Date posted

15 May 2023

Read Time

Related Articles


More control and greater use of AI with Performance Max


What can we learn from ISBA’s programmatic supply chain report?


Google removes four attribution models in Google Ads

Attribution models are used to determine how credit for sales/conversions is assigned to touchpoints in the conversion path.

This helps marketers to understand which marketing channels have contributed towards driving conversions.

Starting this month, Google is removing four of the six attribution models available in Google Ads, leaving only last click and data-driven attribution.

The four models that will be removed are:

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

Why are four attribution models being removed from Google Ads?

Data-driven attribution (DDA) differs from other models as it uses conversion data to calculate the contribution of each touchpoint along the conversion path; this allows it to be specific to your conversion goals.

Google reports that since the introduction of DDA, less than 3% of conversion actions use first click, linear, time decay, or position-based attribution.

Despite concern from some advertisers that insight will be lost from the soon-to-be removed models, Google has affirmed that the removal of the four less used models will help to simplify and consolidate conversion measurement across its platforms.

How should I prepare for the removal of these attribution models?

From this month, Google has confirmed that new conversion actions will be unable to use the retiring models, and existing conversion actions will be automatically switched to data-driven attribution (starting in September 2023). 

Last click attribution will still be available to select, however, this will need to be updated manually for each conversion action.

Ahead of these changes, advertisers should review existing conversion goals to determine whether DDA or last click attribution is the best fit for their needs, then assign the appropriate attribution models to their conversion actions before Google automatically switches them to DDA .

Share this with your team to avoid getting caught out:

  • May 2023: On Google Analytics 4 properties, time decay, linear, first click, and position-based models will not be available for new conversion actions.
  • June 2023: In Google Ads accounts, time decay, linear, first click, and position-based models will not be available for new conversion actions.
  • September 2023: Google will sunset the attribution models in Google Ads and Google Analytics 4.