Google moves away from last-click attribution in favor of a machine-learning model



In an effort to provide marketers with more accurate, precise and privacy-focused metrics, Google has announced an update to its ad attribution model. Instead of relying solely on the last consumer interaction, Google Ads will use machine learning to evaluate data throughout the conversion pipeline. This decision represents a change from what are commonly referred to as attribution and last-click attribution models. the tech giant’s investment in consumer data privacy.

Google has announced that it is updating its attribution model for marketers.

The company will no longer rely on last-click attribution, but will switch to what it calls “data-driven attribution,” according to a blog post earlier today by Vidhya Srinivasan, vice -President and general manager of purchasing, analysis and measurement of Google Ads. .

While last-click attribution measures the last point of contact a consumer engaged with before making a purchase, Google’s new framework uses machine learning to measure everything from how conversions are measured. how to improve automatic bidding in the media buying process.

Although Google’s advertising business already offers this data-driven attribution model, it was not accessible to all advertisers before, due to minimum data requirements as well as some limitations on types. conversion. As per the company’s announcement today, the minimum data rules will be removed and data-driven attribution will be made available to all advertisers in Google Ads starting in October.

The decision to move to data-driven attribution, Srinivasan explained in today’s post, was driven by the changing privacy landscape. Consumers are increasingly demanding data privacy protections from big tech companies, leading Google and Apple’s around the world to introduce new policies and tools that give users more leverage on the issue. how their personal information is used.

Unfortunately, many of these changes, including Google’s Federated Cohort Learning (FLoC) – its response to the demise of the third-party cookie – and Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency (ATT), make it harder for marketers to understand. behavioral models at user level, connect with audiences in a personalized way and, above all, measure the impacts of their efforts. Ultimately, new frameworks like FLoC and ATT inhibit the ability of marketers to measure attribution and tailor their media, marketing, and sales strategies accordingly.

Google argues that its new data-driven attribution is a way to preserve consumer privacy while giving marketers the tools they need to measure. Last click attribution, on the other hand, according to Google, is becoming increasingly ineffective on both fronts.

How data-driven attribution works

Data-driven attribution assesses signals throughout the customer journey – rather than the last point of touch alone – and provides a more obscure view of user-level data, providing improved privacy, according to Google. At the same time, the company says the new model has the potential to improve advertising effectiveness, as it analyzes all “relevant data” on interactions leading to a conversion. The new machine-learning-based model evaluates everything from the time period between interaction and conversion to ad formats. Additionally, Srinivasan wrote, Google Ads evaluates the results of hold experiments to optimize the accuracy of its models.

The company states that, “When combined with automatic bidding strategies, data-driven attribution can drive additional conversions at the same cost per acquisition”, due to the model’s ability to “predict better the additional impact that a specific ad will have on driving a conversion, and adjust the bids accordingly to maximize… ROI, ”according to today’s announcement.

In a quote shared in today’s post, Lara Harter, online marketing manager at DocMorris, said that Google’s data-driven attribution resulted in “an 18% reduction in cost of sales compared to at the last click ”.

The new attribution model, which is already available on Google Search, Shopping, Display and YouTube ads, will be extended to support additional interactions, including offline and in-app conversions. The update will roll out as the default template in Google Ads starting next month, but the company will still allow users to choose from five different attribution models.

Google declined a request for comment on this story.

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