Taking a Bite of the Apple


September, 2017
Google is reacting to Safari’s new ITP with an update to Google AdWords tracking. They’ve created a new cookie to get around Apple’s rules, Apple stating, “We recommend server-sided storage for attribution of ad impressions on your website. Link decorations can be used to pass on attribution information in navigations.” Basically, what they’ve done is create a new Google Analytics cookie that can capture campaign and conversion data from within Safari that is in order with their ITP.
This new cookie named the gac_cookie extends the usage of Google Analytics to include AdWords conversion tracking and will be used to keep the ad click information when enabling auto-tagging. This means the cookie will be set on the domain becoming a first-party cookie and thus allowed to keep and store users information.

In the email sent out to AdWords users from Google, they state 3 changes that comply with Apple’s new recommendations for ad attribution. “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.” Secondly, “AdWords will continue to report conversions for users who have recently interacted with Google services and domains.” And thirdly,” AdWords will also use statistical modeling to estimate website conversions that could not be measured from Safari, and include them in your AdWords reporting.”

“The cookie will be set on the domain becoming a first-party cookie and thus allowed to keep and store users information.”
What this all means is that advertisers and businesses who have their Google Analytics and AdWords accounts linked will experience no change. Google’s new cookie will report the observed conversion for Safari as it has been doing. For people who don’t link the accounts or disable the cookie, AdWords will continue to use the modeling to take Safari conversions that happen 24 hours after the user visits the last site from an ad on Safari.

With Google’s help, nothing will change for you and your business as long as you use their new cookie by linking your Analytics and AdWords accounts. Simple as that thankfully, but technology is always changing and we’ll have to keep an eye out for Apple could always make more changes and further preventions down the road.

For help with linking your accounts together, give BadCat a call!

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