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What should I know about iOS and Google Ads?


There’s a massive amount of confusion among digital marketers right now regarding how the recent and ongoing iOS privacy-related changes affect Google Ads.

The good news, if you’re using ClickMagick properly, is that none of it will really affect you much at all.

These big changes only really affect people who rely on the inaccurate stats in their Google Ads account to run their business, which smart marketers just don’t do.

Anyway, if you’re interested, you can read the official Google Ads updates at the link below:

Google FAQs about iOS 14 changes

Otherwise, just keep reading and we’ll summarize everything we think you should know …


1 – Understand the Real Goal with Google Ads

Right off the bat, this is where many people are still stuck and confused. The goal is NOT to do X, Y and Z to try to ensure that the stats you see in your Google Ads account are accurate.

The stats in your Google Ads account have never been accurate, they never will be accurate, and you should never rely on them. And no matter what you do they’re going to be even less accurate going forward, due to new problems and limitations like reduced attribution windows, delayed reporting and estimated results.

If you’re interested, you can read more about why Google’s stats aren’t accurate at the link below:

Why can’t I trust the stats I see in my ad network account?

The whole purpose of using ClickMagick is that it allows you to see your actual results, for all of your online marketing – including your Google Ads – all in one place.

And none of these changes affect any of that.

The only goal with Google Ads is to use ClickMagick Audience Optimization to send your actual conversion data back to Google, which will allow them to optimize your ads a lot better than they can with the bad data they have.

This has nothing to do with seeing accurate stats in Google Ads, which is never going to happen.


2 – Google Ads GCLID & The New WBRAID Parameter

Without getting too technical, here’s what’s going on …

Google Ads will no longer send a Google Click Identifier (GCLID) with clicks from impacted Google apps on iOS devices for users who have opted out of tracking (which is supposedly 96% of iOS users!).

“Impacted Google apps” includes YouTube, Discovery, Google Maps, Gmail, and 3rd party apps ...

But Search is NOT affected. So if you’re only advertising on Google Search, like many advertisers, this doesn’t affect you at all and you can stop reading right now.

If that’s not you, you’re probably advertising on YouTube and this does affect you at least a bit …

For affected clicks, Google Ads will now send a WBRAID parameter rather than a GCLID parameter.

WBRAID is simply the new App Tracking Transparency (ATT) compliant parameter that’s replacing GCLID. It’s compliant because it relies on user aggregation and it does not uniquely identify a particular user.

The bad news is that WBRAIDs cannot be uploaded with Offline Conversions for optimization purposes.

Instead, it is Google’s recommendation that if you’re advertising on YouTube or other “Impacted Google apps” you implement One Google Tag (OGT) – which is going to be gTag.js or Google Tag Manager.

Similar to GCLID, the new WBRAID parameter is dropped in a first-party cookie set by A Google Tag (including gTag.js, gtm.js, and analytics.js linked to an ads account) when a user lands on a page after clicking on an ad. This parameter helps attribute conversions back to ad campaigns but does not uniquely identify the user.

The Google article below can help you figure out how to best implement this:

Google Tag Manager and gtag.js

We are also currently looking at additional ways to help further optimize your Google Ads for this new WBRAID parameter, and we should have a new integration with the gTag API in the coming months.


3 – The Bottom Line

The stats in your Google Ads account have never been accurate, and will never be accurate.

You may come across or talk to other advertisers who are concerned with somehow making their Google Ads stats more accurate, but they are simply going about things the wrong way.

All you need to do is follow the simple instructions for setting up Audience Optimization for Google Ads. That’s it.

Once configured you’ll continue to use ClickMagick for your stats and reporting, and ClickMagick will also pass your actual conversion data back to Google so they can better optimize your ad campaigns.

And for 99% of advertisers, that’s all there is to it.

We’ll continue to update this article as new information becomes available, but if you have any questions or concerns at all please let us know.

Article 763 Last updated: 11/25/2021 2:32:13 PM
https://www.clickmagick.com/kb/?article=763