Google Ad Services pagead aclk What Is It And Should You Care?

What The Heck Does Google Ad Services pagead aclk mean?

I don’t really tackle to many of these really detailed technical posts, but truth be told Google ad services pagead aclk is a subject I have seen a lot of people write about.  And this trend seems to continue on a daily basis so it begs to ask the question, What is the fuss all about? More importantly what does a someone who does search engine marketing need to know about it?

Google Ad Services pagead aclk

Since its an off again/on again topic I thought that I should perhaps do a bit better research and 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.

First off let me come clean right off the bat and say that I am not the foremost expert on this Google ad services pagead aclk stuff.  I even stayed in a Holiday Inn Express once and I still don’t understand the entire concept completely.  There is someone who does though.

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.  So this leaves us small business owners and online marketers to try to figure it out on our own.

But I am great at learning this stuff.  So here is what I get out of my research to answer the question, what is Google ad services pagead aclk?

Why Should You Care About Pagead aclk?

If and when you decide to run your AdWords campaigns to your website there is going to be a point where you need to figure out which keywords are not only bringing in the most traffic for you.  But which ones are actually converting into engagement with your site.

By engagement, I mean, buying stuff, signing up to your email list etc.

Knowing how to understand this particular URL will aid you when your looking at your analytics data.  And even more importantly today, using Google Analytics, you can actually trace the route people are taking through your site by keyword.  That takes a bit more information then I am prepared to cover today.  But at least you know now why this is important to your business.

Long story short, Google Ad Services pagead aclk is a technical system used by Google to track clicks and prevent click fraud.

Its also good to know as an advertiser because you can actually see that Google has a pretty intricate system in place in order to protect you from getting charged for clicks that are meaningless.  If you have been a victim of a crazy high AdWords campaign and have nothing to show for it.  Perhaps you know first hand that wonderful feeling, and the fact there is really nothing you can do about it but pay your pill.

Primarily its focus is with the  Adsense program from publishers who may use some type of auto clicking tool in order to generate money.  But it is also used in its search engine advertising.

The people over at did some great in depth research on the whole code that goes along with it.  After doing plenty of research on how to break down the URL used for the Google ad services pagead aclk you can still find the original keyword that was used to trigger your ad or search engine results.

Its just a little deeper inside the referring  ad services URL than most people are used too.  Or quite frankly, ever bothered to look.

So what you will be looking at on the next page is a URL example from a paid ad that showed up in a Google search result (the parameters have been modified so this is not a real link, and the actual identifying information has been removed in order to protect the advertiser).

Striping the URL to get Google ad services pagead aclk

The original keyword used to find the pagead aclk data was “mortgage”

Here is the full pagead aclk URL we would have used to click the ad:*************MB0dSrhhy7lI4IEAMoCFDOmKCQ-_____8BYLuuwoPQCqABnc2x_gPIAQ************gsrkQFb9zKipv1Qp62qStFoh&num=6&sig=AOD64_************mG7ISbLjDg&ved=0**EQ0Qw&adurl=https://www.***************65&rt=v&rate=1.99

*Asterisks replace alpha numeric characters to protect Google its advertiser within the url itself.

Here the breakdown of Google ad services URL

The hard part of understanding this is actually breaking down the individual sections of the URL.  Once you do that you can get a better grasp on what your are looking at.


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 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 pagead aclk, its quite an interesting portion of the ad services 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 testing 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 therefore sending people to the super converting landing page (Isn’t Google Wonderful).  Note: If your not testing and tracking your ads your wasting your money on any platform.  Facebook, Twitter, PPV networks all have some form of tools to allow you look at the numbers and kill bad ads.  More importantly these numbers allow you scale up on the ones that are performing well.
  • 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 most likely directs to a 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

In Conclusion

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 analyze 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.


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4 thoughts on “Google Ad Services pagead aclk What Is It And Should You Care?

  1. Wow Clint, detailed breakdown dude! I had an inkling that G tracked to prevent click fraud – Adsense Guy here – but it is neat how the giant actually does it.

    As noted we need not worry about this but the reason behind it, yep, need to pay attention to that one as more people are getting their Adsense accounts shut down for fraudulent clicking. Google my friends is smarter than you, you clicksters lol! Stunned that people still do this but desperate folks take desperate measures that Billion-dollar companies eventually spot because hey, karma works like that, ya know? 😉

    Thanks for sharing the detailed post!


  2. Clint, thank you for breaking that down into understandable parts.

    I get totally lost and even more often, bored when it comes to these kinds of topics but your post was to the point and not overwhelming or boring at all.

    Thanks for the simplification,