Google Ads (AdWords) guide

  • Advertisers
  • Developers

Introduction

Google Ads is an online advertising platform developed by Google. AppsFlyer enables you to attribute the various Google Ads campaigns types.

Using Google Ads

The Google Ads UI only allows you to configure an App Campaign. To configure other specific campaign types, contact your Google representative.

Configuring Google Ads attribution for advertisers

To start attributing Google Ads campaigns with AppsFlyer, follow these steps:

 Note

As a prerequisite for the integration with Google Ads, the app must collect IDFA / GAID. For further information, refer to the SDK Integrations Guides for either Android or iOS.

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Step 1: create the Google Ads link ID (mandatory)

(Google Ads admin only)

  1. Go to your Google Ads dashboard and click on the Tools icon on the upper right corner
  2. Select Linked accounts under Setup

  3. In the Third-party app analytics box click on DETAILS

  4. Click the “+” button

  5. From the App analytics providers list select AppsFlyer

  6. Select your mobile app's platform, iOS or Android, and select the relevant app under look up your app

  7. Click on CREATE LINK ID

  8. Copy the new Link ID, which now uniquely identifies your mobile app on Google Ads

  9. Remember - you MUST repeat these steps to create the unique LINK ID for each of your mobile apps

Step 2: set up Google Ads on AppsFlyer (mandatory)

(Any member in AppsFlyer's account)

    1. Head to your app's dashboard on AppsFlyer and click Integrated Partners

    2. Select Google Ads

      gads-search.png

    3. Activate the partner and paste the copied Link ID.
    4. Configuring Install attribution:
      1. Set the Install click-through lookback window.
        Select the lookback window units (hours or days) and set the slider to the desired value. We recommend setting the lookback window to 30 days to match with Google Ads.
      2. Enable Install view-through attribution.
      3. Select the lookback window units (hours or days) and set the slider to the desired value. We recommend setting the view-through lookback window to 1 day to match with Google Ads.

        adwords_integration_tab.png

    5. Reinstall attribution
      • To enable reinstall attribution, switch it on.
      • No need to enable view-through attribution or configure lookback windows for reinstall attribution, as the values are taken from install attribution settings.
    6. Configuring Re-engagement attribution:
      1. Enable retargeting in app settings.
      2. Enable Re-engagement attribution.
      3. Set the Re-engagement click-through lookback window, which is the period of time, starting from ad click, during which the app must be launched for the click to be recorded as a re-engagement. Select a lookback window in hours or days and set the slider to the desired value.
      4. Set the re-engagement window. This is the period when the user's in-app events are attributed to the retargeting media source. You can set the value in days (1-90), hours (up to 23), or even lifetime. The default is 30 days.

        facebook_reengagement_attribution.png

    7. Go to the Cost tab
    8. Toggle ON the Get Cost, Clicks and Impressions Data button.
    9. Click on the Connect Google Ads button and log into your Google account to get all your Google Ads campaign costs on AppsFlyer.

      adwords_cost_tab.png

    10. Click Save.

Click here to learn how to see cost data sync status.

 Note

To record clicks and impressions you must configure cost, as described above.

To learn about Google ads cost, click here.

 Important!

The next step (step 3) is optional. You don't have to map your in-app events.

However, step 4 is MANDATORY! Even if you decide to skip step 3, you still have to go through step 4.

Step 3: map your in-app events (recommended)

(Any member attached to the AppsFlyer's account)



  1. Go to the Integration tab and scroll down to the In-App Events section
  2. Set the Link ID again here, if required

     Note

    When enabling the Google Ads in-app events mapping for an app for the first time, all the af_XXX events from the SDK are automatically mapped to Google's pre-defined event list. This automatic mapping saves you time and decreases mapping mistakes significantly.

  3. Toggle In-App Event Postbacks to ON
  4. Select the Sending Option for all SDK defined events
    - Only events attributed to this partner for events coming only from users attributed to Google Ads
    - Events attributed to any partner or organic to have your entire user base available to be reported to Google Ads (recommended for future Google Ads remarketing purposes)
  5. Click Add Event to add an SDK Event to the list
  6. Complete the following parameters:
    Parameter Name Description
    SDK Event Name The name of the event, as received by AppsFlyer either from the SDK integrated in your app, or from server to server events.

     Tip

    Don't see the event you want in the list? Make sure to activate the event on a device with a non-organic installation and recheck.

    Partner (Google)Event Identifier

    The unique name or ID of each event as defined on the partner's side. There are several options here:
    Text field - get the corresponding event ID from the partner.
    Drop down box - select the most suitable pre-defined event for your event.

    Some integrations have the CUSTOM value, which enables sending your SDK event as is to the partner. However, as is doesn't mean that the event value is sent as is as well. The event value must contain standard AF parameters. If you send an event whose value contains Non-AF parameters, these parameters are not sent to Google.

    Send Revenue When unchecked - AppsFlyer sends all the parameters of the rich in-app event to the partner, except for the revenue parameter, which is contained in the af_revenue parameter.
    When checked - AppsFlyer sends all the parameters including the revenue value (if exists in the event).

     Tip

    We recommend mapping AF app opened with session start for future retargeting purposes.

  7. Click Save

 Important!

For Google Ads to register your new conversions, you MUST launch your app and perform your mapped in-app events at least once. Afterwards, it may take up to 6 hours until they are added to the queue. Once they are added, you can import them or the new conversions change status from “No recent conversion” to “recording conversion".

Step 4: measure your app conversions (mandatory)

(Google Ads admin only)

  1. Head back to your Google Ads account and click on the Tools icon

  2. Under the section labeled Measurement - click on Conversions
  3. Click the Plus button

  4. Select App from the list of conversion types

  5. Select Third-party app analytics, and click on Continue

  6. Check the box next to first_open of ALL your apps, and for each event you’d like to import
  7. Click Import and Continue, and then click Done

  8. You can now see your third-party conversion event in the Conversion actions table. Click on the name of the event to see more details


    If an event does not appear in the list or if it has been removed from the Google Ads Conversion import list, click Status and select All to show all events, so that you can re-import the event:

    Import_Conversions_new__1_.png
  9. Congratulations! You are now measuring Google Ads mobile campaigns with AppsFlyer!

 Note

Please ensure your "include in conversions" setup is aligned with your campaign goals in Google Ads. For more information, consult with your Google representative or refer to the Google documentation here.

 Tip

The Google Ads API integration automatically includes the Google Ads remarketing feature. By completing this integration and sending events to Google Ads you are able to create remarketing audience lists in Google Ads without any additional integrations.

Granting permissions to Google Ads team members

You can grant Google Ads permissions to access certain data in your account. You can do this in the Google Ads configuration page under the Permission tab for each one of your apps.

To be able to get these permissions and access your app, your Google Ads representative should be a team member of Google Ads’ partner account on Appsflyer.

Because of Google’s privacy requirements, Google can add new team members to its AppsFlyer partner account only when it’s explicitly requested by an advertiser.

In order to grant a Google Ads team member access to your app, do the following:

  1. Fill out and submit this form to request your account manager to be added to Google’s partner account on AppsFlyer.
  2. Wait for the confirmation from Google Ads that your GA account manager has been added.
  3. Go to Configuration > Integrated partners > Google Ads > Permissions and add your account manager email to the list of team members.
  4. Activate the permissions you wish to grant your Google Ads account manager.

Read more about providing permissions to Ad networks.

Enabling Google Ads attribution for agencies

AppsFlyer supports agency configurations with Google Ads. It is essential that the advertiser and the agency have separate Google Ads accounts to enable AppsFlyer to correctly attribute the data. For details, click here.

Running with multiple Google Ads accounts

AppsFlyer supports working with multiple Google Ads accounts for the same app. This is performed through sharing the Link ID in Google Ads and importing the events into each Google Ads account.

For further details on how to share your Google Ads Link ID, click here.

iOS App Campaigns

Google is going to update its iOS app campaign search inventory logic. As a result, AppsFlyer will not show installs for AC iOS search inventory campaigns. Google, however, will show conversions for all AC iOS search inventory results. Clients who opt-out of this Google update will still see installs for AC iOS search inventory campaigns in AppsFlyer. For more information, click here.

Google Ads parameter mapping

The table below is the parameter mapping between Google Ads and AppsFlyer.

 Note

Advertisers cannot add personalized parameters to any Google Ads campaigns.

Campaign type: app campaigns

Set out below in the table is the parameter mapping received from Google.

Network Type

Search Display Video
Channel (af_channel) UAC_Search UAC_Display UAC_Video
Campaign (c) Yes Yes Yes

Campaign ID (af_c_id)

Yes Yes Yes
Adset (af_adset) N/A N/A N/A
Adset ID (af_adset_id) N/A N/A N/A

Ad (_ad)

N/A N/A N/A
Ad ID (af_ad_id) N/A N/A N/A
Ad Type (af_ad_type) Yes* Yes* Yes*
Site ID (af_siteid) GoogleSearch/
Search Partners
N/A YouTubeVideos/
YouTubeSearch/
VideoPartners
Keywords N/A N/A N/A

*For more information on what ad types are available in Google's response see here.

 Important!

  • Google is an SRN (Self Reporting Network). For more information about how the attribution flow works for these networks, click here.
  • AppsFlyer can present any campaign information that is provided by Google. The campaign type (Search, Video, Display) and associated information is determined by Google. For more information, click here.
  • Click Blocking - For Android, AppsFlyer blocks clicks from pid googleadwords_int, meaning they are counted in the system, but ignored for attribution.
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