The Google Merchant Center is making changes that will impact the way marketers analyze and attribute conversions as well as the tools available to them. As of April 2024, Google Merchant Center will remove the ability to select four rules-based attribution models when setting up the conversion source. The attribution models being removed are first-click, linear, time decay, and position-based. Any conversion sources still using these models will be switched to data-driven attribution. Marketers not wanting conversions that use data-driven attribution will be able to use the last-click model as an alternative.
This change is significant for marketers as it will affect how they analyze and attribute conversions, which is crucial for identifying effective channels, touchpoints, and strategies. This enables informed decision-making and resource allocation. Google announced this change after confirming it was retiring these attribution models for all properties in Google Ads and Google Analytics in October 2023. According to a spokesperson, adoption rates for these models were “increasingly low” with “fewer than 3% of conversions in Google Ads using these models.” They added that “Switching to the data-driven attribution model typically results in a 6% increase in conversions for advertisers.”
Google is providing alternatives for marketers affected by these changes. They will be able to use the last-click model if they do not want to use data-driven attribution. For more information on how to choose the reporting attribution model and conversion window for your property, marketers are advised to read Google’s Select Attribution Settings documentation.
The author of this article, Nicola Agius, is the Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land, who covers paid search, paid social, retail media and more. Prior to this role, Agius worked as the SEO Director at Jungle Creations and has over 15 years of experience in journalism, with previous work experience at various well-known publications.
In summary, these changes to the Google Merchant Center will impact the abilities of marketers to analyze and attribute conversions. These changes are intended to provide more robust and accurate data-driven attribution, with the goal of helping advertisers increase conversions by 6%. Marketers are advised to familiarize themselves with the new attribution model and consider how it will affect their strategies and resource allocation moving forward.
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