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Google Ads

Unlock the most accurate data available and best-in-class reporting for your campaigns with the Branch and Google Ads integration.

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Google Ads Resources

Overview

As a certified Google App Attribution Partner, Branch offers advanced ad attribution insights with integration for Google Ads. By combining Google's self-attribution network (SAN) data with Branch's exclusive cross-channel Link Graph, you will uncover the true drivers of user activity across every ad network and channel to make informed marketing decisions like improving conversion rates and allowing you to measure the impact of your campaigns right on the Branch Dashboard.

How does it work?

Branch integrates with Google Ads differently based on attribution methodology and campaign type:

Attribution via API

  1. Branch connects with Google through a Mobile Measurement Partner (MMP) API Endpoint through account authentication in the Branch Dashboard.
  2. Events are configured to send from Branch to Google.
  3. Once campaigns are launched, users see an ad to download the app.
  4. User installs the app and performs in-app events (ex. PURCHASE)
    • The Branch SDK captures the app install and downstream events.
  5. Branch communicates with Google through the MMP API Endpoint and sends Google data about the conversion.
  6. Google claims conversions by sending the click or impression campaign data that sourced it to Branch.
  7. The Branch Dashboard will update reports for you to be able to compare and measure ad campaigns across platforms, ad set name, ad partner, etc.

Attribution via Branch Link

  1. Branch connects to Google using a Branch Ad Link. The Branch Ad Link is used in web engagement campaigns.
  2. User sees a web-based ad and:
    • If the app is not installed, get routed to the web
    • if the app is installed, get deep linked into the app
      • iOS Universal Links or Android App Links must be configured in the Final URL field for the user to be redirected into the app. Branch Links can be configured in the Tracking Template field to enable attribution by Branch.
  3. The Branch SDK captures conversion.
  4. Google sends data to Branch through the use of the Branch Ad Link in the Tracking Template field.
  5. The Branch Dashboard will update reports for you to be able to compare and measure ad campaigns across platforms, ad set name, ad partner, etc.

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Deep Linking Enabled

Google will claim in-app conversions via the MMP API Endpoint if Universal/App Links (deep linking from the search ad to the app). Branch then pulls in all the campaign information.

Campaign Support

Campaign Type

Attribution Type

Platform

Conversion Support

Deep Linking Support

Destinations

Branch Link Type

Branch Link Placement

App Installs (UAC)

via MMP API

  • Android
  • iOS

Installs

  • SAN Deferred Deep Linking (DDL)
  • App Stores Only

N/A

N/A

App Engagement (UACe)

via MMP API

  • Android
  • iOS

In-app Events

  • Universal Links
  • App Links
  • URI Scheme
  • In-app experiences

N/A

N/A

Display

via Branch Link

  • Desktop Web
  • Mobile Web

Opens & In-app Events

  • Universal Links
  • App Links
  • SAN DDL
  • Web
  • In-app experiences

Display Ad Link

Campaign or Ad level tracking template (not in Final URL)

Search

via Branch Link

  • Desktop Web
  • Mobile Web

Opens & In-app Events

  • Universal Links
  • App Links
  • SAN DDL
  • Web
  • In-app experiences

Search Ad Link

Campaign or Ad level tracking template (not in Final URL)

Discovery

via Branch Link

  • GMail
  • Google
  • Dicover
  • YouTube

Opens & In-app Events

  • Universal Links
  • App Links
  • SAN DDL
  • Web
  • In-app experiences

Display Ad Link

Campaign or Ad level tracking template (not in Final URL)

Video

via Branch Link

  • Desktop Web
  • Mobile Web
  • YouTube

Opens & In-app Events

  • Universal Links
  • App Links
  • SAN DDL
  • Web
  • In-app experiences

Display Ad Link

Campaign or Ad level tracking template (not in Final URL)

Shopping

via MMP API

  • Desktop Web
  • Mobile Web

Opens & In-app Events

  • Universal Links
  • App Links
  • SAN DDL
  • In-app experiences

N/A

N/A

Shopping

via Branch Link

  • Desktop Web
  • Mobile Web

Web Events

N/A

  • Web
Display Ad LinkCampaign or Product group level tracking template (not in Final URL)
Performance Maxvia Branch Link
  • Desktop Web
  • Mobile Web
Web Events
  • Universal Links
  • App Links
  • URI Scheme
WebDisplay Ad LinkCampaign or Ad level tracking template

Campaign Identifiers

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gBraid Support

Please reach out to your Google Account Manager in order to add your app to the gBraid allowlist support and use the latest Branch iOS SDK.

Google Ads has introduced several identifiers over time that are used for web-to-app attribution and attribution without device IDs.

gBraid

GCLID (deeplink gclid)

GCLID (market_referrer_gclid)

Definition

An aggregate click URL parameter that is forwarded back to Google on conversion events on iOS 14.5+ users that have not opted into app tracking.

A unique click URL parameter used to identify the campaign and other attributes of the click associated with the ad for ad tracking and campaign attribution.

A unique click URL parameter that is sourced from Google Play referrer at the time of app install and used for Android users that have opted out of ads personalization.

Operating System

iOS Only

iOS & Android

Android Only

Used for

Re-engagements Only

Re-engagements Only

Installs Only

Campaign Usage

  • Search
  • Shopping
  • Performance Max & iOS ACi
  • Display and Youtube
App Engagement via all Google Ads campaignsApp Install via all Google Ads campaigns

When Branch receives these identifiers and sends them in Google Ads postbacks, Google Ads can utilize these identifiers for campaign optimizations.

Limitations

iOS Attribution

Ad Type App Installed Publisher Advertiser SKAN
Opt-In Opt-Out
Web-Based No N/A PREM Attribution None
Yes N/A PREM Attribution None
UAC No Opt-In IDFA Attribution None
Opt-Out None None
UACe Yes N/A N/A N/A
N/A N/A N/A

Due to changes in iOS policies, Google does not send iOS install attributions resulting from the following to any MMP:

  • Google Search channel/inventory
  • YouTube channel/inventory
    While you can still view these attributions in your Google Ads account, you cannot view them in the Branch Dashboard as these modeled conversions will not be shared with Branch.

For additional information on iOS 14 Impact on Google, visit the iOS 14 FAQs

For additional information on SKAdNetwork, visit our Google SKADNetwork guide.

Deep Linking

Deep linking support varies based on Campaign Type.

For App Install Campaigns, Branch Links are not supported, and the only way to support deep linking is through Branch's SAN Deferred Deep Linking feature.

For App Engagement Campaigns, Branch Links are not supported, so your developers are required to set up iOS Universal Links, Android App Links, and/or custom URI Scheme to enable deep linking to in-app experiences.

For Web-based Ads, in order to enable deep linking, iOS Universal Links and Android App Links need to be enabled for your domain (the same domain entered into the campaign's Final URL field).