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What are the implications for marketers?  

Google is to remove several attribution models from its widely used Google Ads and Google Analytics platforms in a move that’s sparked concern among marketers who rely heavily on data-driven insights to optimise their campaigns.

Google’s roll out of these changes means marketers can no longer use first click, linear, time-decay or position-based attribution models in their campaigns.

Why it matters

The removal of these attribution models from Google Analytics has raised eyebrows in the marketing community because they provide valuable insights into the customer journey and the effectiveness of various touchpoints in driving conversions.

By limiting marketers to only the last click and data-driven attribution models, Google is restricting the available options for understanding the customer journey, making it harder to allocate budgets effectively and optimise marketing strategies.

How will marketers be impacted?

Advertisers who currently have conversions tracked using the attribution models in question can continue utilising them until September, after which the models will be entirely removed, potentially leading to a loss of historical data. This can have the result of hindering marketers’ ability to compare performance across different attribution models and make accurate data-driven decisions.

What’s more, for conversions that are not currently utilising first click, linear, time-decay or position-based attribution models, marketers will lose the option to switch over after mid-July. Additionally, any newly created conversions will no longer have the choice to select these four models, limiting marketers’ flexibility and understanding of their campaign performance.

Why now?

Google’s decision to retire these four attribution models stems from the low adoption rates they have observed. According to a Google spokesperson, less than 3% of conversions in Google Ads were using these models. This suggests that the majority of marketers were already gravitating towards other attribution models or relying on last-click and data-driven models.

While Google’s move may streamline the attribution process for some marketers, it also raises concerns about the monopolisation of attribution data. By limiting the available models, Google has a greater influence over how marketers perceive the effectiveness of their marketing channels, potentially impacting their advertising decisions.

Google’s Moves

While Google’s decision to remove certain attribution models from Google Ads and Google Analytics may simplify the attribution process for some, it limits marketers’ access to valuable data and insights.

Consequently, as the industry evolves, it becomes crucial for marketers to explore alternative attribution solutions and adopt comprehensive analytics tools outside of Google’s ecosystem to ensure a well-rounded understanding of campaign performance.

By diversifying their approach, marketers can mitigate the impact of Google’s attribution model limitations and continue to make informed decisions that drive successful marketing strategies.

At Harrison Carloss, we proactively look to improve analytics on behalf of our clients, allowing them to make more informed decisions. For strategic marketing underpinned by real data, get in touch with the team at Harrison Carloss at hello@harrisoncarloss.com