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Attribution Models

Google Ads to Change Default Attribution to DDA

Google Ads to Change Default Attribution to DDA

10/25/19 UPDATE: Hello Facebook Agency Visitor Person!  We’re delighted to have you visit this awesome post. About a year ago, ZATO stopped offering Facebook Ads solutions so we could focus solely on what we do best: Google Ads. Because of this, we’re always interested in partnerships with great Social Advertising agencies (like yourself, wink wink!) and we offer referral fees for signed clients!  Anyway, back to it, and happy reading…

Post Summary

Thanks to Barry Schwartz on Twitter, who tagged me in a recent tweet thread from Ginny Marvin (Google's new Ads Liaison and someone I count a personal friend), we learned of a fairly big change in Google policy today... that probably won't impact too many existing accounts in the day-to-day.

The big change is: 

🤖 Data-Driven Attribution (DDA) to be default attribution model in Google Ads accounts rather than Last Click (roll-out over the next year)

🛑 DDA conversion minimums no longer required for accounts to run DDA

If you're paying attention, Google Ads has a default attribution model of Last Click. This means that the last ad click to send a customer resulting in the sale gets 100% of the credit. There are other models available, and Data-Driven is a semi-newer option that uses machine learning algorithms to best determine how to "dole out" the proper credit for a conversion that comes through.

Previously, Google had a minimum on how many conversions an account needed in order to qualify for DDA (in order to train the algorithms by giving them enough data to make wise choices... or at least, better choices). One assumes with this release that either (a) Google no longer cares or (b) Google's algos have enough data across accounts to make wiser decisions even for smaller accounts. I think the answer probably lies in between those two options ;) 

Regardless, it's important to know about these changes. HOWEVER, before anyone panics too much, let me note that I don't see this practically impacting accounts much, although I'm trying to get clarification on EXACTLY what will happen when the transition occurs (especially around the obscure meaning of "default"). Advertisers may need to manually re-select their preferred attribution model after this release (Google notes in their release that we can still utilize the 5 other attribution models), or at least those who were on the default "Last Click" if they prefer that model but we'll keep this article updated based on what we learn in our active Twitter conversation with Google Ads.  This tweet by Ginny seems to suggest ALL conversion actions will be migrated to DDA unless opted-out, so it will be interesting to see how this actually plays out as we get new information:

One final note of interest to ponder here, is that conversion actions will simply become more sampled as privacy increases. iOS14.5 and Facebook Ads events were a precursor to the types of changes that could be occurring everywhere. If that's the case, then we're really at the mercy of machine learning algorithms anyway, so we may have no choice but to embrace our ML overlords in attribution as well, in the near future.

What do you think? Join the convo on Twitter or LinkedIn!

Read More: Google Ads Attribution Announcement 9-27-21

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Kirk Williams
Owner & Chief Pondering Officer

Kirk is the owner of ZATO, his Paid Search & Social PPC micro-agency of experts, and has been working in Digital Marketing since 2009. His personal motto (perhaps unhealthily so), is "let's overthink this some more."  He even wrote a book recently on philosophical PPC musings that you can check out here: Ponderings of a PPC Professional.

He has been named one of the Top 25 Most Influential PPCers in the world by PPC Hero 6 years in a row (2016-2021), has written articles for many industry publications (including Shopify, Moz, PPC Hero, Search Engine Land, and Microsoft), and is a frequent guest on digital marketing podcasts and webinars.

Kirk currently resides in Billings, MT with his wife, six children, books, Trek Bikes, Taylor guitar, and little sleep.

Kirk is an avid "discusser of marketing things" on Twitter, as well as an avid conference speaker, having traveled around the world to talk about Paid Search (especially Shopping Ads).  Kirk has booked speaking engagements in London, Dublin, Sydney, Milan, NYC, Dallas, OKC, Milwaukee, and more and has been recognized through reviews as one of the Top 10 conference presentations on more than one occasion.

You can connect with Kirk on Twitter, and Linkedin, or follow his marketing song parodies on TikTok.

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