Google Launches Free Attribution Model- How Will It Affect Your Business?

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Google has launched its Free Attribution model and it’s set to transform marketing for every online business. Offering more insight and functionality, the Free Attribution model gives your business the opportunity to gain further insight into your consumer. The service provides a more accurate and high-performing marketing strategy in order to boost conversions. However, getting your head around the changes is the first step to attribution success…

What is the Free Attribution model?

Google Free Attribution integrates with Google AdWords, Google Analytics and DoubleClick Search without any extra site tagging, and was released to overcome two major issues:

  • Identifying and assigning credit to upper- and mid-funnel interactions.
  • Making informed bidding decisions based on accurate attribution data.

Before the release of the multi-channel Free Attribution model, Google focused on last-click attribution. This meant that all credit for a conversion on your site would have gone to the last-clicked ad and keyword, ignoring the full customer journey which we now know was likely much longer than the one that snagged the final click.

For example, imagine you cooked a meal. In the last-click attribution model, Google would assign all credit for eating that meal to the meal itself — completely ignoring the shopping, preparation and cooking processes. Clearly, making a meal involves multiple touchpoints — you must apply the same logic to search campaigns.

Google Free Attribution is essentially designed to give marketers more information to make more informed marketing choices that will lead to more conversions. However, it could be getting to grips with it that proves the hardest part.

Why is attribution important?

Your customer likely takes multiple steps before a conversion. Attribution is a way to assign earned credit to various touchpoints in order to identify strengths and weaknesses in individual marketing campaigns.

Why is giving credit where credit’s due important? Mainly because not doing so means you might be flogging a dead horse while missing a potential gold mine. Attribution models essentially improve your level of control, allowing you to identify opportunities earlier in the route to a conversion and focus your marketing budget on ads and keywords that will perform.

We now engage with our consumers on various devices both in and out the home — the days of desktop exclusivity are over. Couple this trend with the rise in artificial intelligence marketing, and we now have more touchpoints for targeting our campaigns to the right customer at the right time. While this is massively beneficial to conversion rates, it’s also made it paramount to analyse your attribution model.

Google Free Attribution promises to tell you how successful or not each of your ads are, and is set to be a vital aid when it comes to optimising your customer’s conversion route for maximum sale potential. Group product manager at Google, Bill Kee, said that the company wants to focus on “understanding the full customer journey versus being limited to looking at last-click impact”. Since Google simply gave credit to the ultimate click without considering previous online engagements previously, this created blind-spots in the online marketing journey. The vital touchpoints that actually attracted your consumers were missed and led them to conversions prior to the final click.

If you don’t maximise on Google Free Attribution, which allows you to select a model that suits your brand and industry rather than the one-size-fits-all last-click template, you’ll struggle to achieve the improved conversion rates, better marketing budget allocations and optimum marketing strategies of other companies — in particular, your competitors.

What are the different attribution models?

Currently, your business will have one of the following attribution models in place:

  • Last click:gives all credit for the conversion to the last-clicked ad and corresponding keyword.
  • First click:assigns all credit for the conversion to the first-clicked ad and corresponding keyword.
  • Data-driven: distributes credit for the conversion based on past data for this conversion action (only available to accounts with enough data).
  • Time decay:delivers more credit to clicks that happened closer in time to the conversion. Credit is distributed using a seven-day half-life. This means that a click eight days before a conversion gets half as much credit as a click one day before a conversion.
  • Linear:gives credit for the conversion equally across all clicks on the path.
  • Position-based:allocates 40% of credit to both the first- and last-clicked ads and corresponding keyword, with the remaining 20% spread out across the other clicks on the path.

How will marketers adapt to this change?

You need to decide which attribution model you wish to implement — and soon. Although there are no guidelines for marketers, it’s clear that in-depth research of Google’s Free Attribution model and a clear strategy to capitalise on future changes to marketing data are key to ensuring that consumer information is collected and utilised efficiently for optimum conversion rates.

If you need help setting up and running an attribution model that delivers results, Mediaworks can help. Contact us using the form below!


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