Google’s Data-Driven Attribution Model Explained

Written by: 
Molly Niemczyk

About a year ago, Google announced that data-driven attribution would be the default attribution model. Now, Google has automatically begun switching ad accounts to this model unless advertisers opted out. So, what is data-driven attribution, and how does it impact advertisers? Here’s everything you need to know.


A New Way to Attribute Conversions

When a user sees or interacts with one of your ads, and then takes a valuable action on your website, credit is given to the last ad that a customer interacted with. But what if they saw several of your ads before they took action? Can the last ad they interacted with really be given full credit for convincing a user to engage with your business? Probably not.v gg

Data-driven attribution takes this into account, and uses an advertiser’s conversion data to calculate the contribution of each ad interaction. For example, if you have two ads (A and B), and customers are more likely to convert after clicking on B if they’ve previously seen A, the model will redistribute to reflect this.

Ad interactions deemed to be more valuable by Google get more credit for the conversion or other valuable engagement. Every business is different, which means the “weight” given to interactions varies between advertisers.


The Benefits of Data-Driven Attribution 

Google claims that this type of attribution gives advertisers more accurate information by taking “multiple signals” into account when determining what led to a conversion. From the ad format to the time between an interaction and a conversion, Google will examine multiple data points to attribute a conversion to the proper ad or ads. 

With this new attribution model (in conjunction with automated bidding strategies), Google says that advertisers are seeing more conversions at the same cost-per-conversion.


Setting Up Data-Driven Attribution

Most, but not all, conversions are eligible for data-driven attribution. Some have specific requirements before they are eligible, such as needing a minimum number of conversions or ad interactions within 30 days.

If you want to set up data-driven attribution, you can do so by selecting the tools icon, and then selecting “Conversions”. From there, click on the conversion action you want to edit, go to the settings, and select “Data-driven” from the attribution model drop-down menu.


Automatic Implementation

Google sent out an announcement to eligible advertisers in July explaining that the company would automatically be switching conversions over to the data-driven attribution model. Advertisers were able to opt out of this automatic switch before 8/24, when it took effect. If they didn’t, and they want to go back to the old attribution models they were using, they’ll have to switch each conversion action back manually. Advertisers who initially did opt out, but now want to switch to data-driven attribution, can do so easily following these instructions.


Are you interested in making the switch to data-driven attribution, but unsure how it will impact your business? Our team of experts at Relevance Advisors has the experience and the tools you need to succeed. Reach out today to learn more about how we can help you generate business leads.


Ready to get started?

if you are interested to learn more about our company or services, we would love to hear from you.