Google Ads (AdWords) Mobile Attribution Integration

Setting Up Google Ads (AdWords)

Integration Summary

(See Partner Integrations Glossary)

Partner Google Ads
Partner Type SAN
Creatives 🚫 for App Campaigns
Publisher 🚫 for App Campaigns
S2S 🚫
View-Through
Re-engagement
Click Tag 🚫 (Self-attributing)
Receiving All Installs Recommended (Self-attributing)
Receiving All Events Recommended (Self-attributing)

Introduction to Google Ads

Google App campaigns (FKA Universal App campaigns) help you promote your mobile app across Google's various networks.

By adding a partner configuration for Google Ads, you can let Singular track the performance of your campaigns across Google Search, YouTube, and over three million sites and apps.

Note: You can track both click-through and view-through campaigns. 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

Text ads on Google Search, the Google Search App, and Google Play.

Note: iOS search campaigns for Installs are not attributed by Google Ads, and therefore aren't shown in user-level reporting. This also impacts Default Tracker Installs in aggregated reporting.

Google Display Image ads in mobile applications and browsers that can link to your mobile website, mobile app, or app store.
Google Ads for Video (Youtube) 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 help your current app users take specific in-app actions to improve user retention and long-term revenue. Re-engagements
Attribution Tracking with Google

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 (See 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.

Importing Events into Google Ads

To begin tracking conversions and events related to Google Ads campaigns, you first need to go to your Google Ads account to set up your conversion actions - also known as importing events.

See Google Ads Attribution Integration: How to Import Events for detailed instructions.

Note: 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.

How to Setup your Partner Configuration

Prerequisites: Integrate the Singular SDK (see instructions). If your application supports deep links, make sure to implement deep link support on iOS and Android.

  1. In your Google Ads account, generate a Link ID. See Google's instructions.
  2. Go to Singular > Attribution > Partner Configuration.
  3. Click “Add a Partner”, and type and choose Adwords (Google Ads).
  4. In the dialog, choose your App and App site (platform) to configure.
  5. Under Adwords Link ID, paste the ID that you generated.
  6. Specify attribution settings:
    1. View-through attribution - give higher priority to ad views
    2. Re-engagement - use inactivity windows. This is required
      options_checkboxes_adwords.png
    3. Click-through attribution lookback window - specify how long an ad can be credited with an install.
      options_slider.png
    4. Note: changing the default settings may cause discrepancies between the install numbers you see in Singular and Adwords dashboards.
  7. Send Event Postbacks: To improve campaign optimization, allow Singular to send Google Ads postbacks about in-app events. Map your events to the equivalent Google event, or leave the event as "custom".
  8. Click Save.
  9. (Important) Import events: set up your conversion actions in your Google Ads account. See How to Import Events.
    • You will not see Singular's events right away. The events show up in Google Ads only after at least one conversion event occurs after setting up the configuration in Singular.

FAQ

How does Singular's reporting for Adwords work?

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, the available data includes the Google campaign ID, campaign name, and ad group ID, along with the Google channel (Youtube, Display, Search). This data is mapped to Singular as "Campaign ID", "Campaign Name", "Sub Campaign ID", and "Sub Ad Network", respectively.

mceclip0.png

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 third parties, as outlined in the Google Ads documentation.

Why can't I see iOS Google Search attributions?

Starting January 2020, App Campaigns for Installs for Search are no longer attributed by Google Ads, and therefore aren't shown in user-level reporting. For more information, see Google's announcement

How can deep linking and deferred deep linking be enabled for Google Ads campaigns?

Verify your Singular SDK implementation includes deep link and deferred deep link support

Once implemented, your Singular integration with Google automatically enables deferred deep linking for Google campaigns utilizing feeds.

Why do I see a discrepancy between Adwords Network Installs and Singular Tracker Installs for iOS campaigns?

Google Ads reported app conversions may contain a mix of both deterministic and modeled sources. See Google's Documentation to understand how modeled conversions may impact your campaigns.

Because modeled conversions don't tie back to a single specific ad interaction, Google cannot provide a corresponding deterministic response to Singular or any of Google's App Attribution Partners. This may cause reported conversion discrepancies across Google and 3Ps.

How does this integration handle app activity for opt-out users on iOS and Android?

Opt-out user's app activity is reported to Google with the advertising IDs zeroed out, so Google does not receive any individually identifiable information. 

When Google serves an ad, they also append "IDs" when auto-tagging is enabled:

  • Gbraid (iOS): An identifier appended to iOS 14.5+ clicks
  • Gclid (Android, iOS): A Google click ID

In cases where these ads are deep link enabled, the IDs are captured by the Singular SDK/S2S integration when the user is deep linked into the app. Singular forwards any available IDs to Google which are self-attributed reportied in Singular as re-engagements. In the case of "gbraid", these re-engagement attribution's have reduced granularity. "Gbraid" based re-engagement attributions have:

  • Campaign ID
  • Campaign Name

Important: To send Gbraid and Gclid to Google, your Singular SDK integration should be configured to support non-Singular deep links. See the iOS SDK guide and Android SDK guide.

What are "engaged views" and how are they reported?

An engaged view is a user impression of a video ad that lasted more than 10 seconds. Engaged views are counted as click-through attributions in Google and Singular reporting.

In Singular's user-level logs, engaged view conversions are reported under "interaction_type" = "engagement" in the "passthrough" field for conversion/event data attributed to Google.

In aggregate reporting, engaged view conversions are reported under "conversion type" = "click-through".

 

Partner Data Policies

Data Retention

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

  • 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.

EEA User Consent Handling

Starting March 2024, Google Ads is requiring advertisers to pass consent signals for EEA users as part of their updates to support the Digital Markets Act EU regulation. EEA users who opt-out of these user consent signals will not be attributable nor will their data be used in Google for advertising purposes.

Singular provides the following options to help advertisers comply:

      • If your business determines that EU privacy regulations for EEA users apply to your app, pass user consent signals to Singular based on the consent prompts your app presents to these users. See "How can I pass user consent signals to Singular?"
      • If your business determines that EU privacy regulations don't apply to your app, you can opt-out of EEA user consent signals in Singular. check the "EEA opt-out" option under the "User Privacy" section in the partner configuration. See "How do I opt out of EEA data requirements?"

EEA User Consent Handling FAQ

How can I pass user consent signals to Singular?
If your business determines that EU privacy regulations for EEA users apply to your app: Implement the Singular SDK/S2S "Limit Data Sharing" feature based on the consent prompts your app presents to these users.

    • Using Singular's iOS SDK:
      limitDataSharing Method
      Description

      Notify Singular of user consent (opt-in) for sharing private data.

      • Use limitDataSharing:NO to indicate that the user consented (opted in) to share their information.
      • Use limitDataSharing:YES if the user did not consent.
      Signature (void)limitDataSharing:(BOOL)shouldLimitDataSharing;
      Usage Example
      SwiftObjective-C
      // User has opted into sharing
      data Singular.limitDataSharing(false) 
    • Using Singular Android SDK:
      Singular.limitDataSharing Method
      Signature

      Singular.limitDataSharing(boolean shouldLimitDataSharing)

      • Use Singular.limitDataSharing(false) to indicate that the user consented (opted in) to share their information.
      • Use Singular.limitDataSharing(true) if the user did not consent
      Description Notify Singular of user consent (opt-in) for sharing private data.
      Usage Example
      // User has opted into sharing data
      Singular.limitDataSharing(false);
  • See our iOS, Android, and Server-to-Server API techincal documentation articles on "Limit Data Sharing"
  • It is recommended that LDS is set prior to Singular SDK initialization, thereby allowing Google to capture the user consent signals at time of app install to maximize measurement and advertising insights
  • Singular LDS will be mapped to Google's "ad_user_data" and "ad_personalization" user consent signals for EEA users, as below:
    • LDS=true maps to ad_user_data/ad_personalization=0
    • LDS=false maps to ad_user_data/ad_personalization=1
    • Unset LDS maps to unset ad_user_data/ad_personalization
  • (Coming soon, after March 2024) The Singular SDK/S2S will support an optional mode to automatically ingest user consent signals from certified Consent Management Platforms (CMP). Until then, you can extract the user consent signals from your CMP and pass them through LDS

 

How do I opt out of EEA data requirements?
Consult and confirm with your business' legal counsel before toggling this option.
If your business determines that EU privacy regulations don't apply to your app, you can opt-out of EEA user consent signals in Singular. check the "EEA opt-out" option under the "User Privacy" section in the partner configuration. LDS and user consent signals are not used by Google with this option.


  • Implementing LDS for EEA users is not required if using this option
  • This option can be enabled prior to Google's March updates going live
What is Singular's Limit Data Sharing (LDS)?

Singular's Limit Data Sharing (LDS) is a feature that allows app developers to pass each user's user consent signals to Singular. LDS is set per user and can be set before or after SDK initialization. LDS is used in Singular User Privacy Postbacks and passed to certain partners like Google, who use it to comply with their own data practices.

See "Supporting User Privacy Choices with Limit Data Sharing FAQ"

Can I pass user consent signals if I use a Consent Management Platform (CMP)?

Google lists Consent Management Platforms (CMPs) that support the required user consent signals. If you use one of these CMPs, you can extract the user consent signals and pass them through Singular's LimitDataSharing feature

 (Coming soon, after March 2024) The Singular SDK/S2S will support an optional mode to automatically ingest user consent signals from these certified CMPs (via the TCF 2.2 standard).

What will be the impact to my Google Ads' campaigns?

Starting March 2024

For EEA users that opt-out to user consent:

  • User-level attribution to Google Ads campaigns will not be available in Singular.  Google won't be able to report these attributions to MMPs
  • Google Ads will model conversions for these users, which is reflected in the aggregated network metrics Singular pulls from the Google Ads data connector.
  • Google Ads won't be able to use this users data for advertising purposes

For EEA users that opt-in to user consent:

  • User-level attribution to Google Ads campaigns are possible
  • Google Ads will use this data for advertising purposes

We encourage advertisers to reach out to their Google representative for more detailed information with respect to your specific campaigns and configurations.