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Google Ad Services pagead aclk - What the heck is it?

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Posted 13th January 2012 at 06:14 PM by Clint Butler

What The Heck Does Google Ad Services pagead aclk mean?

I don't really tackle to many of these really detailed technical posts for, but truth be told google ad services pagead aclk is a subject I have seen a lot of people write about. And since its an off again/on again topic I thought what they hay lets see what is sparking all this interest. Little did I know there is a lot of technical information written and it can be somewhat overwhelming to say the least.

Ok, so first off let me come forward right off the bat and say that I am not the foremost expert on this google ad services pagead aclk stuff. That guy works for Google and you can imagine that he isn't going to be completely forthcoming with all the answers or he might loose his job. But I am great at learning this stuff so here is what I get out of my research to answer the what is google ad services pagead aclk question.

Ok, so long story short, Google Ad Services pagead aclk is a technical system used by Google to track clicks and prevent click fraud. This system was developed to protect its advertisers, primarily in its Adsense program, but it is also used in its search engine advertising. My pals over at did some great in depth stuff on google ad services pagead aclk.

After doing plenty of research from on google ad services pagead aclk you can still find the orginal keyword that was used to trigger your ad or serp result. Its just a little deeper inside the referring google ad services pagead aclk URL than most people are used too. So what they have done below is take a URL from a paid ad that showed up in a google search result (they have modified the parameters so this is not a real link, and they have removed the actual URL to protect the advertiser).
Striping the URL to get google ad services pagead aclk
The original keyword used to find google ad services pagead aclk data was “mortgage”

Here is the full google ad services pagead aclk URL we would have used to click the ad:

*Asterisks replace alpha numeric characters to protect Google its advertiser within the google ad services pagead aclk url.
So here they have the breakdown of google ad services pagead aclk

Stage one here is just a page that actually has nothing on it, behind the scenes however a lot is going on:

The user clicks an ad

All of the information in those long codes all relate back to a tracking mechanism

Your IP, User agent, Screen Resolution, Operating System plus ANY cookie Google has placed on you machine is read

Google decides algorithmically if you are a genuine person

Google predicts if you are likely to convert for its advertiser

Google runs your information through highly complex artificial intelligence systems to detect click fraud

Then after it has stored all of your information, placed another couple of tracking cookies you are 301 redirected to the advertisers destination URL
2) sa=l&ai=CiYM8O******* TRUNCATED ******mG7ISbLjDg&ved=0**EQ0Qw

I am affraid not even the smartest of Google employees could tell you what this part of the google ad services pagead aclk actually means, its just a very long unique charater string that relates bax to a Google database somewhere. In this database I am sure it is linked to a million other things and I am 100% positive that my mind would explode with the amount of information they store.

3) &num=6

This part of the google ad services pagead aclk is pretty straight forward, the advertiser is position 6 in the sponsored results. Used mainly to calculate your average position and entice you to bid higher

4) &adurl=https://www.***************65&rt=v&rate=1.99

This is the destination URL or the landing page the advertiser has entered into the adwords systems displayed within the google ad services pagead aclk, its quite an interesting portion of the google ad services pagead aclk URL so lets explore these aspects very carefully

https – This tells us that you are being redirected to a secure / encrypted website using a secure protocol. Don’t take this as it is though you should always check the SSL certificate and ensure you get a padlock in your browser

www.******* – This is the URL of the advertiser

/la/1/ – This shows me that this advertiser knows what they are doing. I am guessing here but /la stands for landing page and /1 means version 1. I would fully expect this advertiser to be trailing multiple landing pages and tracking the conversions of each one. Adwords is very helpful in this area, if you use its conversion tracking system it will actually display your converting ads more regularly therfore sending people to the super converting landing page (Isn’t Google Wonderful).

keyword=mortgage – This keyword (mortgage) has been dynamically inserted into the URL, again this allows the advertiser to track conversions based upon the keyword, thus negative matching or just removing non converting keywords

gcrid – This is section of the google ad services pagead aclk likely to map back to a database inside the Advertisers database. It is not something used or provided by Google

&rt=v&rate=1.99 – Mortgage related terms and thus provided by the advertiser
So in conclusion to What is google ad services pagead aclk?

Google ad services pagead aclk is all about tracking, tracking and more tracking. The more Google tracks the more its combats click fraud, provides features for its advertisers and allows smart people to analyse the data to come up with more ingenious ways to enhance its offering. We are slowly starting to see at random similar style metrics / url options inside the SERPS. This has a great deal to do with webmaster tools, this arm of the Google machine is providing all of the search metrics for you to basically compete with other SERP results. Just keep in mind that in the big picture the google ad services pagead aclk is really not something that you have to worry about.

Clint Butler
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  1. New Comment
    ddev's Avatar
    Good Post. Although i've seen some encrypted ads some time ago (don't know if they're testing things or not), when these values are available, they're great to study/monitor the competition.
    Posted 12th April 2014 at 10:04 AM by ddev ddev is offline

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