Understanding The Various Attribution Models Of Google AdWords

  • July 12, 2018
  • SEO


In today’s world where there are multiple channels to advertise on, and innumerous competitors to compete with, it is essential to know how users interact with your business, and to understand their path to conversion or non-conversion. This kind of performance can be understood with multichannel marketing, which can be achieved through attribution modeling. Attribution refers to giving credit to a channel or touchpoint for the role it played in the final conversion. And, an attribution model is a set of rules that assigns this credit to the right channel or touchpoint. The most common models used include those mentioned below.

First Click

This model gives all credit to the first touchpoint – the one that introduced the user to the path that led towards conversion. Since gaining user attention is becoming harder with time, this model seems to be very useful as it gives credit to the point that makes possible brand interaction at all. However, this model only rewards one aspect of the entire journey the user may have gone through to reach the final touchpoint that led to conversion.

Last Click

This model gives all credit to the last-clicked ad. In today’s digital world, there are a variety of platforms, channels, and touchpoints that users are likely to use to interact with the brand. Using a last-click attribution means only the touchpoint that the user clicked last gets all the credit, leaving behind all the other touchpoints that may have helped the user to reach the final touchpoint.


Unlike the above two, linear attribution gives credit to every touchpoint in the path to conversion. This model helps you to start optimizing towards your customer’s journey, rather than individual touchpoint. But again, it has a drawback that with every touchpoint receiving the same credit, it will be difficult to know which touchpoint actually had the greatest impact on the customer.


This model assigns 40-40% of credit to both the first and last touchpoints, spreading the remaining 20% evenly between all the other touchpoints in the path. The first and last points being the most important, this model would seem to be a great package. However, this will let you optimize towards the first and last touchpoints, but not anything in between, which may or may not be suitable for your business’ objectives and the strategies you have in place.

Time decay

Time decay attribution gives only the most recent conversion points the most credit. This means that credit will be given to only the touchpoints that were impactful in the last few days; and as the time decays, those touchpoints will be given half as much credit than the most recent ones. This model can be the best suited for short sales cycles, but not for longer cycles, as it would fail to assign sufficient credit to the first interaction point, which may actually be the most crucial.


This model is based on an algorithmic approach, which utilizes machine learning to evaluate all the conversion and non-conversion paths that users take. Where credit should be assigned across the path is well understood in this type of attribution model. The main focus of this model is to understand how people behave to ultimately become clients for the business.

Using these models can help you optimize your sales funnel. However, for this, you need to first analyze and understand which attribution model is best for your business. And, this is where a SEO company in Bangalore can help you.

About us and this blog

We are a digital marketing company with a focus on helping our customers achieve great results across several key areas.

Request a free quote

We offer professional SEO services that help websites increase their organic search score drastically in order to compete for the highest rankings even when it comes to highly competitive keywords.

More from our blog