Google Ads (AdWords) Attribution Integration

This article describes how to configure Google Ads as a partner for Singular's attribution service.

To learn about how Singular pulls data from Google Ads into Singular's analytics platform, see the Google Ads Data Connector guide.


Integration Summary

(See Partner Integrations Glossary)

Partner Google Ads
Partner Type Self-attributing Ad Network
Creatives Not Supported for App Campaigns
Publisher Not Supported for App Campaigns
View-Through Supported
Re-engagement Supported
Click Tag No (Self-attributing)
Receiving All Installs Recommended (Self-attributing)
Receiving All Events Recommended (Self-attributing)

Introduction to Google Ads

Google App campaigns (formerly Universal App campaigns) help you promote your mobile app across Google's various networks. By configuring Google Ads as a partner, you can let Singular track the performance of your app promotion campaigns across Google Search, YouTube, and over three million sites and apps. You can track both click-through and view-through campaigns.

Note: Google Ads' view-through attributions are based on MRC definition of viewability and are only available for Youtube and Display networks.

Google Networks

Network Description
Google Search These are text ads appearing on Google Search, the Google Search App, and Google Play.
Google Display These are image ads in a mobile applications and mobile web browsers that can link to your mobile website, mobile app, or app store.
Google Ads for Video (Youtube) These are video or text ads appearing in the Google YouTube iOS or Android apps.

Google Ads Campaign Types

Type Description Singular Tracking
App Campaigns App Campaigns is a one-stop-shop to promote your mobile app on all available networks. These ads are auto-generated based on the creative text you enter. Available for both iOS and Android apps. Installs
App Campaigns for Engagement App campaigns for engagement helps your current app users take specific in-app actions with the goal of improving user retention and long-term revenue. Re-engagements

How Attribution Tracking with Google Works

Singular tracks Google Ads campaigns via a self-attributing server-to-server integration, which includes:

  • Tracking all installs and re-engagements driven by any of your Google Ads campaigns
  • Both click-through and view-through attribution

The integration uses a Link ID which is generated in Google Ads and unique to each app. Once your Link ID has been configured in Singular, Singular will start sending all installs, sessions, and configured in-app conversion events to Google. Using the attributed click information returned from Google, Singular can perform last-touch attribution (learn more in Singular's Attribution Process) and offer you reports on your campaigns' performance using the same granular campaign information you receive in your Google Ads dashboard.

Integration Steps


Integrate the Singular SDK (see instructions). If your application supports deep links, make sure to implement deep link support.

1. Get Your App’s Link ID

Generate a Link ID in your Google Ads account as explained in Google's instructions. There are two ways to generate a Link ID to use with Singular. We recommend using cross-account conversion tracking with an MCC account. If that isn't possible, you can also share a link ID with another Google Ads account.

2. Set Up the Integration in Singular

Search for "AdWords" in Partner Configurations. Select your desired "App," "Site," and provide your App's Link ID.

Default settings:

  • View-through Tracking: Enabled by default.
  • Re-engagement Tracking: Enabled by default and mandatory if you are running re-engagement campaigns with Google.
  • Click-through attribution window: You can customize this setting. 
  • Any available post-session app events are automatically included by default, with the option to exclude. Under "Google app event type" you will find a list of Google's predefined events. Map your events to the equivalent Google event, or leave the event as "custom" 

Note: Sessions (to enable re-engagement) are automatically sent to Google. No additional configuration is required. This is required per the Google Ads integration.


3. Import Conversions and Configure your Google Ads Campaigns

To begin tracking conversions, you first need to configure the events on Google's platform. This is what Google refers to as "importing events." This enables Google to start receiving post-install events.

  • For install tracking, you have to import the "first open" event in Google Ads.
  • For re-engagement campaigns, make sure that you import "session_start".

For more instructions on importing conversion events, see Google's documentation.

The events show up in Google Ads after at least one conversion event occurred since setting up the configuration in Singular (not just events that are attributed to Google Ads). 

For live apps with thousands of active users, this usually happens within a few minutes, but if you are testing a new app without any active users, you have to trigger the events yourself.

Then, make sure that the conversion is enabled - this might have to be done through the MCC account if you are utilizing cross-account conversions.

Next, you can configure and start your Google Ads campaigns. Follow Google's instructions to learn more about your options and how to configure them.

4. Verification - Singular Reporting for AdWords

Once an attribution is tracked, your Google Ads campaigns will appear in your Singular Reporting interface. 

Singular supports reporting attributed Google Ads app campaign data for click-through and view-through installs and re-engagements.  Currently, only the Google Campaign ID and name, along with the Google channel (Youtube, Display, Search) is available, mapped to the Singular "Campaign ID", "Campaign Name", and "Sub Ad Network" dimensions, respectively.


Note that "Conversions" in Google Ads refer to both Installs and Re-Engagements in Singular.

In addition, there are inherent discrepancies between Google Ads and all 3rd parties, as outlined in the following Google Ads document.

Partner Data Policies

As a Google App Attribution Partner, Singular adheres to the following data handling requirements required by Google:

Data Retention

Google Ads user-level data is removed after 6 months of original attribution.  After 6 months, users attributed to Google Ads as treated/marked as "Organic" and reflected as such in both aggregate and user-level reporting in Singular.

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