What are the Click Attribution Models on Google Ads? - Spaceboost Blog
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What are the Click Attribution Models on Google Ads?

How you understand the way your customers interact with your ads, and adapt your ad strategy based on this information, is no longer optional, it’s essential! So, a key part of your strategy is which of Google’s data attribution models that you choose. Here’s a recap of Google’s PPC click attribution models, and some best practices to use them to improve your online paid advertising results.

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Google’s three recommended steps to refining your advertising online.


These are the three steps that Google recommends when using attribution to create the ideal online ad strategy. It is about understanding how a customer journey can be a complex and dynamic odyssey, spanning over several devices and channels, and reacting. To keep up to date, businesses need to identify how their audience has interacted with each element of their ad strategy, attribute the correct amount of value to each interaction, and update their strategy accordingly.

Here are the different general models available, a quick recap of the features of each, and the way in which you can use our Google Ads tool to boost results:


Last Click, First Interaction 

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In the Last Click and First Interaction models, the last or first click the user makes before converting receives 100% of the credit for the sale, no matter what happened before or after.

These models can provide a valuable insight, but they do not take into account the different phases of the customer journey. If, over a period of two weeks, a customer clicks on a paid social media post, opens an email, sees a remarketing campaign, clicks on a search ad and then converts, the value of all these different steps will not be taken into account. With what we know now about the way the customer journey works, it’s time to move on to a more intelligent model.


Time Decay

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In this model, the interactions closest to the point of sale receive the most credit. If a customer opens an email campaign hours before converting, that interaction will be valued more highly than a social media impression a week ago, or the paid media click that sparked the customer’s relationship with your business.

This is on the more conservative end of the scale in terms of online ad strategy. It is suited to market leaders that can afford to take time over a long-term marketing strategy, with a slower but more comprehensive growth model, or businesses in a low-cost market, with lower competition, but who need to place importance on brand awareness.  



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In the Linear attribution model, each interaction that the customer has with the ad campaign receives the same amount of credit, no matter when it comes along the customer journey.

This is a middle of the road model: more accurate than First Click, but less specific than, say, Time Decay. If you want to move on from click-based attribution, but you’re not sure which option to choose, this a good place to start.



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With a Position-Based model, more credit is attributed to the first and last interactions, and the rest is evenly spread out for the rest of the steps along the customer journey.

This is a model that prioritizes growth, and can be useful for businesses that are new in the market, in sectors with high competition, placing the most importance on reaching the customer and getting them to convert.



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If available (Data Driven can only be activated for large accounts with a minimum amount of traffic, conversions and historic data (generally at least 15,000 clicks on Google Search), this is the ideal model. It uses your conversion data to calculate the actual contribution each keyword makes, analyses and compares click paths to identify the most valuable combinations of types of impressions that increase the likelihood of conversion, and gives you the most comprehensive overall picture of the value of each keyword.


Pablo Molins
PPC Expert and Operations Manager, Spaceboost
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