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28 September 2021
Google calls time on last-click attribution
MMM & attributionDigital media planning & buyingSearch marketing
Google’s buy-side network Google Ads has announced in a blogpost that it is switching its default from last-click attribution to a more modern “data-driven” attribution, an alternative technique that uses machine learning to try to better understand how each touchpoint contributes to conversion.
Why it matters
While there was some evidence that for large brands last-click attribution was simply inadequate – in the case of Adidas encouraging an over-investment in performance advertising – and that there were clearly better techniques, data-driven attribution was closed off to many smaller advertisers due to minimum data requirements. Now these capabilities are becoming more accessible as they become standard.
What will happen
The rollout will start in October, with the aim of all Google Ads accounts using data-driven attribution by early 2022.
As well as data-driven attribution, users will continue to have the option to keep using any of the five other rules-based models: last-click, first-click, linear, time decay, position-based.
Vidhya Srinivasan, VP/GM Buying, Analytics and Measurement at Google Ads told AdExchanger that as more advertisers start using the data-driven method, the quality of Google’s modelling will improve. This is crucial when third-party cookies finally go, as the machine learning can help to fill gaps in the data.
“Advertisers around the world have seen better results by switching to data-driven attribution. When combined with automated bidding strategies, data-driven attribution can drive additional conversions at the same cost-per-acquisition. This is because our systems can better predict the incremental impact a specific ad will have on driving a conversion, and adjust bids accordingly to maximize your ROI” – Vidhya Srinivasan, VP/GM Buying, Analytics and Measurement at Google Ads.