Improved attribution for TrueView for action ads

October 12, 2018

People don't always take action on video ads in the moment—they often convert a couple days after their viewing session. For instance, say you had been thinking about making your home a little smarter, for the sake of efficiency and shaving some money off your utility bills. You see a video ad on YouTube for the Nest smart thermostat that piques your interest, but you’re not quite ready to buy it right there in the moment. You decide to do a bit more research before ultimately purchasing it online a few days later. That video you saw on YouTube didn’t drive the click, but it planted the seed. From sparking an idea to making that final decision, online video has a massive influence within today’s consumer journey.  Over 90% of consumers say they’ve discovered new products and brands on YouTube, and watch time for YouTube videos on "which product to buy" has doubled year over year.

To understand how video works in the purchase journey, it’s important to have accurate attribution – and looking at the relationship between video ad exposure and conversions we determined that the default attribution window for TrueView for action ads needed to change. To help you more accurately assess the impact of your video ads, we’re adjusting the default attribution window for TrueView for action ads to 10 seconds with a 3 day default conversion window (from 30 seconds with a 30 day conversion window). 

Here’s what’s changing: 

  • Our system will now count an ‘Engagement’ whenever a user clicks or watches 10 seconds or more of your TrueView for action ad using maximize conversions or target CPA bidding. 
  • By default,  a ‘Conversion’ will be counted when a user takes action on your ad within 3 days of an ‘Engagement.’ You can ask your Google team to customize this time frame if you prefer an alternative.  
  • For users who click your ad, we’ll still attribute conversions according to the conversion window you have set (the default is 30 days).

To inform these changes, we conducted large-scale experiments to analyze the incremental conversion volume driven by TrueView for action ads across a broad range of advertiser industries and conversion types. As a result, advertisers can look forward to: 

  • More accurate conversion counting 
  • Faster ramp up times for your target CPA campaigns 
  • More current reporting thanks to reduced conversion lag

No action is required from advertisers to take advantage of these improvements. Learn more about video ad measurement here.


Posted by Nicky Rettke, Group Product Manager, YouTube

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