Google Ads Updates in September:Default Attribution Change, Smarter Keyword Matching | Article – HSBC VisionGo

Google updated the rules on how keywords are selected to match the most relevant keyword to every search and the change of default attribution model.
Marketing  ·    ·  3 mins read

Google Ads Updates in September (Everything You Need To Know): Default Attribution Model Changes, Smarter Keyword Matching Behavior

In the previous article, we have talked about the Google ads update on keyword matching type. In September, Google updated and shared the rules on how keywords are selected in order to match the most relevant keyword to every search. In addition, Google also published an announcement about the change of default attribution model, from last-click attribution to data-driven attribution (DDA). Let’s have a look at these changes together.


Google Ads Update 1:
The new default attribution model – Data-driven Attribution

Google announced on September 27 that it is changing the default attribution model for all new conversion actions in Google Ads, from last-click attribution to data-driven attribution (DDA). By removing the data requirement for the campaigns, DDA attribution can be used for every conversion action and available for more conversion types, including in-app and offline conversions.


Comparing DDA with Last-Click Attribution

Since the original default model is Last-Click Attribution), and after the change, it becomes DDA (data-based attribution). I believe that it would help you understand more about the difference between those by comparing the them in the following ways:


1. Data-driven attribution provide more comprehensive data

Last-Click Attribution (last-click attribution) is very rigid in assigning credit for conversions. It only assigns all credit to the last clicked ad.

Relatively speaking, DDA (data-based attribution model) can give you a more comprehensive view of the conversion path, so that you can see the underdogs in the account. Remember, even if those channels did not bring conversion as the last click, their interaction still does something for your conversion.


2. Last-Click Attribution reports are more rigid

Last-Click Attribution (last-click attribution) will only report on a completed conversion, so it will be easier to grasp when analyzing your advertising return on investment (ROI); while DDA (data-based attribution model) will credit the interaction in the advertisement that leads the customer to the conversion action, even if the interaction does not directly complete the conversion in the end.

It can be seen that the Last-Click Attribution report is more black and white, while DDA will look at various historical data to understand when the interaction is really meaningful to the conversion.


Google Ads Update 2:
Smarter keyword matching behavior

When a search is not identical to any of your keywords

In the past, when there were multiple keywords eligible to match but none of them were exactly the same as the search terms, your Ad Rank would be used to determine which keyword was selected. For now, in addition to ad ranking, Google also considers the relevant signals. Relevance signals are determined by checking and evaluating the meaning of search terms, the meaning of all keywords in the ad group, and the landing page in the ad group. The following is the working principles in various scenarios provided by Google: 

Keywords that are eligible
How keywords are selected
More than one broad match keyword

Only relevant broad match keywords from the most relevant ad groups will be considered. Ad Rank is then used to decide which keyword will be selected among this narrow set of broad match keywords with similar relevance.

One broad match keyword and one exact match / phrase match keyword


If you have exact match or phrase match keywords that are deemed more relevant than these broad match keywords, the exact or phrase match keyword will be selected.


If you have exact match or phrase match keywords that are deemed similar or less relevant than these broad match keywords, there is still a chance the exact or phrase match keyword will be selected if it has a higher Ad Rank. 


More than one exact match / phrase match keyword

If you have multiple exact and/or phrase match keywords eligible and no broad match keywords eligible, the keyword with the higher Ad Rank will be selected.

Source: support.google.com

Let’s illustrate with this example: Terrence searches for “Hong Kong SEM Agency”, and you use “SEM Agency” as the keyword for Phrase Match and “Digital Marketing Agency” as the keyword for Broad Match. In this case, even if the Ad Rank of the Phrase Match keyword is lower than that of the Broad Match keyword, the system will select the former as it’s more relevant.

Under these rules, you can use and control broad match easily as the most relevant keyword will always be prioritized. Click here to know more about how a keyword is selected.

Google suggests that advertisers classify keywords into different Ad Groups according to categories, so that the system can select ads from relevant ad groups, and your ad will serve from the ad group you expect them to.

For example, if you are a Digital Marketing company, and the most popular search categories are Search Engine Marketing and Content Marketing. You should create three ad groups, let say “Search Engine Marketing”, “Content Marketing”, and “Digital Marketing” , so you can customize your creative and landing pages respectively .

Terrence Chung
Terrence Chung
Kick Ads Limited
Kick Ads Limited