Google Attribution: What search marketers need to know

The new attribution solution announced last week offers more insights and functionality than currently available in AdWords or Analytics.


One of the biggest announcements to come out of Google Marketing Next, held in San Francisco last week, was the release of Google Attribution. The new, free solution can pull in data from Google Analytics, AdWords or DoubleClick Search to provide a more holistic view of conversion actions across channels and devices for attribution modeling and bidding information.

Here’s a look at what this new solution means for search marketers.

What is Google Attribution?

Google Attribution is the simplified version of Attribution 360, the enterprise-level offering that came out of Google’s 2014 acquisition of multichannel attribution solution Adometry. It integrates with Google Analytics, Google AdWords and DoubleClick Search and doesn’t require any additional site tagging.

Marketers link a Google Analytics view that’s already associated with a Google AdWords or DoubleClick Search account. Once the account is set up, Attribution is populated with the channel performance data from the connected Analytics view. That can include offline conversion event data uploaded to Google Analytics.

Marketers can then assign an attribution model to their conversion events. And as in Analytics, it’s possible to compare models side by side.

With the native integrations, the modeled conversion data can feed back into AdWords or DoubleClick Search to inform bidding decisions.

What problems does Google Attribution aim to solve?

There are two key problems Google is aiming to address with this product

1. How to see and credit upper- and mid-funnel interactions: Bill Kee, group product manager at Google, who introduced Attribution onstage last week, said in a phone interview that Google Attribution is focused on understanding the full customer journey versus only last-click impact. The limitation with last-click is that gives all the credit to the user’s very last touch point before converting. For example, if a user searches and clicks on an ad on a non-brand search term, then converts later from a brand ad click, only the brand ad will get credit in a last-click attribution model.


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