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 that I observe for App campaigns and the SKAdNetwork report and what's available in App Attribution Partner reporting?

As of 30 April 2021, SKAdNetwork reports are available to all App campaign advertisers. SKAdNetwork reporting is one of multiple data sources to consider for campaign reporting. Compared to Google’s conversion modelling, SKAdNetwork has core differences in underlying logic and settings, which can lead to reporting discrepancies between the two methodologies.

To improve the quality and consistency of our modelled reporting in the Google Ads UI, we’re deepening our integrations with SKAdNetwork data. However, some level of discrepancy between the two is normal and expected. Learn more about these two methodologies and best practices for iOS App campaigns.

Additionally, 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 modelled 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 modelling 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 modelling?

Yes, App campaign modelled conversions may take up to five days to appear, and this is expected behaviour. This modelling delay is in addition to existing conversion delays. Be aware that reporting for recent campaign performance will continue to be affected by modelling 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, such as 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?

Setting up your SKAdNetwork conversion value schema can help you measure in-app event performance and more effectively optimise your campaigns for post-install actions or a target return on your ad spend.

You can set up your conversion value schema through Google Analytics 4, a Google-approved App Attribution Partner or the Google Ads API directly. It’s highly recommended that advertisers choose one place to set up their conversion value schema. Conversion value schemas set up through Google Analytics 4 can be exported with the Admin API. We also plan to introduce the ability to utilise your schema to improve the optimisation of your tCPA and tROAS App campaigns. Currently, this is available in limited beta.

Learn how to Set up your SKAdNetwork conversion value schema and best practices for iOS App campaigns.

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 optimisation. 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 that 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 tools and improve conversion modelling and reporting for your iOS App campaigns.
  • Allows you to experiment with explainer messages to communicate why your users should opt into personalised ads.
  • Ensures that your campaigns will be compatible with upcoming privacy-safe measurement innovations from Google.
  • Helps you unify data across your app and website. Learn how to Set up Analytics for a website and/or app.

Performance

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

We recommend that you consolidate to eight or fewer app install campaigns for each iOS app because this helps maintain optimal performance within SKAdnetwork’s campaign limitations. Running eight or fewer campaigns ensures that each campaign has sufficient conversion signals. While this isn't a hard limit, exceeding eight 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 modelling

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 analyse other factors, including device type, time of day and operating system, in order to assess similarity.

Google AI is trained 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 modelled online conversions.

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

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