What Is Google Ads Tracking?

Nathan Rizzuti Profile image

Written by:

Updated January 5, 2023

Let’s face it, we all have our concerns regarding consumer privacy. Whether you’re an online user or website manager owner, ensuring data security is a top priority. However, to accomplish this, you must understand the machinery involved in data management, how it’s used to collect data, and how to use it responsibly. Below, we’ll answer what is Google Ads tracking.


  • The Google Ads platform lets campaign managers use tracking pixels to record user behavior to increase conversions.
  • Businesses must be upfront with how they track data, what data is recorded, and how they plan to use it.
  • Different tracking strategies can be used depending on the type of conversion a business is looking for.

As we answer this, we’ll let you know what data it’s recording, how it accomplishes it, and its limitations.

Insider Tip

Always communicate with users upfront about what data you plan on collecting and its purpose.

For more great pixel-related content, feel free to check out our other work. We have articles explaining things like the difference between a Facebook pixel and Google Analytics, what an Amazon tracking pixel is, and how to use a Facebook pixel for retargeting. We also have a great article on the LinkedIn tracking pixel and another explaining the relationship between Google Analytics and the CCPA.

What Is the Adwords Conversion Pixel?

Online, a click is never just a click. Odds are, when you travel anywhere on a website, it’s being tracked and logged under an individual profile that’s slowly learning your behavioral patterns. The goal of data tracking usually isn’t sinister. Instead, data is often recorded to serve you more valuable ads that increase the likelihood of your engagement with a webpage.

Google Ads is the largest search engine and the most widely used ad-tracking platform.

So what exactly does it track?

Google Ads can track many things, but when campaigns are set up, the tool gathers information on user conversion. A conversion can be a variety of different things:

  • Clicking a link to a news article
  • Singing up for a subscription
  • Purchasing a product
  • Donating to a cause

The options are endless, but Google Ads is built to monitor web users’ habits so businesses can replicate the behavior that leads to higher conversion rates.

Usually, these conversion actions include webpage clicks, video views, phone calls, signups, bounce rates, and anything that can help paint a clear picture of what drives users to act. To record data, pixels are placed on the pages where users want to track information. Without tracking pixels, businesses won’t be able to record the desired information.

What Doesn’t Google Ads Track?

As consumer privacy laws expand, there are growing statutes around what businesses can track. For example, in many cases, sensitive private information, i.e., information directly linked to a physical presence or personally identifying information, is much harder to collect.


Failing to comply with user data statutes can result in fines and loss of business due to a damaged reputation.

To process such data, businesses need to establish a legal basis. However, they may still be subject to the release of data subject to their agreements if they submit a valid request to have their data erased.

Ultimately, businesses can still attempt to collect types of pertinent information for enhanced conversions. Still, they must be aware of what they’re legally allowed to process and make sure users have proper systems to opt out of tracking.

STAT: A user is 50% more likely to buy a product if they deliberately click on an ad. (source)

What Is Google Ads Tracking FAQs

What is an attribution model?

An attribution model is a business’s rules and guidelines to define a conversion and when one has happened.

Does the Facebook Ads platform work the same as Google’s?

The platforms will look different, but the goal and process of placing tracking pixels are the same across both systems.

Is it free to use Google tracking?

Google Ads platform is free to use.
Nathan Rizzuti Profile image