Google Ads Attribution Modeling Update Includes Youtube and Display Support

Updates to the Google Ads platform aren’t anything new. These happen almost monthly as Google strives to deliver better support to advertisers and marketers while providing a better user experience to consumers.

This particular update is no different. Early this month, Google released an update for its Google Ads attribution models. Starting August 9, the platform’s non-last click attribution models will now support Youtube and Display ad campaigns.

Not a lot of marketers or tech news outlets are covering this quietly rolled out update despite the promising changes it brings, particularly for smaller advertisers. Sit back and take notes as we explore what the update to Google attribution models has in store for us.

Exciting New Changes for Google Ad Campaign Data

As per Google’s announcement, this latest upgrade allows all five, non-last click attribution models to support Youtube and Display ads.

Aside from the data-driven attribution model, this will also include the following:

  • First click
  • Time decay
  • Linear
  • Position-based

The data-driven attribution model will also be able to measure engaged views from YouTube advertisements. This change allows us and our clients to gain a better understanding of YouTube’s impact on ad campaigns and conversions.

Please note, though, that YouTube ad views are counted as “engaged views” if consumers watch at least 10 seconds of the ad and convert within the next three days or 72 hours.

Moreover, the latest update now includes YouTube and Display ads data to our Google attribution reports, similar to the Search and Shopping ads data.

Prior to this update, YouTube and Display ad campaigns are only counted or supported in the last click attribution model. The ad watch times and clicks are only counted if consumers searched for the brand and converted seeing the YouTube and Display ads.

What Does This Mean For Advertisers and Marketers?

Thanks to this update, even if a user viewing the YouTube or Display ad did not immediately lead to leads or purchases, it would still get conversion credit in your Campaigns Tab.

The inclusion of YouTube and Display ads means that when advertisers and marketers use the data-driven attribution model, they can drive more conversions while maintaining the same average cost per action as the last click model.

The old attribution model setup had seriously undervalued the impact of YouTube and Display ads. For many consumers, initially seeing these online ads leads them to remember the brand and search for it at a later time. This search and discovery can later lead to conversion.

As such, not including it in conversion data for other Google attribution models can severely limit advertisers and marketers’ ability to measure the full scope of their upper funnel campaign channels.

Better Ad Campaign Data and Comparisons

The inclusion of YouTube and Display ads in other non-last click Google attribution models allows us to track our conversions, ad spend, and return on investment.

Under the “Model comparison” report, we can see how much conversions each attribution model generates, the cost per conversion, and our return on ad spend. We can view this data by changing the Google ads attribution model under the Measurement option.

We can now compare the reach and conversions of our YouTube and Display ads across different models. We can also compare them with our Search and Shopping ads.

Doing so will help us and our fellow marketers and advertisers understand how each ad type impacts our conversions. This will allow us to further refine our ad according to its reach and target audience for more conversions.

Pro Tip for Marketers and Advertisers

The update truly brings exciting and highly useful changes. However, you and your team may miss out the effects of these changes if your YouTube or Display ad campaigns are on a different Google Ads account from your Search account.

Make sure to have all of your ad campaign types under a single account to take advantage of the full insight and comparison the update offers. You can also use a shared conversion pixel across your Google Ads campaign accounts.

Changes We Will See On Our Campaign Reports

Setting our Google attribution models can be done when choosing the conversion action for a new ad campaign. If you have any existing ad campaigns or conversion actions, you can still change their Google attribution models.

After changing your attribution models, some changes will be reflected under our Campaigns tab.

These changes may include:

  • Credit shifts: Whenever you change your attribution model, the conversion credit will shift to account for different campaigns, networks, ad groups, and keywords tied to the conversion action you selected.
  • Fractional conversion credit: You will likely see decimals under the columns for “Conversions” and “All Conversions” when you select any Google attribution that isn’t the last click model. The fractional values are because the conversion credit is divided among all of your contributing ad interactions based on whichever Google attribution model you chose.
  • Time lag: Expect to see fewer conversions for the last few days leading up to your attribution model change. This will only be temporary and it will only be if you use a non-last click Google attribution model. The lag is due to the wider range of interactions and time frames the platform has to consider to accurately reflect the shared conversion credit.

Take note that all three of these changes will not affect your overall conversions. The total conversions will remain the same — it is only in the conversion credit breakdown that you will see the changes.

Why This Google Attribution Models Update Matters

Gaining a more accurate record and measurement of our YouTube ads, Display ads, and other upper funnel advertising methods will help us create better campaigns overall. The power to adjust our attribution models based on our campaign needs or target audience behaviors will help us narrow down which advertising channels work and are worth the investment.


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