FAQs about iOS 14 changes

This article addresses frequently asked questions about Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policy changes and how product changes may affect you as a Google Ads advertiser. Most advertisers won't be affected. Learn more about Updates to iOS 14 campaign measurement

Reporting

What’s the difference between the reporting I observe for App campaigns and the SKAdNetwork report? Also what is available in App Attribution Partner reporting?

As of April 30, 2021, SKAdNetwork reports are available to all App campaign advertisers. SKAdNetwork reporting is one of multiple data sources to consider for campaign reporting. Learn more about best practices for iOS App campaigns

App Attribution Partners (AAPs) have access to the same information of SKAdNetwork conversions and App campaign conversions. However, AAPs don't receive attribution claims on modeled conversions, so you’ll notice differences among App campaigns, SKAdNetwork, and AAP reporting.

What reporting details should I expect for conversion data captured through the new URL parameters?

Conversion data measured with the new parameters are reported at the same level of granularity as with the individual-level GCLID parameter using conversion modeling techniques. Learn more about Updates to iOS 14 campaign measurement

Is it possible to observe longer delays for some of my App campaigns on iOS because of conversion modeling?

Yes, App campaign modeled conversions may take up to 5 days to appear, and this is expected behavior. This modeling delay is in addition to existing conversion delays. Also be aware that reporting for recent campaign performance will continue to be affected by modeling lags, and you should continue to be prepared for performance fluctuations.

Conversion tracking

How do the new URL parameters work when the ad interaction occurs on a non-Google site? Do advertisers need to send Google the parameter themselves?

When any of Google’s first-party tags are implemented on any website, the tags pass the appropriate parameter when it detects the ad interaction is coming from iOS 14 traffic. Learn more about Updates to iOS 14 campaign measurement

In what cases are these new URL parameters used?

These new URL parameters may appear when an ad originates on an affected iOS surface, and a subsequent conversion occurs on the web. The new URL parameters may also appear when an ad originates on the web and there are subsequent conversions in an app (deep linking).

How do I test whether the new URL parameter is working?

In a Google app, click on an ad that takes you to a website. Inspect the website URL and check if the parameter “?wbraid=” appears.

How do SKAdNetwork conversion values work with App campaigns?

SKAdNetwork conversion values may help you to measure campaign performance, and we’ll be introducing additional features to incorporate conversion values into campaign optimization in the coming months.

How does Google’s on-device conversion measurement compare to SKAN?

Our on-device conversion measurement provides conversion information comparable to SKAdNetwork, with data structured to best drive campaign optimization. On-device conversion measurement also ensures that any matching occurs on the device and no user information is sent off the device in an identifiable manner. Learn more About on-device conversion measurement

What metrics are collected with on-device conversion measurement?

On-device conversion measurement helps measure app installs and in-app actions from your iOS App campaigns while keeping user information private. On-device attribution uses emails you provide, from your app’s sign-in experience for example, using Google Analytics for Firebase (GA4F). The GA4F SDK ensures that only de-identified conversion data is sent off-device to Google servers. No identifying user information is sent off the device in an identifiable way.

What are the benefits of including the Google Analytics for Firebase SDK in my iOS app, beyond SKAdNetwork integration?

Beyond registering your apps for SKAdNetwork attribution, Google Analytics for Firebase also offers the following benefits:
  • Automatically measures key interactions, such as first opens and in-app purchases, for consented users. Learn more about automatically collected events
  • Allows you to use Google’s on-device conversion measurement for iOS tool and improve conversion modeling and reporting for your iOS App campaigns.
  • Allows you to experiment with explainer messages to communicate why your users should opt into personalized ads.
  • Ensures your campaigns will be compatible with upcoming privacy-safe measurement innovations from Google.
  • Helps you unify data across your app and website. Learn more about setting up Google Analytics for a website and/or app

Performance

What’s the impact of running more than the recommended 8 App campaigns for installs?

We recommend you consolidate to 8 or fewer app install campaigns for each iOS app because this helps maintain optimal performance within SKAdnetwork’s campaign limitations. Running 8 or fewer campaigns ensures that each campaign has sufficient conversion signals. While this isn't a hard limit, exceeding 8 campaigns per app will result in degraded performance and SKAdNetwork reporting. Learn more about how Google is helping app developers prepare for Apple’s iOS 14 ATT policy updates

Conversion modeling

How does Google model conversions when there's no shared identifier between ad interactions and conversions or when conversions can’t be measured?

We separate ad interactions based on whether we were able to observe the link between that ad and the conversion.

Then, we identify a group of similar-behaving users in the observable group and calculate their conversion rates. We also analyze other factors, including device type, time of day, and operating system, in order to assess similarity.

We train our machine learning model to determine the likelihood of conversions across all users that interacted with the ad, even those that weren’t directly viewed because of browser or OS restrictions. We apply these training techniques uniquely for each advertiser’s specific business needs.

Then, we validate that our models are representative by leveraging data from other calibration signals, such as historical conversion trends. Learn more About modeled online conversions

What are some signals used to power Google’s conversion modeling?

While every model will be slightly different, example signals used include: Device type, Conversion type, Time of Day, Country, and Browser. Learn more About modeled online conversions

Bidding

How do these new measurement solutions for iOS affect my bidding?

Our bidding systems rely on the measurement solutions used to collect data such as the Google tag (gtag.js), Google Tag Manager (gtm.js), and Google Analytics for Firebase. As we develop new measurement solutions like conversion modeling and new URL parameters, we closely monitor their effect on our bidding systems and make adjustments accordingly.

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'd like to increase spend, you can raise CPA targets or lower ROAS targets as needed.

If you’re running App campaigns with the Target ROAS bidding strategy, you should switch to Target CPA right away. Learn more about how Google is helping app developers prepare for Apple’s iOS 14 ATT policy updates

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