4 Attribution Models Removed from Google Analytics and Google Ads

4 Attribution Models Removed from Google Analytics and Google Ads
11 April 2023
Recently, Google announced the removal of 4 attribution models which were available for Google Analytics and Google Ads. Soon, the only available options will be the data-driven attribution model and the 'last click' model. Find out more about what it means for you and your ads and why Google has made the change!

The 4 Redundant Models

Starting May 2023, these four attribution models will no longer be available either for Google Analytics or Google Ads:

  • First click
  • Linear
  • Time decay
  • Position-based

The announcement was made on Google Ads Help and discussed via a series of tweets on Twitter by the Google Ads liaison:

Why Make the Change?

Some advertisers were shocked and displeased by Google’s decision, but many agreed that this move makes sense.

Apparently, the data-driven attribution (DDA) model is the most popular model for automated bidding conversions. The four models that are going to be removed soon make up for less than 3% of Google web conversions combined.

So it seems that removing the almost-never-used models is the right thing to do. However, some advertisers pointed out that without them they will lose valuable sources of insights that help them make better decisions.

Google has for some time now strongly favored, and even enforced, the use of a data-driven attribution model. While the very essence of this model is definitely right, its operation is not so intuitive and easy to understand. This is what the less complicated attribution models have helped us with. Its removal will undoubtedly make insightful analyses more difficult, although the standard Analytics users probably won’t see the difference.

Tomek Gniecki
Tomek Gniecki SEM Specialist

Others raise concerns that the DDA model is going to favor Google Ads by giving it more credit than other advertising channels. In return, Google will get an even bigger piece of the advertising cake.

The Timeline

Don’t worry, you’re not going to lose access to the 4 attribution models across all channels right away. Google announced a specific timeline.

First, the 4 attribution models will be unavailable for any new conversions:

  • May 2023 – Google Analytics 4
  • June 2023 – Google Ads

The complete sunset of time decay, linear, first click, and position-based models:

  • September 2023 – Google Analytics 4 & Google Ads

After September 2023, any conversion actions using one of these 4 models will be automatically changed into the data-driven attribution model. It will also be possible to manually change it to the “last click” model.

Do you need help with tracking your Google Ads conversion? Contact us! We will make sure everything runs smoothly.

Ania Żur

Junior Marketing Specialist

Absolwentka Studiów Dalekowschodnich i Zarządzania Reklamą i Mediami na Uniwersytecie Jagiellońskim. Do Delante dołączyła w 2021 roku, gdzie rozwija się jako Junior Marketing Specialist. W wolnym czasie udziela korepetycji z języka japońskiego, dużo czyta i podróżuje po świecie. Interesuje się content marketingiem, japońską kulturą i sztuką oraz geopolityką.

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