In terms of web, client is a web browser on desktop or mobile device - whatever the user is using to navigate the Internet. The server is a remote computer that returns web pages or data to be rendered in browser or mobile app.
So, in other words, tracking on the Client Side implies retrieving tracking data from the user's browser and Server Side - getting it from the remote server. Let's check some pros and cons on that.
Client Side vs Server Side (Postback) Tracking
It is highly recommended to use Server Side (Postback) tracking when it is technically possible - it is the most accurate and reliable way, which doesn't depend on browser's settings and doesn't have any time limitations for creating conversions (unlike to coockie based tracking).
So, as follows, there are two types of tracking:
- Server Side tracking (by Click ID), which is commonly used. In addition, using Server Side Pixel is very useful for tracking of multiple offers in other networks outside of Scaleo with just applying a single global postback URL. You can find more info here.
- Client Side tracking is used in situations, when it is not possible to use Server Side tracking. An iFrame or IMG pixel should be placed on the advertiser's conversion page in that case. This type of tracking places a cookie in the user's browser, when a tracking URL is clicked there and then calls back the cookie again in case of conversion in order to authenticate it, which brings some known limitations to the tracking pocess. Cookies have a lifespan, which can affect on possibility of making a conversion (when a lifespan has expired).
Some more advantages of Server Side traking:
- Getting data, which could not be shared client-side for commercially sensitive reasons. For example, any profit data in retail, which retailers would likely want treat as confidential, and not show it client-side, so that visitors of a website could get to know what profit is made on different items sold
- Tracking events, which do not occur in the user’s browser
- The absence of any ad-blocking