Working with Bounceless (SEO-friendly) tracking

Throughout this article, bounceless tracking and SEO-friendly tracking are used as synonyms.

What is Bounceless tracking?

Bounceless tracking seeks to put tracking into practice tracking without using click redirects, and without hampering SEO.

Apart from minor exceptions, most search engines – Google included – do not consider links relevant if a user is redirected to an ad server after the initial click. This is the case with all tracking URLs, even if first party tracking is implemented, as you can see in the following graphic:

With bounceless tracking, traffic is not redirected to an ad server, but is directly transmitted to the website of the advertiser. To identify the partner, the ad space and the ad media used, the SEO-friendly tracking URL contains a parameter containing an admedia code. The data in this parameter will be transmitted to the ad server via a code on the advertiser’s website, as you can see in the following graphic:

Tracking URL examples

Say, the advertiser on your platform has the following URL:

1 http://www.fashionshop.com

In this case, a standard first-party tracking URL would look more or less like this:

1 http://tracking.fashionshop.com/ts/i3621155/tsc?amc=aff.fashionshop.2200.3300.4400&tst=!!TIMESTAMP!!

As you can see, this URL is not directing to the website of the advertiser directly, but to an ad server located on the domain of the advertiser. A bounceless URL for this advertiser would look like this:

1 http://fashionshop.com/?amc=aff.fashionshop.2200.3300.4400

This URL directs to the website of the advertiser directly, it merely contains an additional parameter used to identify the traffic source, i.e. the partner, the ad space and the ad media item. Therefore, search engines will regard it as a regular link.

What are the benefits of bounceless tracking?

For SEO

Unlinke regular tracking URLs, bounceless tracking URLs are taken into consideration by search engine robots and even provide the advertiser’s website with additional page ranks. This is beneficial for your advertiser, but also for the content partners on your platform. In their case, integrating regular tracking URLs will make their ad space less attractive for search engines, as the content is considered commercially motivated. They avoid this problem by using SEO-friendly tracking URLs.

For Conversion Rates

Since there is no click-redirect, the user journey of the customer allows for smoother, faster user-focused tracking. This correlates to with improved conversion rates because of the faster experience.

Browser Regulation

Browser regulations such as Safari’s ITP or Firefox’ ETP focus not only on cookie deletion, but also recognizing cross-site tracking using click-redirects. Their tracking prevention mechanisms significantly restricts referrer and cookie handling, and it is expected that the major browser providers will implement more limitations on cookies in the future. Bounceless tracking in combination with First-Party tracking and Click-Ids is the currently most advanced tracking technique.

Requirements

To enable bounceless tracking, the on-page code needs to be placed on the advertiser’s website. It should be integrated along with the conversion code on the advertiser’s website.

As was mentioned above, partners working with SOE-friendly tracking URLs will combine the link to the advertiser with a parameter containing data needed for their identification. Because this parameter will be differ per partner, ad space and ad media item, your platform will provide a lot of different links leading to the same advertiser page. This might hamper the performance of the advertiser’s website in search engines. To avoid this, a canonical tag identifying the page should be added to the advertiser’s website.