Manage attribution models

Frequently Asked Questions for attribution modeling

Why don't the conversions reported in Google Ads, Google Analytics, and Floodlight columns match?

All of these systems count conversions slightly differently.

While Google Ads always uses a last click attribution model, even if you select Last click for a Floodlight column in Search Ads 360, the metrics in Search Ads 360 might not match Google Ads.

If you’re using both Google Analytics and Floodlight to track activity on a site, it’s unlikely that the conversion and goal metrics will match, regardless of the attribution model that you select in Search Ads 360 or in the Google Analytics Modeling Tool.

Learn more.

When should I use Campaign Manager for reporting, and when should I use Search Ads 360?

Use Campaign Manager reporting to see how credit is distributed across display advertising, paid search, and natural search channels. Because of the large amount of data involved in cross-channel comparisons, Campaign Manager applies the various models to a sample of the data.

Use Search Ads 360 reporting when you need to focus on the performance of your paid search campaigns. Search Ads 360 reports all keyword and product group clicks.

Do attribution models in Search Ads 360 account for natural search?

Yes, if Search Ads 360 Natural Search is enabled in your advertiser.

For example, consider this funnel:

  1. A customer searches on cars, clicks on a search ad, does some research, and leaves.

  2. Later, the customer searches on family cars and clicks a natural search result, but is not ready to buy.

  3. Finally, the customer searches for minivans and clicks on a search ad, which results in a conversion.

If Search Ads 360 Natural Search is enabled in your advertiser, the linear attribution model would attribute 33% of the conversion to the cars keyword and 33% to minivans. The remaining 33% of the conversion is attributed to the natural search result, and is therefore not reported in Search Ads 360. (The conversion may be counted in the Natural Search report depending on the attribution model you selected for Search Ads 360 Natural Search.)

If Search Ads 360 Natural Search is not enabled, the linear attribution model would ignore the natural search interaction and attribute 50% of the conversion to the cars keyword and 50% to minivans.

How are clicks from the Google Display Network reported?

Clicks on ads in the Google Display Network are counted as paid search clicks in Search Ads 360.

If your search campaign in Search Ads 360 includes the Google Display Network as a target, attribution models in Search Ads 360 will assign credit to keywords when they are responsible for a clicks on a Display Network ad in a conversion funnel.

For example, a campaign in Search Ads 360 targets All networks. A customer clicks a Display Network ad associated with the "minivans" keyword. All attribution models in Search Ads 360, will attribute the click to paid-search click on the "minivans" keyword.

By default, Campaign Manager reports that include paid search dimensions will also attribute the click to paid search, but you can label these clicks as belonging to the display channel in Campaign Manager.

Are attribution models applied to offline conversions?

Conversions for some advertisers start online and finish in a call center, local store, or some other offline venue. If you want to attribute credit for offline conversions to your ads, keywords, or specific clicks or visits to your site, you can upload data about offline conversions.

See which types of attribution models can be applied to offline conversions.

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