Earlier this week, Google announced that they are fully rolling out support for non-last click attribution models for YouTube & Display campaigns. This is news worth celebrating! In the past, YouTube & Display campaigns have been limited to last click attribution only, meaning that if somebody watched a YouTube ad or clicked on a Display ad, then searched a brand keyword, clicked on that ad and ultimately converted, the brand search campaign would be the only thing to get credit. This vastly undervalues the impact of that initial Display or YouTube ad on introducing the customer to the brand and getting them into the purchasing funnel, and limits our ability to measure the full impact of these upper funnel campaign types.

With this update, there are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • If your YouTube or Display campaigns live in a separate Google Ads account that does not share a pixel with your Search account, then this update will not have an impact. To get the full insight into the value of YouTube and Display, we recommend combining all campaign types into one account or using a shared conversion pixel among accounts.
  • As a result of YouTube and Display now being included in non-last click models, you should expect to see conversion credit shift among your campaigns, but total conversions will not be affected by this change. The same amount of total conversions will be tracked as normal, but the allocation of those conversions amongst campaigns is what will be changing.
  • In addition to clicks on YouTube ads, engaged view conversions will also be included in the Data Driven attribution model to give an even fuller picture of YouTube’s impact. As a reminder, engaged view conversions are counted when somebody watches a video for at least 10 seconds and then converts within 3 days (for Video Action campaigns).

Accurate and holistic measurement of upper funnel advertising can be challenging on any channel, but this is a big step in the right direction for advertisers interested in Display or YouTube advertising, and we’re looking forward to seeing the additional insight this update unlocks.