What is a Tracking Link?
A tracking link is a hyperlink that is embedded into an ad for an app. Its purpose is to track users who click the link and later install the app, so installs can be attributed to the publisher of the ad. This ad might be
- a banner or interstitial ad
- a video
- a text ad
- a post on social media
- another reference to an app
When clicked, the tracking link sends users to the server of the tracking provider that also provided the link. This server stores information about the device that is used to click the link, for instance:
- device ID
- brand and model of the device
- device language
- installed OS installed
- timestamp of the click
Afterward, the user is redirected to the product page of the promoted app on the App Store (or Google Play Store).
Why are Tracking Links important?
Tracking links are an essential requirement for proper attribution tracking. Based on the information collected via the tracking link, the tracking provider can attribute app installs (and post-install events) to the publisher of the ad that contained this link.
This process enables ad networks to bill advertisers correctly for the traffic they buy to promote their app. It also allows advertisers to analyze the performance of single publishers and to compare and optimize their campaigns.