Google Ads (Adwords) - All You Need to Know

  • Advertisers
  • Developers

Introduction

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

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.

Setting-Up Google Ads Tracking for Advertisers

To start tracking 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. Paste the copied Link ID.
    4. To track running retargeting campaigns on Google Ads, Toggle Google Ads Retargeting to ON. If you do not have any active Google Ads retargeting campaigns, it is recommended to toggle this button OFF.
    5. Once you enable retargeting, you can set the duration of the Re-Engagement Window (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.
    6. We recommend setting the Click-Through Attribution Lookback Window to 30 days, to match the Google Ads value
    7. The View-Through recommended is 1 day, to match the Google Ads value. The slider allows you to customize the number of hours/days after an ad is viewed, during which the impression can be attributed to this partner

      adwords_integration_tab.png

    8. Go to the Cost tab
    9. Toggle ON the Get Cost, Clicks and Impressions Data button
    10. 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

    11. Click Save.

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

 Note

To track 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.
    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: Track 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

  9. Congratulations! You are now tracking 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.

Enabling Agencies Tracking of Google Ads

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.

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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