The way data can be processed and attributed is changing due to a progressive move towards a cookie-free web environment. As such, Google has announced a new Search Console integration with data-driven attribution and new machine learning tools for Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
Google hasn’t officially said when it will deprecate Universal Analytics, but the new features come with a not-so encrypted hint that search marketers should start preparing for the change; “With these additional capabilities, we encourage you to use the new Google Analytics as your primary web and app analytics solution going forward.”
Google Search Console Integration
Analytics has long incorporated an array of search insights. For many, those insights will be sufficient to gain a deeper understanding of how Google search is driving traffic to your site. But, for search marketers looking to further optimise their SEO, the new integration with Search Console will unlock more specific data that will in turn allow marketers to develop a more holistic, all-encompassing SEO process.
As said by Google:
“Search Console provides detailed information about your website’s organic Search performance, including the site’s rank in Search results, queries that led to clicks, and post-click data, like engaged sessions and conversions. With the new Search Console integration, you’ll be able to understand the role that organic Search plays in driving traffic to, and engagement on your site, relative to other marketing channels like Search ads, email, or social.”
In addition to Search Console integration, Google is adding data-driven attribution, with no minimum threshold to GA4. This comes after the company’s announcement of plans to move away from last-click attribution.
“Google’s data-driven attribution models give you a better understanding of how all of your marketing activities collectively influence your conversions, so you don’t over or undervalue a single channel. Unlike last-click attribution, where 100% of the credit goes to the final interaction, data-driven attribution distributes credit to each marketing touchpoint based on how much impact the touchpoint had on driving a conversion.”
In case you need a reminder on data-driven attribution vs last-click attribution:
Last-click attribution assigns the credit for a conversion to the last element a user tapped on or clicked.
Data-driven attribution gives more accurate results by analysing all of the relevant data about the marketing moments that led up to a conversion.
Google announced that they will roll out data-driven attributes as the default model starting in October.
Machine Learning to Address Measurement Gaps
Google is also bringing 2 new modeling capabilities to GA4: Conversion modelling and behavioral modeling. This aims to help marketers fill gaps in their understanding of customer behaviour when cookies or other identifiers aren’t available. This works by analysing vast amounts of historical data and correlations between key data points to make predictions about the customer journey.