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Home > English > Your Marin Account > Account Activation, Linking & Settings > How To Articles: Account Activation, Linking & Settings > Channel Connect Overview

Channel Connect Overview

What is Channel Connect?

Channel Connect allows users to create accounts for any publisher that we do not have API integration with. Examples include of these publishers include Ask.com, Yandex, and more. This makes our platform your one-stop dashboard to see the performance of your entire marketing portfolio. You can upload cost and revenue data via the platform interface, email or FTP, then use this data for consolidated reporting and even bid optimization.

Note: If you're a Yahoo! Gemini user, you can also use Channel Connect to upload and view your performance data. 

How to access Channel Connect

To add a Channel Connect publisher client account, just follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Channels tab.
  2. Click Manage Accounts above the grid to launch the Linking Wizard.
  3. Click Add Publisher Account.
  4. Next, under Select Publisher, click Other*, then click Start Account Linking. If the option 'Other' is not available, please reach out to your Marin account representative to enable this feature.
  5. On the Edit Publisher Account Settings screen, add a Nickname, a ChannelPublisher Name, and Currency. You can also add custom Dimensions if you wish.
  6. If this publisher will be providing ID columns (Campaign ID, Group ID, Keyword ID), please select the Has Ext IDs option. Note: This cannot be changed once set for the account.
  7. Click Save to save your new publisher account.

How to upload cost data for Channel Connect

You can upload cost data for your new channel via the platform, email, or FTP.  

To upload this data through the platform, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the main Channels tab, then click the Upload cost link in the lower-left corner.
  2. Select the relevant Publisher Account.
  3. Upload your cost file in one of the formats specified on the page. See below to see the specific fields you need to include for a cost upload.
The cost file is used by the platform to create the campaign structure. This allows cost and revenue data for this channel to be visible for analytics and reporting in the grid.
We require that you upload trailing three days of cost data daily to verify accuracy of the data in the application. The report should contain all objects that have received more than 1 impression in the trailing three days. The platform will display a message alerting you if it does not find data for a specific account for the previous day.
For more information on adding or editing objects via FTP, please consult this article. Please note that the directory of where the file should be dropped is essential. For example, each type of Channel Connect files, i.e. Criteo, Gemini etc. will have their own FTP directory folders and the corresponding files need to go into the right folder to be imported correctly.

Attributing Revenue For Channel Connect

In order to attribute revenue for Channel Connect keywords and/or creatives , we recommend that you turn on URL Builder for Channel Connect. This enables the following:

  1. The ability to upload revenue to your Universal Channel keywords.
  2. Provide you with a set of keyword or creative level URLs that can be used on the publisher side for better revenue attribution. Setting this up allows the platform to check whether or not the destination URLs for your Channel Connect have unique tracking IDs appended correctly. In this way, you can be sure that revenue is attributed to the correct keywords. The next section shows you how to enable this feature.

Note: If you do not use URL Builder and you include revenue data in the cost file, the option to retrieve revenue and/or conversion data must be enabled in the Channel settings page for the given account.

How to set up URL Builder for Channel Connect

You can enable URL Builder for Channel Connect by following these steps:

  1. Click the Admin link.
  2. Click the Revenue sub-tab.
  3. From the left-hand menu, select URL Builder.
  4. Ensuring the Use Same Settings for All Publishers box is unchecked, look for the Generic tab.
  5. Add your required tracking parameters.
  6. Check the Creatives checkbox (under Advanced Settings) if you want to build creative URLs.


With URL Builder for Channel Connect enabled, URL Autocorrect will be triggered each time a cost upload is performed. If keyword URLs are provided, these will be run through Autocorrect. If the platform detects that some of these are not tagged correctly, you will see a new URL in the Suggested URL field. An alert will also be generated to let you know that there are URLs to be reviewed. 

Note: We strongly recommend that you update these destination URLs on the publisher's side as soon as possible, so that revenue is attributed correctly.

Important note

To enable URL Builder for a specific Channel Connect account, the setting for Retrieve from Cost File must be set to No Revenue and Conversion Data. Otherwise, the platform assumes that revenue numbers will be coming from the cost file and there is no need to tag your URLs. In addition to this, you must make sure that the Build Keyword Level URLs option is turned on in the URL Builder page for Other publishers.

How to update dimension values used in the URL builder

In case dimensions form part of your URLs, the update to the dimension in question happens in the platform when the next cost file comes through. The Marin platform will identify that the URLs in the cost file and the URLs in the application are different and generate a Suggested URL.

The application will generate and post a sticky note of this notification.  You can set up an alert to let you know when there are new Suggested URLs that need to be pushed out to the publisher.

We strongly recommend that you update these destination URLs on the publisher's side as soon as possible, so that revenue is attributed correctly.

How to set up a recurring report for keywords that require URL changes

If you have set up URL Builder and the platform is flagging and suggesting URL changes, we also recommend creating a Recurring Report for each of your Channel Connect accounts. This allows you to receive an email each time the application detects keywords that require URL updates. Here's how to set up the report:

  1. Navigate to the main Keywords tab.
  2. From the View Builder, select the following columns in your grid view: Keyword, Account, Campaign, Group, Match Type (for keywords only), Destination URL and Suggested URL.
  3. Keep the date range for the grid as yesterday. (Optional)
  4. Add the following filters:  Account name equals the name of the Channel Connect AccountSuggested URL is not blank.
  5. Create a Recurring Report to be emailed to you or wherever you need it. 

Bidding for Channel Connect

Once cost and revenue are being uploaded for your Channel Connect accounts, you can leverage the platform's powerful bidding algorithms and receive bid recommendations at the keyword level. Bids suggestions can then be taken from the application and used to update the bids for the relevant keywords within the publisher interface manually.

Revenue Assist calculations for Channel Connect

In order for the platform's Revenue Assists feature to work with Channel Connect, the following conditions need to be satisfied:

  • You must be using Marin Tracker.
  • Your keyword URLs for Channel Connect must have been tagged appropriately based on your settings in the Tracking IDs section in Admin > Revenue.
  • You must be using an attribution model that is not Last Click.

Additional information

  • Once cost data is uploaded for a channel, you can bid on these accounts and use the suggestions to update the relevant accounts through the publisher's interface.
  • Here is a list of the fields you'll need to include for a cost file bulk upload:
    • Date
    • [Campaign ID] (Long)
    • Campaign (String)
    • [Group ID] (Long)
    • Group (String)
    • [Keyword ID] (Long)
    • Keyword (String)
    • [Match Type] (String/Enum) (Default: BROAD)
    • [Destination URL] (String) (Default: NULL)
    • [Avg Position] (Float)
    • [Max CPC] (Float) (Default:NULL)
    • [Cost] (Float) (Default:0)
    • [Clicks] (Integer) (Default:0)
    • [Impressions] (Integer) (Default:0)
    • [Conversions] (Integer) (Default:0)
    • [Revenue] (Float) (Default:0)
    • [Conversion Type Conv.]
    • [Conversion Type Rev.]
    • [Dimensions]
  • The cost file can up be uploaded in any language and locale supported by the application.
  • All Channel Connect accounts will be set up with the client locale and currency. This means that all date formats will be expected to be sent in client locale or ISO standard format ("YYYY-MM-DD"). Any decimal numbers will also be interpreted as being in the client locale.
  • Currently the platform does not allow specifying locale and currency at the Publisher Client Account (PCA) level for Channel Connect.
  • The [device] parameter is not currently supported for Channel Connect URL Builder. If you're using Channel Connect for Gemini, you can use {device} and it will resolve when serving on Yahoo's end, though we do not currently support device reporting for Gemini.


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