So Long, Last Click Attribution

October 5, 2021

Finally! Goodbye last click. I will not remember you fondly.

Google’s announcement that last click attribution is on its way out is very welcomed news to everyone here at Assembly. From this month on, Google will replace last click measurement with Data Driven Attribution (DDA) as a default on Google Ads.

So, what does this mean?

In addition to finally acknowledging that it’s not just the last interaction that actually leads somebody to make a decision (in most cases), you might notice some changes in your day to day, like:

  • Some keywords will drop performance – think brand terms here, on a DDA model, they are bound to not be as relevant.
  • But generics will most likely account for a higher share of attribution – because their contribution on upper funnel searches is finally going to be accounted for.
  • Display will improve its performance metrics – as display remarketing becomes more complicated with the industry’s turn to privacy as a feature, moving to a DDA model will allow to account for more upper funnel and branding executions. Expect to see display’s contribution to sales to increase.
  • YouTube – same as display. You can bet that product unpacking, instructions, reviews and branded content will have a higher value towards conversion.

Now, the thing here is that we are not talking about consumers changing their decision making or buying habits. We are talking about an evolution in measurement that was a long time coming.  

Last click always reminds me of that scene in The Hangover when one of the characters drunkenly marries somebody he just met in Vegas. 

Does that happen? Yes. Is it the norm? No.

Typically, there is a crescendo in a relationship over a longer period of time before you put a ring on it.  Google now acknowledges that.

A Top Tip: As DDA is rolled out, it is bound to affect performance metrics. Keep an eye on it and don’t panic. Your business is still doing well, but some metrics might change over the next few days.

We are likely to see fractional attribution on our reports. As DDA distributes contribution to conversion across multiple touchpoints, it is likely that any touchpoint will be awarded 0.x of a conversion – expect keywords driving 1.5 conversions.

DDA is important, as it takes into consideration the contribution of each touchpoint towards driving an action.

Ultimately for our clients, there is no change – their business will not generate any more or less conversions, and their sales figures continue to be the absolute truth that we optimize to. But, with this change, we now have more levers to decide on that optimization and can drive clients towards a more integrated, business led approach to digital planning and measurement, which is truly good for everyone. 


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