21 March 2024

GA4 “Key Event” Update Initially Perplexes Advertisers

Google announced a push for “greater consistency” with Google Ads, with an impending GA4 update that replaces ‘conversions’ with ‘key events’.

Most advertisers and GA4 users are used to using the same terminology as Google Ads (“conversion”), making the insistence from Kamal Janardhan, Google’s Senior Director of Product Management, that this is an “improved, more unified experience” a bit confusing.

How this will impact advertisers predominantly using GA4 goal tracking remains to be seen, but in the meantime, this could be a key step in differentiating Analytics and Ad platforms more definitively for the industry: Google Ads is a platform for performance and optimisation (conversion), whereas Analytics is arguably for reporting and measuring user behaviour (key events).

A minor difference, but an important one to keep in mind.

Read more on Google's blog announcement
1 July 2023

Google Analytics 4 Officially Replaces Universal Analytics

The forced migration away from the long-serving Universal Analytics (UA) to Google’s newest analytical platform Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a historic transitional moment in digital marketing. Advertisers now have no choice if they were previously using UA but to use GA4 if they to track the performance of their websites as UA officially stops processing website visitors as of today. It is now imperative for any advertisers to migrate from UA to GA4 in order to stop any potential data loss.

Find Out More at Wordstream
6 April 2023

First-Click, Time Decay and Position-based Attribution Models Are Being Removed

First-Click, Time Decay and Position-Based attribution models will no longer be available within Google Ads, in favour of the Data-Driven attribution model by September 2023.

As per their strong focus on Performance Max, Google has increasingly catered to the variety and number of touch-points prior to a conversion (shorthandly referred to as “The Messy Middle”). Data-driven attribution has been found to improve performance when used in combination with Smart Bidding, however for years, Data-Driven was only available to accounts that had thousands of conversions a month, making it inaccessible for many.

Now that Data-Driven attribution’s requirements are lower, more advertisers can leverage Smart Bidding and enter “The Messy Middle” for themselves.

These days only 3% of web conversion actions use First-Click, Time Decay or Position-Based attribution, and with Data-Driven now being the gold standard, it is no surprise Google has decided to move away from these outdated models completely.

Advertisers not using Data-Driven or Last Click will be automatically switched by the end of September 2023.

23 January 2023

Google Says “Farewell” to Optimize & Optimize 360

Google is saying goodbye and sunsetting Google Optimize and Optimize 360, with both no longer being available after September 30, 2023.

In a rare consolidation, Google is pushing for advertisers to treat GA4 as the main platform for third-party A/B testing integrations, stating that integrating GA4 will “improve user experience”. While accurate tracking will likely remain a pain point for advertisers in 2023, it is more vital than ever that advertisers will need to be familiarising themselves with GA4 and its tools available, as it is clear Google will undoubtedley be focusing on adding more to GA4 further in the future.

1 November 2022

‘Similar Audiences’ Targeting in Google Ads Will Be Replaced with a Not-So-Similar Feature

Starting in May 2023, Google will be transitioning away from Similar Audiences, with these fully removed from all ad groups and campaign by August 2023.

Similar Audiences have been a long-term mainstay of Google targeting, making the update a frustrating one for many advertisers who rely on these audiences to find “lookalikes” of their ideal users.

The feature is to be rolled up and consolidated into the already available Optimised Targeting (display, video and discovery campaigns) and Audience Expansion, however once removed, there will be no way to target ONLY Similar Audiences, unless the feature is replaced before Aug 23. Advertisers using Similar Audiences should look to test optimised targeting and begin to move away from similar audiences, so the transition will be less impactful in August.

Read more on Google's Support hub