Google Ads is postponing the move to data-driven attribution until mid-July
4 mins read

Google Ads is postponing the move to data-driven attribution until mid-July

Google has announced that it will be retiring the First Click, Linear, Time Decay, and Position attribution models in Google Ads in mid-July.

Google states in an update to a previous announcement:

“Following our announcement that the first click, linear, time lag, and position attribution models will be phased out, we will be removing the ability to select these models for all conversions in Google Ads starting mid-July.”

Google originally planned to phase out these attribution models in June, saying they weren’t flexible enough to keep up with today’s complex customer journeys.

The previous announcement read:

“Rule-based attribution models assign a value to each advertising touchpoint based on predefined rules. These models do not provide the flexibility to adapt to changing customer journeys.”

Google’s data-driven attribution model, which uses AI to determine how much impact each ad interaction has on a conversion, has become the most popular automated bidding model.

“Today, less than 3% of Google Ads web conversions are attributed using first-click, linear, time-waste, or position-based models,” Google reported.

Google will switch all existing conversions using these models to data-driven attribution in September 2023.

From this point on, first-click, linear, time-decay, and position-based models will be removed from all Google Ads reports.

Advertisers have the option to switch to the last-click model if needed.

Benefits of data-driven attribution

Google’s data-driven attribution model offers several advantages over the older rules-based models:

  • accuracy: The AI ​​analyzes all interactions and touchpoints that lead to a conversion and determines how much each interaction contributed to it. This provides a more accurate view of how ads are performing compared to a unified model like first-click attribution.
  • adaptability: Because the model is data-driven, it is automatically updated as conversion paths evolve. Static rule-based models cannot adapt in this way.
  • automation: By understanding the real impact of each interaction, the model can enable automated bidding to spend more on the ads that generate the most value. This leads to improved performance over time.
  • cross compatibility: AI examines the entire cross-device, cross-channel journey to appropriately value interactions across mobile, desktop, display, search, social, referral traffic, and more.

Get started with data-driven attribution

Here are the steps to get started with data-driven attribution in Google Ads:

  • Make sure you’ve set up conversion tracking.
  • Go to the Attribution tab in the Tools menu.
  • Enable data-driven attribution on the Attribution tab.
  • Apply data-driven attribution to your conversion actions.
    • In the Models section, click Apply or Edit Models.
  • Enable “Data-Driven Attribution” for each conversion you want to use this model for.
    • Leave the others as Last Click Attribution or First Click Attribution.

Now let the AI ​​create your model.

It takes at least seven days of data to create a first model and four weeks to optimize it for automated bidding.

Additional Steps

Regularly review your insights in the Attribution tab and adjust your ads, keywords, and budget to improve performance.

You can see customer conversion paths and the impact of each channel and device.

You can use an automated bid strategy like target CPA bidding or maximize conversions to take full advantage of data-driven attribution.

Automated bidding uses your data-driven attribution model to optimize ad spend and maximize conversion value.

In total

As of mid-July 2023, Google will only support its data-driven attribution model, which leverages AI for a more accurate and adaptive analysis of advertising impact.

It is estimated that this step affects less than 3% of web conversions currently using the older models.

Advertisers transitioning to this AI-powered model should ensure proper conversion tracking, enable data-driven attribution in their Google Ads settings, and consider automated bid strategies to maximize benefits.


Featured image: rafastockbr/Shutterstock