Click tracking macros

Purpose of click tracking macros
Click tracking macros are bits of code inserted into third party creative tags that enable the RMX ad server to
track clicks. When we get an ad call, the RMX ad server redirects the call to a third party’s ad server which serves the ad. When a user clicks on the ad, the third party ad server records the click. If there is a click tracking macro embedded in the ad tag, the third party knows to send notification of a click to our ad servers.

Automatic insertion of click tracking macros
Each third party ad server has its own set of instructions for appending a click tracking macro to the ad tag. Some ad servers require the macro to be appended before the URL with a comma separator. Others may designate a variable string within the URL to call for the macro.
When you traffic a creative into the wizard, the wizard examines the tag and tries to automatically insert the click tracking macro. Automatic click tracking is supported for many third party tags. Ad server companies are constantly upgrading their tags, which may break the automation. The creative wizard’s list of supported tags is updated to reflect any changes.

Unencoded and encoded click tracking macros
The RMX ad server uses two versions of the click tracking macro:

  1. ${CLICKURL} – regular, unencoded URL
  2. ${CLICKURLENC} – encoded URL

The third party ad server generally dictates whether it requires an unencoded or encoded macro. If the rest of the tag is unencoded, the click tracking macro probably needs to be unencoded, and likewise for encoded tags. URL encoding of characters such as “/” consists of a “%” sign followed by the two-digit hexadecimal equivalent of the character, such as “2F.”

Sample tags: enabling click tracking
For a first example, the original tag from the advertiser was:

<script src=”http://ad.server.com/123?mpt=${REQUESTID}&mpvc=”>
</script>

The creative wizard recognizes this server’s click tracking code as “mpvc” and automatically inserts our click tracking macro. The final tag looks like:

<script src=”http://ad.server.com/123?mpt=${REQUESTID}&mpvc=${CLICKURLENC}”></script>

When the ad is served, the server replaces these macros with a real, expanded URL, which looks something like this:

Image tags: If the ad tag is a standard image tag, it starts out looking like this example:

<A HREF=”http://ad.nl.doubleclick.net/jump/N3174.Adpeppernl/B1577923;sz=468×60;ord=[timestamp]?”>
<IMG SRC=”http://ad.nl.doubleclick.net/ad/N3174.Adpeppernl/B1577923;sz=468×60;ord
=
[timestamp]?” BORDER=0 WIDTH=468 HEIGHT=60 ALT=”Click Here”></A>

The RMX ad server inserts the click tracking macro before the URL in the HREF section, like this:

<A HREF=”${CLICKURL}http://ad.nl.doubleclick.net/jump/N3174.Adpeppernl/B1577923;sz=468×60;ord=[timestamp]?”>
<IMG SRC=”http://ad.nl.doubleclick.net/ad/N3174.Adpeppernl/B1577923;sz=468×60;ord
=
[timestamp]?” BORDER=0 WIDTH=468 HEIGHT=60 ALT=”Click Here”></A>

When the ad is served, the ${CLICKURL} macro expands:

<A HREF=”http://ad.yieldmanager.com/click,AAAAAEAFAAAVZQAABxQAAAAAAAAGriAEMAAAAA,,
http://ad.nl.doubleclick.net/jump/N3174.Adpeppernl/B1577923;sz=468×60;ord
=
[timestamp]?”><IMG SRC=”http://ad.nl.doubleclick.net/ad/N3174.Adpeppernl/B1577923;sz=468×60;ord
=
[timestamp]?” BORDER=0 WIDTH=468 HEIGHT=60 ALT=”Click Here”></A>

If users click on the image, they are first sent to:

http://ad.yieldmanager.com/click,AAAAAEAFAAAVZQAABxQAAAABAAAGriAEMAAAAA,, http://ad.nl.doubleclick.net/jump/N3174.Adpeppernl/B1577923;sz=468×60;ord=
[timestamp]?”

The RMX ad server records the click and forwards the user to the URL specified after the second comma:

http://ad.nl.doubleclick.net/jump/N3174.Adpeppernl/B1577923;sz=468×60;ord=[timestamp]?

Third party tags: In general, if a third party ad server supports click tracking, its tags include a placeholder where the RMX ad server can insert a click tracking macro. The macro will expand to become a full click URL each time the ad is served. Here is an example of a regular DART tag:

<IFRAME SRC=”http://optimize.doubleclick.net/adi/contextualnet.rr.co.uk/uk468x60;sz=468×60;click=[insertclickredirect];ord=[timestamp]?” width=”468″ height=”60″ frameborder=”no” border=”0″ MARGINWIDTH=”0″ MARGINHEIGHT=”0″ SCROLLING=”no”>
<A HREF=”http://optimize.doubleclick.net/jump/contextualnet.rr.co.uk/uk468x60;sz=468×60;abr=!ie4;abr=!ie5;ord=[timestamp
]?”>
<IMG SRC=”http://optimize.doubleclick.net/ad/contextualnet.rr.co.uk/uk468x60;sz=468×60;abr=!ie4;abr=!ie5;ord=[timestamp
]?” width=”468″ height=”60″ border=0 ALT=””></A>
</IFRAME>

To track clicks, the RMX ad server replaces [insertclickredirect] with its click tracking macro and inserts it before the URL in the HREF section, like this:

<IFRAME SRC=”http://optimize.doubleclick.net/adi/contextualnet.rr.co.uk/uk468x60;sz=468×60;click=${CLICKURL};ord=[timestamp]?” width=”468″ height=”60″ frameborder=”no” border=”0″ MARGINWIDTH=”0″ MARGINHEIGHT=”0″ SCROLLING=”no”>
<A HREF=”${CLICKURL}http://optimize.doubleclick.net/jump/contextualnet.rr.co.uk/uk468x60;sz=468×60;abr=!ie4;abr=!ie5;ord=[timestamp]?”>
<IMG SRC=”http://optimize.doubleclick.net/ad/contextualnet.rr.co.uk/uk468x60;sz=468×60;abr=!ie4;abr=!ie5;ord=[timestamp
]?” width=”468″ height=”60″ border=0 ALT=””></A>
</IFRAME>

When the ad is served, the ${CLICKURL} macro expands:

<IFRAME SRC=”http://optimize.doubleclick.net/adi/contextualnet.rr.co.uk/uk468x60;sz=468×60;click= http://ad.yieldmanager.com/click,AAAAAEAFAAAVZQAABxQAAAABAAAAAP8AAP8CDwEABAOo
BAAADAAAANAiAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGriAEMAAAAA,,;ord=[timestamp
]?” width=”468″ height=”60″ frameborder=”no” border=”0″ MARGINWIDTH=”0″ MARGINHEIGHT=”0″ SCROLLING=”no”>
<A HREF=” http://ad.yieldmanager.com/click,AAAAAEAFAAAVZQAABxQAAAABAAAAAP8AAP8CDwEABAOoBAAAD
AAAANAiAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGriAEMAAAAA,,

http://optimize.doubleclick.net/jump/contextualnet.rr.co.uk/uk468x60;sz=468×60;abr=!ie4;abr=!ie5;ord=[timestamp]?”>
<IMG SRC=”http://optimize.doubleclick.net/ad/contextualnet.rr.co.uk/uk468x60;sz=468×60;abr=!ie4;abr=!ie5;ord=[timestamp
]?” width=”468″ height=”60″ border=0 ALT=””></A>
</IFRAME>

In this case, the DART server constructs an ad tag and serves it into the IFRAME. If the landing page for the creative is http://www.cnn.com, then when a user clicks on the ad, the click will first go to DART, and will then be forwarded to:

http://ad.yieldmanager.com/click,AAAAAEAFAAAVZQAABxQAAAABAAAAAP8AAP8CDwEABAOoBAAA
DAAAANAiAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGriAEMAAAAA,,http://www.cnn.com

The click goes to our click tracking URL and then to the landing page, http://www.cnn.com.




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