About cross-network attribution

Consumer journeys are complex, and marketers need the tools to understand how different networks, campaigns, and ads work together to create conversions as YouTube, Google Display Network, and Demand Gen campaigns can all be a part of a user’s path to conversion. The attribution reports and our attribution models can help marketers uncover these insights.

You can view YouTube, Google Display Network, and Demand Gen ad engagements in these reports by selecting Networks from the "Dimension" drop-down menu.

Learn more About attribution reports.

Note: We recommend you to use “Expert Mode” in Google Ads to access attribution reports and experience the full range of Google Ads features. Learn more About Smart Mode and Expert Mode.

Benefits

The attribution reports:

  • Show how Search, YouTube, Google Display Network, and Demand Gen campaigns work together to drive conversions
  • Allow you to view Search clicks, YouTube clicks and video engagements, Display clicks, and Demand Gen clicks and engagements along the path to conversion
  • Provide insights into campaign performance and showcase how credit is distributed across attribution models
  • Inform your tCPA or budget setting by showing you which campaigns and networks assist conversions

Requirements

For cross-network paths to be visible, you must:

  • Advertise on the Google Search Network, YouTube, Google Display Network, or Demand Gen
    Note: If you have different Google Ads accounts driving Search, YouTube, Google Display Network, and Demand Gen traffic to the same website with the same goals, make sure to use cross-account conversion tracking, which requires a manager account (MCC).
  • Use Google Ads or Google Analytics 4 (GA4) conversion tracking
    Note: Offline conversion tracking can't measure some YouTube engagements. These conversion types will show paths across Search and YouTube clicks only. Data-driven attribution support for Demand Gen campaigns is rolling out in the coming months.

Best practices for cross-account conversion tracking

For the attribution reports to display cross-network activity, you must use Google Ads conversion tracking with visibility into Search Network, YouTube, Google Display Network, and Demand Gen campaigns. If you use cross-account conversion tracking, make sure that Search, YouTube, Google Display Network, and Demand Gen campaigns across different accounts all track conversions at the manager account (MCC) level.

Use the account map feature in Google Ads to verify that your account is set up to accurately display cross-network reporting.

Here's how to check your cross-account conversion tracking setup:

  1. In your Google Ads account, click the tools icon Google Ads | tools [Icon] on the upper right.
  2. Under "Setup," select Account map.
  3. In the navigation menu, click Conversion tracking parent to see which accounts inherit manager-level conversion tracking.
  4. If a checkmark icon doesn't appear next to an account, that account uses account-level conversion tracking, and any conversion and campaign data from those accounts won't be visible in the cross-network attribution reports. Consider setting up cross-account conversion tracking to ensure you're capturing the full picture in the attribution reports.

What to expect

Similar to any update to your attribution models, you might see some changes to "Campaigns" reporting when you move from a Search-only attribution model to a cross-network (Search, YouTube, Google Display Network, and Demand Gen) attribution model:

  • Fractional credit: Credit for a given conversion is distributed between contributing ad interactions, according to your selected attribution model. As a result, you'll see decimals in your "Conversions" and "All conv." columns for the first time for some campaign and network types when you switch to a non-last click model.
  • Time lag: Google Ads reports conversions according to the date of the ad interaction. Since a non-last click attribution model shares conversion credit between multiple interactions, each of which happened at a different point in time, the time lag associated with your "Campaigns" reporting may increase. As a result, you may see a temporary, slight dip in conversions for very recent days after changing your attribution model.
  • Credit shifts: With any change to your attribution model, you could see conversion credit shifts across the various campaigns, networks, ad groups, and keywords using that conversion action.
    • Note: You can check the “Model comparison” report to compare 2 attribution models side-by-side and review credit distribution between the 2 attribution models (For example, “Last click” and “Data-driven”).

How reporting varies

Here's how conversions are reported differently in the cross-network attribution reports vs. the "Campaigns" page:

  Attribution reports "Campaigns" page
Time of event Time of conversion Time of the ad query preceding the click that led to conversion. (Add "by conv. Time" columns to the "Campaigns" page to match the reporting time in attribution reports)
Network coverage

Search Network, YouTube (including Google video partners), Google Display Network, and Discover

Note: Performance Max and Demand Gen campaigns will be labeled as “Cross-Network”.

Search Network (including Search partners), YouTube (including Google video partners), Google Display Network, Gmail, Google Maps, App, and Discover
Campaign coverage

Search, Shopping (including Smart Shopping), Video, Display (not including pay for conversions), and Demand Gen

App campaigns aren't supported yet.

Search, Shopping (including Smart Shopping), Video, Display, Demand Gen, App, Hotel
Video format coverage

Ad sequence, Bumper, Non-skippable in-stream, Skippable in-stream

Bumper, Masthead, Non-skippable in-stream, Outstream, Skippable in-stream, In-feed video
Conversion coverage

Google Ads conversion tracking*, Google Analytics goal and conversion import (including Android app conversions), offline conversion import, call conversions (click to call, call import, website call conversions), and app conversions

*Note: Engaged view conversions (EVCs) are supported in both Google Ads and Google Analytics 4 (GA4) properties, but conversions attributed to impressions (VTCs) are currently not supported in GA4.

All sources in attribution reports, plus store visits conversions
History windows

"Conversion windows" apply in the attribution reports in the same way they do for the "Campaigns" page.

In addition, you can use a "lookback window" in the attribution reports to determine how far back in time from a conversion you want to include ad interactions for the data in the reports. For example, you may want to only consider ad interactions within 30 days of conversions (regardless of the conversion windows of those conversions).

The "Model comparison" report also has a "Default" lookback window option. The "Default" option sets the lookback window for each conversion to its conversion window.

A "conversion window" is set for each conversion action within Tools > Measurement > Conversions. Any conversion without a preceding ad interaction within its conversion window is not counted in Google Ads. Learn more About conversion windows.

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