Google starts third-party tracking on its ad network

Google Monday said that advertisers will now be able to track their ads on its content network using third-party advertising tags.

The new feature is available within Google's AdSense content network and only for advertisers based in North America, according to a company blog post by Rajas Moonka, senior business product manager.

Until now, the only way advertisers could track their ads was through Google's AdWords reports because Google didn't have a process for reviewing ads to make sure they complied with its format standards and policies, Moonka said.

Now, advertisers can work with approved third parties to serve and track display ads, including rich media ads, across the Google content network through AdWords, giving them more options, flexibility and control over their ad campaigns, Moonka said in the blog. Google's content network includes hundreds of thousands of Web sites and blogs that partner with Google to display targeted AdWords ads.

Ad servers, rich media ad agencies and research firms can now go through a certification process to make sure their ads comply with Google's standards, Moonka said.

Advertisers and agencies can serve and track their ads through these certified third parties: Advertiser ad servers, DoubleClick and Mediaplex; rich media agencies, DoubleClick Rich Media, Eyeblaster, EyeWonder, Interpolls, PointRoll, and Unicast; research firms, Dynamic Logic, IAG Research, InsightExpress and Factor TG. More will be added in the future.

"Advertisers and agencies will now be able to manage their Google content network campaigns with the same systems they use for other online campaigns, which is helpful for determining the effectiveness of their online advertising mix," Moonka said in the blog post. "Further, this new service gives advertisers and agencies more opportunities to increase their return on investment and reach new audiences in informed and creative ways. The response from those testing early versions of the program have been positive."

Moonka said the program offers Web site publishers a way to expand their advertiser base to increase revenue.

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