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 advanced setup instructions to track ad spend, forward data to Google Ads, and more.

Before you begin

Requirements

  • A Google Ads account

Helpful information

  • Adjust’s API integration with Google Ads includes tracking for the following inventories and mobile operating systems (mobile OS):
Campaign TypeMobile OS
AdmobAndroid, iOS
Global Display NetworkAndroid
Mobile SearchAndroid
Google RemarketingAndroid, iOS
Universal App Campaigns (UAC)Android, iOS
YoutubeAndroid, iOS
  • All Ads traffic appears in the statistics tab of your Adjust dashboard
  • Adjust organizes your Google Ads conversions in a campaign structure that varies depending on the Ads inventory in use

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 Admob, Android Global Display Network, Android Mobile Search, Google Remarketing, Universal App Campaigns (UAC), or Youtube campaigns. All Adjust trackers for these inventories are created automatically as traffic is driven from each of your ds campaigns.

If you are running campaigns using the Google Ads App Extensions, you will then need to create Adjust trackers URLs and implement them through the Google Ads UI. See the following section for more details.

Note: When activating Google Ads integration, the attribution window for all Google Ads installs will be set to 30 days by default, overriding your app’s attribution window settings. You can prevent this by turning off Google Ads Attribution Window in your dashboard.

2. Manage event linking in Adjust

Unlike with other network integrations, all Adjust-tracked events are mapped to Ads automatically. This means that all Adjust-tracked event data, from all sources, is sent to Google Ads. 

Override event linking and only share certain events with Google Ads by following these steps:
  1. Find your app and select your app options caret (^)
  2. Select Partner Setup > Google Ads > Event Linking
  3. To disable an event, hover over its name field and select X (cross icon)
Requirement: Any events linked between Adjust and Google must contain a valid IP address. If Adjust is currently tracking 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, it's highly recommended that you also send your current SDK version. Google uses this to fully optimize your in-app event campaigns. Pass the SDK version using the Send the SDK version instructions

Event names

All event names are listed as you have labeled them in your dashboard. However, any spaces and special characters are replaced with an underscore (_), unless the character appears at the start or end of the name, in which case it is 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.

If necessary, you can change event names manually from the Event Linking section, either by using custom names or selecting a name from the drop-down menu. Select the event name field and select a name or type your own.

Note: For any revenue event, it's recommended that you select in_app_purchase, unless you are certain that your transactions are consistently e-commerce, in which case, select ecommerce_purchase.

Here are the available default names:
  • first_open
  • session_start
  • in_app_purchase
  • view_item_list
  • view_item
  • view_search_results
  • add_to_cart
  • 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

To import your events into Google Ads as conversion actions, follow Google Ads' support documentation.

A conversion action is a specific customer action that you've defined as valuable to your business, such as an online purchase, within Google Ads. 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 on any Google Ads-driven app installs or in-app events until you have completed your import. Once imported, Ads will begin to send Adjust conversion data for those conversion actions.

Note: Make sure to import all of your relevant conversion actions before launching your Google Ads campaign. You cannot create Ads campaigns that optimize on them without doing so.

Advanced setup

Now that Adjust is connected to Google Ads, customize your setup.

Forward in-app revenue

Revenue forwarding lets you pass detailed revenue data directly to Google Ads.

To forward in-app revenue to Google Ads, follow these steps:
  1. Find your app and select your app options caret (^)
  2. Select Partner Setup > Google Ads
  3. Turn on Revenue Forwarding
  4. Select SAVE
Once you have given Adjust permission to forward your revenue data to Google, you must link at least one revenue event from Adjust to Google Ads. If you have already created revenue events in the Adjust dashboard, then they will automatically be available to pass to Google. Otherwise, you will need to create revenue events, as outlined in our revenue event tracking guide.
 

Forward custom data

Partner parameters (available in Adjust SDK version 4.0+) let Adjust collect custom data points from your app and forward them directly to Google Ads.

First, set up partner parameters within the Adjust SDK. Then, turn on partner parameter forwarding in the Adjust dashboard.

Turn on partner parameter forwarding in Adjust using the following steps:
  1. Find your app and select your app options caret (^)
  2. Select Partner Setup > Google Ads
  3. Turn on Parameter Forwarding
  4. Select Partner Parameter Mapping to set up event linking between Adjust and Google Ads. For more information, see the extended partner setup instructions.
“Find Select Partner Setup” height= Select Google Ads” height= “TurnSelect Partner Parameter Mapping” height=

1. Find your app and select your app options caret (^)

2a. Select Partner Ad Accounts

2b. Select Google Ads

3. Turn on Parameter Forwarding

4. Select Partner Parameter Mapping to set up event linking between Adjust and Google Ads. For more information, see the extended partner setup instructions.

Track Google Ads ad spend in Adjust

To let Adjust access your Google Ads ad spend data, follow these steps in the dashboard.
  1. Select MENU to open the main navigation bar
  2. Select Partner Ad Accounts > Google
  3. Select ADD ACCOUNT 
  4. On the Google sign-in page, confirm the account you want to give access to
  5. Select ALLOW to give Adjust permissions for ad spend tracking 
Select MENU Select Partner Ad Accounts Select Google Select ADD ACCOUNT

1a. Select MENU to open the main menu

1b. Select Partner Ad Accounts

1c. Select Google

2. Select ADD ACCOUNT and confirm the account you want to give access to


Note: The Google Ads API only offers read/write permissions as 'Manage your Google Ads campaigns'. By selecting ALLOW, you set the necessary permissions for Adjust and Control Center to access your ad spend data. 

Manage and unlink accounts from Google Ads

Select Settings (gear icon) on an account to view a complete list of linked ad accounts. By default, every account is turned on, meaning Adjust can access their ad spend data. Access can be turned on and off for each account using the toggle buttons.

If you want to remove any connection between a Google account and Adjust, select the Settings gear icon on an account, then select UNLINK.

What Google Ads data does Adjust report? 

Campaign information varies depending on the Ads inventory in use:
 
Adjust tracker levelGoogle Ads term
NetworkAds [campaign_type] Installs
Campaigncampaign_name (campaign_id)
AdgroupDepends on the inventory
CreativeDepends on the inventory

campaign_type will be either UAC, Search, Display, or Video.

campaign_name (campaign_id) comes from your Google Ads dashboard and will look something like this: iOS UAC Integration test (12345678).

There are four primary ad inventories: Universal App Campaigns (UAC), Search, Display, and Video. See below for the exact campaign structure of each channel.
UAC
Adjust tracker levelGoogle Ads term
NetworkGoogle Ads UAC
Campaigncampaign_name (campaign_id)
AdgroupDisplay/YouTube/Search
CreativeIf Adgroup = Display: unknown
If Adgroup = Search: GoogleSearch/SearchPartner
If Adgroup = YouTube: YouTubeVideos/YouTubeSearch/VideoPartners
Note: UAC iOS Search inventory doesn't appear in your attribution or ad spend data in Adjust.
Search
Adjust tracker levelGoogle Ads term
NetworkGoogle Ads Search
Campaigncampaign_name (campaign_id)
Adgroupadgroup ID, e.g., 123456
Creativekeyword_matchtype, e.g., hotel_Broad
Display (GDN, Admob)
Adjust tracker levelGoogle Ads term
NetworkGoogle Ads Display
Campaigncampaign_name (campaign_id)
Adgroupadgroup ID, e.g., 123456
CreativePlacement, e.g., mobile_app - 1
Video (Youtube, Admob)
Adjust tracker levelGoogle Ads term
NetworkGoogle Ads Video
Campaigncampaign_name (campaign_id)
Adgroupadgroup ID, e.g., 123456
Creativevideo_id, e.g., 98765456784

Track Google Ads re-engagement campaigns

Note: In order for Adjust to track any Google remarketing campaigns, you must enable deeplinking within the Adjust SDK. Developer instructions are listed below:

Google Ads re-engagement campaigns allow you to target your pre-existing users with personalized incentives to return to your app. To set up an official remarketing campaign on Ads, follow these steps.

  1. In the Ads dashboard, insert your raw deeplink into the Ads Remarketing Campaign; you do not need to add Adjust parameters to a raw deeplink when using the Google Ads API.
  2. In the Adjust dashboard, confirm that event linking has been enabled. As previously mentioned, without event linking, remarketing lists will not populate.

Note: For iOS and GDN campaigns, if you do not want to use the recommended official Ads remarketing setup, as previously seen, you can opt to append a deeplink parameter to your Adjust tracker URL within the Ads Tracking Template field; this will still allow Adjust to track reattributions and conduct deferred deeplinking. For example:

https://app.adjust.com/f0ob4r?lpurl={lpurl}&campaign={campaignid}&adgroup={creative}&creative={placement}&google_network={network}&google_placement={placement&deep_link=myapp%3A%2F%2Fproduct1

As a reminder, for iOS version 9 and higher, you must implement universal linking within your app.

Since Adjust automatically syncs and queries Google Ads for user re-engagement, all re-engagement campaigns will display under separate campaign sources in your Adjust dashboard.

Please note that once a user has been re-engaged, all of their subsequent activity will be associated with their most recent source of attribution.

Adjust will automatically track reattributions for your Ads campaigns, because of the API integration with Google Ads, regardless of the inventory you are running. Therefore, if you do not want to track reattribution data for Google Ads, you can slide the Reattribution tracking toggle to OFF.

Track Google Ad Apps Extensions campaigns

To manually create your Adjust tracker URLs for any Google Ad Apps Extensions campaigns, follow these steps.
  1. Find your app and select your app options caret (^)
  2. Select Tracker URLs > NEW TRACKER 
  3. Enter a tracker name
  4. Select the NETWORK drop-down menu and select Google Ad Apps Extensions
  5. Select CUSTOMIZE and apply your preferred settings (find out how to customize your tracker settings)
  6. Select CREATE
  7. Implement your tracker URLs through the Google Ad Apps Extensions UI
  8. Once your newly created tracker URLs are live, all relevant campaign information will appear in the Adjust dashboard
Find your app and select your app options caret (^) Select Tracker URLs Select NEW TRACKER Enter a tracker name Select the NETWORK drop-down menu and select iOS App Extensions Select CUSTOMIZE Apply your preferred settings Select CREATE

1. Navigate to your app and select your app options caret (^)

2. Select Tracker URLs

3. Select NEW TRACKER

4. Enter a tracker name

5. Select the NETWORK drop-down menu and select Google Ad Apps Extensions

6a. Select CUSTOMIZE

6b. Apply your preferred settings

7. Select CREATE

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 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?

Google allows mobile users to download apps directly from a Google search. This means that when a Google search is made from a mobile device, the search results will include icons for relevant mobile apps. Once an app icon is clicked, the user is redirected to the Google Play Store to download the app. In Adjust, these installs are tracked and recorded as Google organic search.

To enable Adjust tracking for Google organic search, you must use Adjust SDK 4.7 or higher, and it must be configured to always send the referrer to Adjust. For additional information, see the Android SDK install referrer information.

This feature is available to clients in the Business pricing plan or higher. All installs attributed to Google's organic search will not be counted 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).

Note: Adjust will track up to 100,000 search terms for your app, and all keywords can be included in your Adjust 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. The {search_term} placeholder can be added to your install and reattribution callbacks.

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)

Assess your acquisition strategy. If you are advertising on multiple channels, is it possible that a reported Google Ads user could have been attributed elsewhere within Adjust?

Note: Since Google Ads is a self-attributing partner, Adjust sends all recorded installs to Google Ads (through our API integration) to claim attribution. In return, Google Ads responds to Adjust with click data and the intent of being rewarded attribution. If Google Ads has a record of a user's prior ad engagement (via click timestamp), then they will report the install within the Google Ads dashboard. However, as an agnostic third-party attribution partner, Adjust considers all tracked inventory before making attributions. This means that even though Google Ads claims a user's install, Adjust will only attribute the user to Google Ads providing that 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.

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