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Phase Out of Attribution Models: Linear, first click, time-decay, position based

Google to Replace Rules-Based Attribution Models with Data-Driven Attribution in Google Ads and Google Analytics 4, Effective June 2023

Google to Replace Rules-Based Attribution Models with Data-Driven Attribution in Google Ads and Google Analytics 4, Effective June 2023

Google has announced that rules-based attribution models will no longer be the default option in Google Ads and Google Analytics 4. This change is due to the evolving consumer journey, which is becoming increasingly complex and multi-touch. 

The rules-based models can no longer accurately measure the impact of each advertising touchpoint on conversions, as they rely on simplistic assumptions about how consumers interact with brands. On the other hand, data-driven attribution uses machine learning to analyze historical data and determine the impact of each touchpoint on conversions. 

By combining data-driven attribution with auto bidding, advertisers can expect improved performance and better insights into the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. As a result, data-driven attribution has become the most widely used model for conversions with automated bidding in Google Ads, leading to a decline in the overall usage of rules-based models. 

Currently, less than 3% of Google Ads web conversions rely on first-click, linear, time decay, or position-based models. To align with these changes, Google has decided to phase out first click, linear, time decay, and position-based attribution models across Google Ads and Google Analytics 4. 

Starting from June 2023, you will no longer have the option to select these models for conversion actions that do not already use them. From September 2023, any remaining conversion actions relying on these models will be switched to data-driven attribution.

Additionally, the rules-based models will be removed entirely from reporting within Google Ads. This includes the Overview page and the Model comparison report, which you find in the Attribution tab. 

However, Google understands that some advertisers prefer the last-click model over data-driven attribution. As a result, the last-click model will still be available for those who want to use something other than data-driven attribution for their conversions.

The shift towards data-driven attribution is part of Google's mission to provide advertisers with more versatile tools to accurately measure their advertising campaigns' impact.

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