Prepare Yourself for Google AdWords Attribution Changes


Change is constant in life. Google has recently announced that they will no longer support the attribution for last click at some point during the year. This forces advertisers to use other models Google offers.

Explaining an attribution model

Google AdwordsGoogle’s definition of an attribution model is “an attribution model is the rule, or set of rules, that determines how credit for sales and conversions is assigned to touchpoints in conversion paths.” The default setting, last-click attribution, is the one Google plans to phase out. This type of attribution saves the click immediately before a conversion, such as a purchase, to correctly determine where the credit comes from.

Tips on attribution

  • Changing the model doesn’t change attribution, just how you view it. It may change whether the attribution registers as a partial or full one.
  • New models won’t mess up your account. You can still look at the model’s page to examine data without modifying the default reporting option

The current assumption is that Google will switch to the data-driven model as a default in the same way it automatically opts you into using an ad that rotates to get clicks. It’s now time to create or adopt a current model instead of using a tool specifically for the task.

Different attribution models

AdWords allows you to choose from five different models, which can be further explained by an experienced Adwords consultant. These are

  1. First-click model: 100% of credit if assigned to the first touch point and is primarily for companies focused on growth and gaining new customers. A typical example is companies who want to get email addresses to market their material to visitors.
  2. Time decay model: This model assigns the majority of credit to the touchpoint close to the sale. The highest weighting factor is the keywords that brought the user to convert. It will be a conservative change from the current first-click model if you’re seeking something similar.
  3. Linear model: This model assigns all touch points leading to the conversion credit. This view gives a broader view of information that led to the conversion and focuses highly on individual keywords.
  4. Position-based model: This model gives 40 percent of the credit to the first and last interaction, while the remaining 20 percent gets split up for middle content. It’s not a common model businesses use due to its complexity but has potential to be useful.
  5. Data-driven: This model analyzes multiple data points to estimate where the conversion occurred. It spreads credit out between keywords, campaigns, and ad groups. Google praises this model and requires specific qualifications for advertisers to utilize.

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Chris co-founded DoubleDome Digital Marketing, merging his business degree and technical consulting experience with his fondness for all things Internet. Focused on sales & marketing, Chris has led DoubleDome to 20 straight years of profitability. He leads the marketing and sales groups.
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