Rules-based attribution models assign value to each advertising touchpoint based on predefined rules. These models don’t provide the flexibility needed to adapt to evolving consumer journeys. That's why we made data-driven attribution the default attribution model in Google Ads and Google Analytics 4. It uses Google AI to understand the impact each touchpoint has on a conversion, and when combined with auto bidding, data-driven attribution improves performance. Data-driven attribution is now the most-used attribution model for conversions used for automated bidding in Google Ads1, resulting in a decline in the overall use of rules-based models. Today, less than 3% of Google Ads web conversions are attributed using first click, linear, time decay, or position-based models.2
For these reasons, first click, linear, time decay, and position-based attribution models across Google Ads and Google Analytics 4 will be going away. Data-driven attribution, last click, and external attribution won’t be impacted.
Starting in June 2023, we’ll remove the ability to select first click, linear, time decay, and position-based attribution models for conversion actions in Google Ads that do not already use one of these models. Then, starting in September 2023, we'll switch any conversion actions still using these models to data-driven attribution. If you don’t want your conversions to use data-driven attribution, you’ll be able to use the last click model. At this point, these rules-based models will also be removed from reporting throughout the rest of Google Ads, including the Overview page and the Model comparison report within the Attribution tab.
Posted by Sheba Rasson, Product Manager, Attribution
1. Google Data, Global, Conversion Attribution, Sep 2022.
2. Google Data, Global, Conversion Attribution, February - March 2023.