Google is set to remove the first click, linear, time decay, and position-based attribution models in Google Ads and Google Analytics starting from next month.
Ginny Marvin, dedicated Google Ads liaison tweeted that the changes were necessary as the use of the attribution models had dropped significantly in the wake of Google’s introduction of data-driven attribution (DDA) three years ago.
The attribution models assign credit for conversions on an online ad differently and depending on how a user gets to see the ad — whether it is on a Google Search results page or elsewhere on the internet.
First-click attribution gives all credit for the conversion to the first-clicked ad and corresponding keyword. Linear distributes the credit for the conversion equally across all ad interactions on the path.
Time decay gives more credit to ad interactions that happened closer in time to the conversion. Credit is distributed using a seven-day half-life. In other words, an ad interaction eight days before a conversion gets half as much credit as an ad interaction one day before a conversion.
Instead, data-driven attribution gives credit for conversions based on how users engage with a business’ various ads, whether they are on websites, shop visits, Google Analytics conversions from Search (including Shopping), YouTube, Display or Discovery ads. It then uses data from a business’ account to determine which keywords, ads and campaigns have had the greatest impact on conversions.
The reaction online was mixed, to say the least, with some online ad boffins were pleased with the decision:
Data Driven Attribution may not be the best way, but it’s getting to be the only way. A path to automated bid strategy. Prepare now! https://t.co/FRlLPaFkoM
— Michael Stricker (@RadioMS) April 7, 2023
Others, meanwhile, sensed foul play in the move.
Why? Because the “data-driven attribution” methodology serves Google’s obfuscation goals. Even its horrible naming hides what it really does!
Taking customers for stupid fools only work under monopoly. https://t.co/lJCQFRvHYa
— Thomasbcn (@Thomasbcn) April 7, 2023
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