Advertising and attribution

[GA4] Select attribution settings

Conversions are now called key events. We've updated our terminology to simplify conversion measurement and reporting across Google platforms. The term 'conversion' now aligns with how conversions are defined in Google Ads, addressing previous discrepancies across platforms. Important events previously labeled as 'conversions' in Analytics will be reclassified as 'key events.' These key events, when shared with Google Ads, will be considered conversions, facilitating more accurate performance measurement of ad campaigns and enabling better-informed marketing decisions. Learn more about this change

Attribution is the act of assigning credit for important user actions to different ads, clicks, and factors along the user's path to completing the action.

If you're an administrator or editor, you can can change these attribution settings:

  • the reporting attribution model for all key events
  • the channels eligible to receive credit for web conversions shared with Google Ads
  • the lookback window for acquisition key events and all other key events

Select attribution settings

The Attribution settings page lets you choose how Google Analytics assigns credit to different ads, clicks, and other factors before users trigger key events and Google Ads web conversions.

To select attribution settings:

  1. Sign in to Google Analytics.
  2. In Admin, under Data display, click Attribution settings.
  3. Select these attribution settings:
  4. Click Save.

Reporting attribution model

An attribution model can be a rule, a set of rules, or a data-driven algorithm that determines how credit is assigned to touchpoints along a user's path to completing important actions.

Reporting attribution model lets you select the attribution model you want to use to attribute credit in your Google Analytics 4 reports and the reports of any linked Firebase projects. Changing the reporting attribution model applies to historical and future data. Learn more Get started with attribution.

Changing the reporting attribution model is reflected in all key event reports and explorations that use event-scoped traffic dimensions, for example, Source, Medium, Campaign, and Default channel group. In Explore, you can view a full list of dimensions that are compatible with attribution. User- and session-scoped traffic dimensions, such as Session source or First user medium, are unaffected by changes to the reporting attribution model.

Note: The first click, linear, time decay, and position-based attribution models are no longer available as of November 2023. Learn more About the deprecated models.

Note: Attribution models were introduced on different dates (read below). This means if you select a date range that includes a timeframe before the "start date" for a model, you will view partial data.

  • Paid and organic channels data-driven attribution: November 1, 2021
  • Paid and organic channels rules-based models: June 14, 2021

Fractional credit

Based on your selected attribution model, you'll notice changes to the following metrics when used with event-scoped traffic dimensions: Key events, Total revenue, Purchase revenue, and Total ad revenue.

When you switch to a non-last click attribution model, you may notice decimals or "fractional credit" for the first time in these columns. This is because credit for a given key event is distributed between contributing ad interactions according to your selected attribution model.

You select the Linear model. A user follows the path keyword1 > keyword2 and then converts. In this case, each keyword will display 0.5 in the Key events column from that key event.

Channels that can receive credit

Choosing the Google paid channels attribution setting lets you see conversions from Google Ads in your Google Analytics conversion reports. If you choose Paid and organic channels, you can report on conversions from both paid and organic sources in Google Analytics, providing a broader, cross-channel view of your conversions beyond Google Ads paid channels.

Changing this setting applies going forward and to all linked Google Ads accounts. It may impact the conversions you create in Google Ads for bidding and reporting. These changes may take a few days before they're reflected in your Google Ads campaigns and reports.

NotePaid and organic channels only applies to web conversions; app conversions always use Google paid channels.

Key event lookback window

Users can trigger key events days or weeks after interacting with your ad.

The conversion window determines how far back in time a touchpoint is eligible for attribution credit. For example, a 30-day conversion window will result in January 30th conversions being attributed only to touchpoints occurring from January 1-30.

The conversion window applies to all attribution models and all conversion types. Changes to the conversion window apply going forward and will be reflected in all reports within your Analytics property.

For Acquisition conversion events (first_open and first_visit), the default conversion window is 30 days. You can switch to 7 days if you have different attribution needs.

For all other conversion events, the default conversion window is 90 days. You can also choose 30 days or 60 days.

Note: The key event lookback window you choose also applies to session attribution.

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