Get SKAN postback data from Google Ads

At a glance: Enable Google to share the content of your SKAdNewtork (SKAN) app iOS postbacks with AppsFlyer.

Get SKAN postback data from Google Ads

If you work with multiple ad network partners, the best practice is to set it up in AppsFlyer. By doing so, SKAN performance metrics for all your ad network partners, enriched with other metrics like cost, are available via the AppsFlyer platform. 

Related reading: AppsFlyer SKAN Solution guide

Scope of SKAN reporting with Google Ads

  • Google Ads shares aggregated iOS SKAN postbacks they receive with AppsFlyer in the context of iOS app campaigns. These postbacks represent installs from multiple channels such as display and YouTube, but generally exclude most of search as SKAN does not support web->app tracking at this point. 
  • AppsFlyer decodes the postback and then updates the SKAN dashboard and reports (including the postback raw data report).
  • iOS 14.5 implications on SRN reporting

Considerations:

On receipt of the iOS postback, Google determines the last click time using ad serving signals. However, AppsFlyer regards the click time as the install time. This can lead to differences between the AppsFlyer and Google dashboards.

Due to the click reporting methodology used by Google, and the fact that Google updates data retroactively on a daily basis, AppsFlyer pulls the data for the previous 8 days and displays the install under the last click before the install date.  For example, a click on July 1 can be reported to AppsFlyer on July 8. AppsFlyer displays this install under the July 1 date. This impacts reports as follows: 

  • Aggregated reports and the dashboard update retroactively. 
  • Raw data reports don't change retroactively. Data (provided via Data Locker) is provided in folders according to the date Google provided the data to AppsFlyer (data arrival date). 

Set up interoperation

To set up interoperation with Google Ads, you must complete the following section.

Set up postback sending

To set up your postback sending
Step Action

Details

1

SKAN settings review 

Verify that AppsFlyer SKAN solution is set up and is on. Doing so allows the AppsFlyer SDK to call SKAN APIs and set the conversion value.

To review SKAN settings:

  1. In AppsFlyer, go to Configuration > SKAN Conversion Studio.
  2. Click options (), and verify that SKAN measurement is on.

    skan-settings.png

  3. Select your preferred measurement mode.
    Learn more about SKAN Conversion Studio.
  4. Make a note of the exact event names set. You'll need them in the next step. Note! Names are case-sensitive.

2

In-app event mapping in AppsFlyer

To view and set in-app event mapping:

  1. In AppsFlyer, go to Configuration > Integrated Partners.
  2. Select Google Ads (Adwords).
  3. Go to the Integration tab.
  4. Verify that Activate Partner is on. If not, you must first complete integration with Google Ads
  5. In the In-app events postbacks section:
    1. If not on, turn on In-app events postbacks.
    2. The best practice is to map the events related to the currently selected measurement type. Note! In the case of revenue measurement, map af_skad_revenue to the appropriate Google revenue event
  6. Scroll down to the bottom of the page. 
  7. Click Save integration.

Allow Google Ads to share SKAN data with AppsFlyer

Allow Google Ads to share SKAN data with AppsFlyer. If you don't do so, you won't see SKAN installs attributed to Google Ads in the AppsFlyer SKAN dashboard. 

To grant Google Ads permission to share SKAN data with AppsFlyer:

  1. The procedure that follows must be performed by the advertiser, agency, or both.  
  2. In AppsFlyer, go to Configuration > Integrated partners.
  3. Select Google Ads.
  4. Go to the SKAN tab.

    mceclip0.png

  5. If the temporarily unavailable message displays, most times it means an ad blocker is active. If so, disable the ad blocker and reload the page. If this is not the case, contact AppsFlyer support. 

    mceclip1.png

  6. Click Google Ads login.
    • You must log in to Google Ads using an Administrator user role on the account.
    • If the Google account is associated with multiple apps, log in once, and all apps are authorized. In other words, there is no need to authorize on a per-app basis. 
  7. Follow the instructions in the user interface.
  8. In some cases, you might be prompted to give AppsFlyer permission to Manage your AdWords campaigns.  If so, you must enable the permission. Don't worry, we won't make changes to your campaign settings.

    GoogleManageAdWords.png

  9. Verify that the account status, waiting for sync displays.
    This message persists until we get data from Google Ads (maximum 24 hours.)
  10. Wait until after 02:00 UTC of the next day, then verify that the status changes to active.
    Data in the SKAN dashboard updates daily by 08:00 UTC. Note! As described in the considerations section, Google can update data 8 days retroactively. 
  11. Read about measurement differences

Additional information

Measurement and timing differences between AppsFlyer and Google Ads

Measurement considerations
Item Details 
Earliest data availability

Data is available starting on the date that you enable the integration according to the UTC time. Because Google uses the click time, installs from before the starting date can display retroactively. 

Install date 

Google sets the install time to the estimated last click time before the install. It is Google that determines the click time using ad serving signals.

The following should be considered when comparing media sources and the dashboard in AppsFlyer: 

  • AppsFlyer doesn't consider the app time zone or the Google Ads ad account time zone.
  • Google can report installs retroactively for 8 days after the click date.
  • In the case of other media sources, we derive the install time using the postback arrival time. 
Data freshness
  • We collect SKAN data from Google Ads daily starting 01:00 UTC.
  • Dashboards and aggregate data update 7 hours later.
Reports available

Google Ads data is available in the SKAN dashboard, aggregate, and raw data reports. See SKAN reporting options.

 

Troubleshooting, discrepancies, and FAQ

FAQ
Item Details 

Sending events to Google Ads

Q: Does it make sense to send additional event postbacks to Google Ads for events not selected in the conversion value measurement option?

A: For consenting users, send the full range of events to maximize Google Ads' ability to optimize.

Map multiple events to the same Google Ads event

Q: Can I map multiple in-app events to one Google Ads event?

A: If multiple events are mapped to one Google Ads standard event, Google Ads can't differentiate between the events. So, Google Ads will optimize toward the one event they recognize.

Agency integration

Q: Can agencies enable the integration with Google. 

A: Yes. Use the procedure in this article. 

Campaign types supported

Q: What types of Google Ads campaigns are supported

A: App-to-app iOS campaigns including search, video, and so on. 

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