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Set up Google Ads

With Adjust's Google Ads integration, you can track and analyze the performance of your Google Ads campaigns.

Use these basic setup instructions to connect Adjust with Google Ads and track your campaigns. When you're finished, move to the customize your setup instructions to track ad spend, forward data to Google Ads, and more.

Before you begin

Requirements

  • Google Ads account

Helpful information

  • Adjust’s Google Ads API integration includes tracking for the following campaign types:
    • Search
    • Display
    • Shopping
    • Video
    • App
  • All Google Ads traffic appears in the Statistics tab of your Adjust Dashboard.
  • Your Google Ads conversions are organized in a campaign structure dependent upon the campaign type you used.

Basic setup

Set up Google Ads in Adjust and import your linked events into Google Ads before launching your campaign.

1. Connect your Adjust dashboard to Google Ads

Connect your Adjust dashboard to Google Ads with the following steps:

  1. Find your app and select your app options caret (^).
  2. Select Partner Setup.
  3. Select ADD PARTNERS, and select Add (+ icon) beside Google Ads.
  4. Enter your LinkID in the LINKID field.
  5. Select SAVE.

You do not need to create any Adjust trackers for your campaigns. You should only create a tracker if you use Google Ads app extensions. The tracker is then implemented through the Google Ads UI. See Manage event linking for more details.

Note:
By default, the attribution window for all Google Ads regular campaign installs is set to 30 days, and Google Ads pre-registration campaigns are set to 90 days. These defaults will override your app’s attribution window settings.

Adjust recommends that you match Google Ads' attribution window with your apps to avoid install discrepancies. While not recommended, you can customize your desired attribution window by turning off those defaults and by changing the attribution window in All Settings > Attribution > Device matching.

2. Manage event linking in Adjust

All Adjust-tracked events are linked to Google Ads automatically. This means that Adjust sends in-app event data, from all sources, to Google Ads.

To override automatic event linking and only share certain events with Google Ads, follow these steps.

  1. Find your app and select your app options caret (^).
  2. Select Partner Setup > Google Ads > Event Linking.
  3. Find and select the event you want to remove.
  4. Select X (cross icon).
Warning:
Linked events must contain a valid IP address. If Adjust currently tracks your in-app events via a server-to-server integration, update your request to include an IP address using the parameter ip_address=

For S2S event requests, send your current SDK version. Google uses this to fully optimize your in-app event campaigns.

Event names

All event names appear in Google Ads as you label them in the Adjust Dashboard. Spaces and special characters are replaced with an underscore (_). Special characters that appear at the start or end of the name are deleted. Any series of two or more special characters are replaced with a single underscore.

Example: REVad_$$cost$$ in the Adjust dashboard becomes revad_cost in Google Ads.

You can change event names manually from the Event Linking section. Type a custom name or select a default name from the drop-down menu.

Here are the available default Adjust names that map to Google's in-app events:

  • In App Purchase
  • View Item List
  • View Item
  • View Search Results
  • Add to Cart
  • Ecommerce Purchase

Select In App Purchase for a revenue event. If you are certain that your transactions are consistently e-commerce, select Ecommerce Purchase.

Send the SDK version for server-to-server events

It is recommended, not required, that you send your SDK version along with S2S events. 

To do this, you need the formatted SDK version. The format will be (platform)(SDK version). Here are some examples:

PlatformSDK VersionFormatted SDK Version
iOS4.12.3ios4.12.3
Android4.18.0android4.18.0

Once you've formatted the SDK version, always send it via a custom request header named Client-SDK.

Example:

If the formatted SDK version is ios4.12.3, then the custom header would be defined in the
following curl command:

curl -X GET \\  

'https://s2s.adjust.com/event?s2s=1&event_token=f0ob4r&app_token=4w565xzmb54d&idfa  
=D2CADB5F-410F-4963-AC0C-2A78534BDF1E&created_at=2017-01-02T15%3A04%3A0  
5Z%2B0200&callback_params=%7B%22f0o%22%3A%22bar%22%2C%20%22bar%22%3  
A%22baz%22%7D&partner_params=%7B%22f0o%22%3A%22bar%22%2C%20%22bar%  
22%3A%22baz%22%7D' \  
-H 'Client-Sdk: ios4.12.3'  

3. Import your linked events into Google Ads

In Google Ads, a conversion action is a specific user action that you have defined as valuable to your business, such as an online purchase.

To import your Adjust events into Google Ads as conversion actions, follow Google Ads' support documentation. Once imported, Google Ads will begin to send Adjust conversion data for conversion actions.

Warning:
You must import all relevant conversion actions (both first open and any relevant in-app actions) into Google Ads before launching a Google Ads campaign. Adjust cannot report any Google Ads-driven app installs or in-app events until you have completed your import.

View your Google Ads data in Adjust

With Adjust’s Google Ads integration, you can run your campaign and view reported data in the Adjust Dashboard. The campaign information that Adjust reports varies depending on the Google Ads inventory in use.

Adjust tracker levelGoogle ads term
NetworkAds [campaign type] Installs 
Campaigncampaign_name (campaign_id)
  • This comes from your Google Ads dashboard
Adgroupadgroup_id
CreativeDepends on the inventory
Note:
Google Ads can occasionally send Adjust an attribution claim without the campaign_type parameter or with the parameter populated with an unknown value. When this happens, we attribute the engagement to the tracker Google Ads (unknown).

These are the primary ad inventories: ACI, ACPRE, ACE, Shopping, Search, Display, and Video. See below for the campaign structure for each.

ACI, ACPRE, and ACE

Adjust tracker levelGoogle Ads term
NetworkFor ACI: 
Google Ads ACI

For ACE: 
Google Ads ACE

For ACPRE:
Google Ads Pre-registration
Campaigncampaign_name (campaign_id)

Example: iOS Google App campaigns test (12345678)
Adgroupadgroup_id

Example: 123456
Creative"network_type network_subtype"
Note:
ACI iOS Search inventory doesn't appear in your attribution or ad spend data in Adjust.

Shopping

Adjust tracker levelGoogle Ads term
NetworkGoogle Shopping
Campaigncampaign_name (campaign_id)
Adgroupadgroup ID

Example: 123456
Creative"network_type network_subtype"

Search

Adjust tracker levelGoogle Ads term
NetworkGoogle Ads Search
Campaigncampaign_name (campaign_id)
Adgroupadgroup ID, Example: 123456
Creativekeyword_matchtype, e.g., hotel_Broad

Display (GDN, Admob)

Adjust tracker levelGoogle Ads term
NetworkGoogle Ads Display
Campaigncampaign_name (campaign_id)
Adgroupadgroup ID, Example: 123456
CreativePlacement, Example: mobile_app - 1

Video (Youtube, Admob)

Adjust tracker levelGoogle Ads term
NetworkGoogle Ads Video
Campaigncampaign_name (campaign_id)
Adgroupadgroup ID, Example: 123456
Creativevideo_id, Example: 98765456784

FAQs

How does Adjust track installs with Google Ads?

Since API integrations don’t use Adjust tracker URLs, Adjust sends SANs every app session our SDK reports. If Google Ads recognizes the activity, they respond with the device identifier and timestamp. Following our own attribution method, Adjust then uses the engagement data from all networks (including non-SANs) to attribute the install to the last tracked source.

Where can I find my LINKID in Google Ads?

To access your LINKID, follow these steps in Google Ads. 

  1. Navigate to the Linked accounts tab and select App Analytics Platforms
  2. Once here, you will see a list of your app(s), along with a tracking provider and a LINKID for each
  3. Select the Copy Link button to copy your LINKID to your clipboard

Please note that each of your apps should have only one LINKID associated with it on Google Ads. To avoid any confusion, designate one ad account to generate a single LINKID and share this LINKID with all other accounts.

For details on how to create and share LINKIDs, visit Google’s Ads support documentation.

How do I set up Adjust tracking for Google organic search?

Requirements

Google allows mobile users to download apps directly from a Google search. This means that when a search is made from a mobile device, the results can include icons for relevant mobile apps. When a user clicks an app icon, they are redirected to the Google Play Store to download the app. In Adjust, these installs are tracked and recorded as Google organic search and do not count towards your payment plan’s included attributions.

All installs attributed to Google's organic search will display search keywords at the Campaign level (sublevel 1).

Adjust can track up to 100,000 search terms for your app, and all keywords can be included in your Adjust install and reattribution callbacks using the {search_term} placeholder. This placeholder will be filled with the search query used by the device immediately before clicking on the download link.

Why does my Adjust dashboard show fewer installs than Google Ads?

In the case of a reported install discrepancy, it's recommended that you always consider the following.

  • Different attribution windows 

If the attribution windows on both platforms are different, you can edit your Adjust attribution windows (All Settings > Attribution) to match Google Ads.

  • Different time zones

Confirm that the time zones on both platforms are the same.

  • Different conversion dates

Google Ads reports conversion events as the day of click, while Adjust reports conversions on the day of install (i.e., first app open)

  • Your acquisition strategy

If you are advertising on multiple channels, it is possible that a reported Google Ads user is attributed elsewhere in Adjust.

Adjust's Google Ads API integration sends all recorded installs to Google Ads. As a self-attributing network, Google Ads responds to Adjust with click data. If Google Ads has a click timestamp record from a user's earlier ad engagement, they report this as an install on the Google Ads dashboard.

However, as a third-party attribution partner, Adjust considers all tracked inventory and only attributes the user to Google Ads if it is the most recent source of ad engagement (within the applicable attribution window). Therefore, it is possible that a Google Ads-reported user may be attributed elsewhere within Adjust.