determine the value you want to use to identify Product Listing Ads and use in place of [value] for {ifpla:[value]}

Example: You use “pla” to identify Product Listing ads, replace [value] with pla so it looks like {ifpla:pla}

  1. Input the product URL and add the ValueTrack parameters {ifpla} and {ifpe}

Example: http://www.yoursite.com/productname.html?source={ifpe:pe}{ifpla:pla}

When a visitor comes through from a PE ad the URL will be http://www.yoursite.com/productname.html?source=pe

When a visitor comes through from a PLA ad the URL will be http://www.yoursite.com/productname.html?source=pla

Other Google Product Tracking Helpful Hints :

  • For Product Extensions with keywords you can use {keyword}
    • These are not applicable to PLA campaigns since they don’t utilize keywords. Google serves these ads based on the info from your Google Merchant Center Feed.
    • For Product Extensions you can also use the ValueTrack parameter {copy}


For more on strategies and best practices for Google Product Listings and Product Extensions, be sure to download The Search Agency’s latest white paper, “Best Practices for E-Retailers: Driving ROI with Google Product Extension and Listing Ads.”

Tracking often has numerous workarounds, what are some alternatives and 3rd parties you’ve found?

About Amy Oliver

Amy leads the Consumer Experience (landing page/funnel conversion optimization and testing) and Feed Services (Comparison Shopping Engine Feeds) practice at TSA. Since 2006, she has worked in the online marketing space most recently before TSA she worked at Experian Interactive, and previous to that she has worked for Southern Wine & Spirits, Leo Burnett, Paramount Pictures, Hallmark Channel. She holds a BA in History and Kinesiology and is Google Adwords and Analytics certified, she is also working towards a certification in user experience and online testing certification from MarketingExperiments. On weekends, Amy enjoys teaching Pilates, going to the beach with her dog and learning to cook.

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