Google Ads Launches New Default Setting: Data-Driven Attribution

KLIK Staff

October 11, 2021

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In late September, Google announced that Google Ads will be shifting from last-click attribution to data-driven attribution (DDA). Google Ads already offers DDA, however, it was not previously available to all advertisers and had data requirements and limitations on conversion types. With the new update, DDA will be the new default and available to all advertisers with no data requirements or conversion limitations. DDA will start to roll out this October and will be applied to all Google Ads accounts by early next year. Advertisers will have the option to opt out of DDA.

What is Data-Driven Attribution?

Data-driven attribution is an attribution model where conversions are credited based on how the customer engages with your ads. DDA uses machine learning to analyze relevant data throughout the customer journey that led up to that conversion.

The Google Ads team writes, Data-driven attribution in Google Ads takes multiple signals into account, including the ad format and the time between an ad interaction and the conversion.”

The last-click attribution model credits the last touchpoint before a conversion was made. DDA offers more accurate results as it looks at how each touchpoint contributes to a conversion, such as keywords, ad groups, campaigns, and ads. Each conversion will be credited differently. Performance data will be specific to each account, which will help optimize your bidding. 

Last-click attribution will likely be easier to analyze R.O.I. because they are reported as whole conversions. DDA may credit interactions that are incomplete and may be reported as 1.5 conversions for example. 

Why Does This Matter?

Google Ads has taken this step towards data-driven attribution amid the current landscape of data privacy. DDA uses advanced machine learning to gain insights into the values of each touchpoint while respecting user privacy. 

One concern is if data-driven attribution will work for low-volume data accounts. Google claims that DDA will help you “future-proof” your measurement and is now available for all business types and sizes. However, Google Ads previously had a minimum data requirement for DDA machine learning to work properly. There are currently no case studies on low-volume data accounts using the DDA model. It is important to evaluate your goals to determine if data-driven attribution is the right fit for your business.

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