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Data-driven Attribution Now Recommended for Google Search Ads

Data-driven attribution (DDA) in AdWords was introduced back in May 2016, uses Google’s machine learning technology to help you determine how much credit to assign to each click in an ad for “features for product I think I want.”

Even though it doesn’t convert immediately, “you might see that people who click on that ad are much more likely to become customers later on.” “When compared to last-click attribution, DDA typically delivers more conversions at a similar cost-per-conversion,” revealed a Google analysis of advertisers using DDA.

Starting today, Google introducing a better way to measure and optimize performance, said for all search ads, “DDA is now the recommended model for all eligible advertisers.”

In addition, DDA is also available to take action in DoubleClick Search, Google Analytics 360 and Attribution 360.

Now, while making changes in the conversion action settings, “you can use the dropdown in the Attribution Model section and select Data-driven as the attribution model.” The “Conversions” column in AdWords, will now report conversions based on the new DDA model.

While, smart bidding will automatically adjust to this new conversions measuring. Those using bidding manually, will neeed to use “current model” columns to make the initial set of adjustments under the set of attribution columns.

Data-driven attribution model in AdWords

After updaing attribution model, follow these recommendations to see improvements:

  • Adjust bids considering new DDA-based conversions. Google recommends to adopt an AdWords Smart Bidding strategy, like Target CPA or Target ROAS. Historical performance for that model can be found in the “current model” columns, which you should use as you make initial bid changes.
  • Once the account settles into the new method, allow a couple of weeks to gather results, as the multiple clicks in a user’s conversion path take some time to happen.
  • Re-evaluate keywords that tend to be earlier in the click path.
  • In the coming months, Google will remove columns that reference assisted conversions from statistics tables and reports.

How data-driven attribution works?

“DDA is different fromrules-based attribution models. It uses your account’s conversion data to calculate the actual contribution of each search ad click along the conversion path. By comparing the paths of customers who convert to those who don’t, DDA determines what truly matters for each conversion path.

As long as your account has enough clicks and conversions, you’re eligible for DDA. We automatically train a model that’s unique to each of your conversion types. The model observes what your customers do before converting, and what they do when they don’t convert, to measure what’s important,” explains Google.

For more detailed guidance including steps to properly test a new attribution model, check out the best practices for going beyond last-click attribution, or watch the video below:

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