Google changes GA tracking to prevent loss of attribution on Conversions

According to Search Engine Land, Google introduced changes on how Adwords measure conversions. The main change is on Google Analytics tracking, that now drops a first party cookie with the site’s domain instead of a third party cookie, with the Google domain.

This is to prevent the new Apple cookie killer on Safari, called intelligent tracking prevention that limits the 3rd party cookies to around 24 hours.

Here the 3 points Google sent to Advertisers to assure that Adwords will continue to measure conversions on Safari:

  1. If you have auto-tagging enabled and a Google Analytics tag on your website, we’ll begin to set a new Google Analytics cookie on that site’s domain, which will store information about the ad click that brought a user to your site. If you have linked your AdWords and Google Analytics accounts, the AdWords conversion tracking tag will be able to use that click information.
  2. AdWords will continue to report conversions for users who have recently interacted with Google services and domains.
  3. AdWords will also use statistical modeling to estimate website conversions that could not be measured from Safari, and include them in your AdWords reporting.

How can we translate these 3 points?

  1. If you are using Google Analytics, you do not need to worry as the Google Analytics will deploy a first party cookie, that will last 30 days.
  2. If the user that visits your website is using Google Domains or Google Services (mainly Youtube and Gmail), Google has a unique user id attributed to this user, so ITP (Intelligent Tracking Prevention) will not prevent anything, as each cookie associated with this user id is stored on Google Server. This tracking will work forever, as long the user keeps using Google Services.
  3. Google can use data like IP address connection, browser data (like Chrome), wifi networks to build modeling and identify the user that did the conversion. This tracking method is the less effective and probably is only used when the first two do not work.

The first point is also important for Doubleclick Bid Manager Advertisers, as Google Analytics tracking can be used via Google 360.