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Google Ads brings YouTube into Attribution fold, expands data-driven attribution to more advertisers


Google has added YouTube in its Google Ads attribution reporting and is making its data-driven attribution model available to more advertisers. These were among the measurement updates Google announced Monday.

YouTube attribution. Cross-network attribution reporting for YouTube and Search campaigns is now in open beta in Google Ads. When eligible, advertisers will be able to opt-in to see YouTube clicks and video engagements in their “Top paths,” “Path metrics,” and “Assisted conversions” attribution reports under Tools > Attribution.

Display campaigns will be incorporated into attribution reports in the coming months, Google says.

Lift measurement updates. Conversion Lift is also now in beta to measure the incremental lift in conversion actions from YouTube ads. This builds on the existing Search Lift (increase in searches on Google and YouTube) and Brand Lift (increase in brand awareness and consideration) capabilities Google has long offered.

Google is also now reporting Search Lift and Conversion Lift results as soon as they’re available with daily reporting. Advertisers can now run Brand Lift, Search Lift and Conversion Lift measurement on the same campaign to measure from awareness to interest to conversion.

Data-driven attribution expansion. Google’s data-driven attribution model uses machine learning to assign credit to ad interactions in a user’s journey. It’s designed to reflect the incremental impact of ads on conversion activity by comparing the paths of those who converted to those who didn’t, rather than say, just look at the conversion contribution of the last ad clicked.

As with any machine learning-based product, data-driven attribution requires a critical amount of data for its models to train on and produce reliable predictions. On Monday, Google announced that it’s now able to lower the data requirements for data-driven attribution to a minimum of 3,000 ad interactions and at least 300 conversions in the past 30 days. That’s down from 15,000 ad interactions and 600 conversion events in the past 30 days.

You’ll see the option available if you’re conversion action is eligible for data-driven attribution. To see if it’s available and change the attribution model to data-driven, select the conversion you want to change (Tools > Conversions) and you’ll see the options available in the Attribution model section.

Attribution model options available for Search and Shopping campaigns in Google Ads.

Why we care. Bringing YouTube — and eventually Display — into Attribution reporting will help advertisers see how their campaigns on these channels complement each other in moving users through the customer journey. That data can then be used to inform your budgets or CPA targets.

A reminder, you can always compare Google Ads attribution models with the Model comparison feature available from Tools > Measurement > Attribution in the UI

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