Updates to iOS 14 campaign measurement

As a result of Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policy changes, you will find some updates to the way we report and measure conversion information for ads serving on iOS 14 traffic. This article outlines how product changes may affect you as a Google Ads advertiser. Most advertisers will not be affected.

You can read about how we’re preparing our partners for Apple’s iOS 14 policy updates.


ATT impact on Google Click ID, website, and offline conversions

Since Apple’s ATT policies took effect on April 26, 2021, we no longer send the Google Click Identifier (GCLID) for iOS 14 traffic coming from ads on a handful of Google apps. Traffic from other Google sources will not be affected and will continue to include GCLIDs.

How will it affect me?

Some Google iOS apps currently use information (such as Apple’s IDFA) that would require ATT. Apple’s ATT policies mean Google will no longer use that information, and therefore will not show the prompt in those apps, in line with Apple’s guidance.

As a result, you may find a decrease in GCLIDs in your landing page URLs for traffic originating from affected iOS apps. For impacted traffic only:

  • The &gclid={GCLID} will not be appended to ad clicks and the {gclid} ValueTrack parameter will be set to empty text.
  • You may find a decrease in reported website conversions.
  • You may find a decrease in reported offline conversions (imported from clicks).

What Google is doing to help

In March 2021, we introduced a new URL parameter to help comply with Apple’s policies and help you measure the results of your ads on iOS.

This new parameter, &wbraid={WBRAID}, will help you attribute conversions back to your ad campaigns and work with conversion modeling to give you a more accurate measurement on iOS.

To support this new parameter, the Google tag (gtag.js), Google Tag Manager (gtm.js), and Google Analytics (analytics.js) with a linked Google Ads account will set a new first-party cookie on your domains by default. That will attribute conversions back to ads subject to ATT policies.

As always, you can opt out of first-party cookie tracking at any time by disabling conversion linking in your respective configuration.

Preparing for iOS 14 changes

We recommend you prepare for these changes with the following actions:

  • Ensure that you have the Google tag (gTag.js and/or Google Tag Manager) properly implemented on your site.
  • While most advertisers won’t need to change their website, a small percentage may need to allow arbitrary URL parameters on their website to ensure continuity of campaign measurement.
  • For Video campaigns, you should enable audience expansion for remarketing or Customer Match campaigns, and also choose to include similar audiences on all ad groups.
Note: This article will be updated to keep you informed on best practices related to iOS 14 changes. Visit this page in the coming weeks for the latest information. This article was last updated on March 29, 2023.

Bidding considerations for impacted campaigns

Campaigns using Smart Bidding will continue to set bids based on the most accurate measurement available. However, we recommend that you prepare for the above changes by closely monitoring the performance and delivery of all campaigns serving on iOS traffic. If necessary, you can also make adjustments to budgets and Smart Bidding CPA or ROAS targets to help you achieve your goals. For example, if you would like to increase spending, you can raise CPA targets or lower ROAS targets as needed.


ATT impact on app deep-link conversions

Note: If you use Google Ads to promote your iOS app, you can read Best practices for iOS App campaigns.

If your ads deep link users into your apps on iOS 14, you may also have fluctuations in your in-app conversions as Apple’s ATT policies go into effect. In reporting, we will be rolling out solutions to ensure you can continue to get the most accurate in-app measurement on iOS.

What Google is doing to help

In May 2021, Google introduced a new URL parameter that you can use to measure the results of your ads on iOS under Apple’s policies.

gbraid is the new parameter that can help you measure app conversions driven by ad campaigns on iOS. This new parameter is added to landing page URLs when auto-tagging is enabled for all iOS14.5+ clicks.

Benefits of using gBraid

  • Discover key insights: Get full measurement of your Google ad campaign results and app conversions on iOS.
  • Boost campaign performance: Capture unaccounted iOS conversions with gBraid to power bidding models to help deliver ads more efficiently.

How to set up gBraid

  1. Make sure that your website supports the following:
  2. Turn on auto-tagging in your Google Ads account settings.
  3. Find your measurement setup and follow the instructions. Learn more About tracking app conversions with an App Attribution Partner.

Firebase

  • You must use the latest version of Firebase SDK (v6.32.2 or newer). Refer to Google Analytics 4 set up guide.
  • If you’re using scenedelegateUI or swiftUI with Firebase SDK, contact your Google Account Manager for further guidance (if applicable).

Adjust SDK or S2S

To set up and activate Google Ads integration with Adjust, you can follow the Adjust Set up Google Ads.

Airbridge SDK

To set up and activate Google Ads integration with Airbridge, you can follow the Airbridge Google Ads partner integration user guide.

AppsFlyer SDK or S2S

To set up and activate Google Ads integration with AppsFlyer, you can follow the AppsFlyer and Google Ads integration guide. Ensure that re-engagement is enabled and all app events are configured within AppsFlyer.
  • Option 1: SDK
  • To enable re-engagement attribution, follow these steps:
    1. In AppsFlyer, go to "App Settings".
    2. In the "Integration" tab, scroll to the bottom.
    3. Turn on the "Re-engagement attribution" toggle button.
    4. Under the "Re-engagement click-through lookback window", select a lookback window in hours or days then set the slider to your desired value.
      • This is the period of time during which the app must be launched for the click to be recorded as a re-engagement. It starts from an ad click.
    5. Click Save.
  • To configure sending all app events, follow these steps:
    1. In AppsFlyer, go to "App Settings".
    2. In the "Integration" tab, scroll to the bottom.
    3. Turn on the "In-app event postbacks" toggle button.
    4. Click Add event to add an SDK or server-to-server event to the list.
    5. Under "Sending option", select All media sources, including organic from the drop-down menu.
    6. Under "Send revenue", select Values & revenue from the drop-down menu.
    7. Click Save integration.
  • Option 2: S2S
    • Follow the AppsFlyer Server-To-Server guide, pass "af_deeplink" to AppsFlyer.
    • To ensure Google can receive referring URL click identifiers from AppsFlyer for attribution, contact your AppsFlyer CSM for guidance.

Branch SDK or S2S

To set up and activate your Google Ads integration with Branch, you can follow the Branch and Google Ads integration guide.

Kochava SDK or S2S

To set up and activate your Google Ads integration with Kochava, you can follow the Kochava & Google Ads integration guide.

Singular SDK or S2S

To set up and activate Google Ads integration with Singular, you can follow the Singular Google Ads Attribution Integration setup. Additionally, under "Event Postbacks" select “Send all events, regardless of attributed partner” from the drop-down menu.

Offline conversion imports (OCI)

  • You must be allowed to collect and manage conversion data. Before you import your conversion data in your Google Ads account, make sure that you follow Google’s security standards on data collection. Learn more About offline conversion imports.
  • Make sure that all click parameters are passed correctly. Learn more about Upload Click Conversions.
Note: gbraid is currently applicable to Search, Shopping, Display, and Performance Max campaigns only. You may contact your Google Account Manager to be allowlisted for this solution in addition to your configuration settings, depending on your measurement setup.

Preparing for iOS 14 changes

We recommend you prepare for these changes with the following actions:

  • Stay up to date on the latest iOS 14-related information from your App Attribution Partner or upgrade to the latest version of Google Analytics for Firebase to ensure that your SDK supports Google’s conversion measurement on iOS, with the added gbraid parameter.
  • While most advertisers won’t need to change their website, a small percentage may need to allow arbitrary URL parameters on their website (in this case "gbraid=") to ensure continuity of campaign measurement.
  • If you use Manual CPC bidding, avoid making CPC bid adjustments (to account for the iOS-reported conversion drop) until reported iOS in-app conversions normalize.
Note: This article will be updated to keep you informed on best practices related to iOS 14 changes. Visit this page in the coming weeks for the latest information. You can also read FAQs about iOS 14 changes. This article was last updated on March 29, 2023.

Related links

Was this helpful?

How can we improve it?
Search
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu
6281497921345095420
true