In September, 2017, we wrote about “AdWords Tracking Update in Response to Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention” (ITP).  Now it’s time to chime in with the 2018 version of that topic.

ITP 2.0

Safari 12, the new Apple browser, will be released mid-September 2018 along with iOS 12, and includes cookie blocking software dubbed “ITP 2.0” that could degrade your ability to measure conversion attribution.  Given that Safari represents as much as 23% of the overall browser share (5% desktop, 26% mobile, 59% tablet – per Wikimedia),  if you advertise digitally – you have a financial responsibility to address ITP 2.0 to so you can track conversions for users browsing with Safari – and continue to calculate cost performance metrics correctly.

Defeating ITP

Google offers 3 sitewide tagging solutions to future-proof your conversion measurement attribution and defeat ITP 2.0:

  1. Track your conversions with the updated Google Ads conversion tracking tag.
  2. Use Google Tag Manager (GTM) with the new conversion linker tag.
  3. Use in-line Google Analytics (GA) tracking code (requires linking GA property to Google Ads account).

Each of the above methods requires the following:

  1. Turn on auto-tagging in all your Google Ads accounts.
  2. If you use any click-trackers in your tracking URLs, or server-side redirects on your site, make sure they pass on the GCLID (“Google click identifier”) to your landing pages.
  3. Don’t fire your tags from within an iFrame (example: within another tracking tag like Floodlight).

In essence, each of the above sitewide tagging solutions purposes to employ first-party cookies to measure your conversions, whereas ITP disables tracking with third-party cookies.

iDimension recommends the GTM based solution.  In this scenario, we use GTM to:

  • Fire the Google conversion linker tag on every page, and
  • Fire Google Ads and/or Floodlight first-party cookie based javascript conversions where a user has engaged in the related conversion action.

Addressing this matter is critical to future-proofing the measurement attribution of your conversions.

Need help?  Contact us!

What about impression assisted conversions for Safari users?

A reminder from our September, 2017, article titled “AdWords Tracking Update in Response to Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention” (ITP), which is still applicable with ITP 2.0:

The … “first-party cookie” fix helps ensure the integrity of click & click assisted conversion reporting in AdWords – and it also can help in the same way regarding cross-device click conversions (made available by Google back-end wizardry).  But, impression assisted conversions are what will heavily lean upon modeling for calculation when it comes to Safari.

Because ad ecosystems will be guessing about impression assisted conversions from Safari browsers (where the user hasn’t logged into a Google account from the browser “recently” relative to the ad click or view), in theory the market should value less Safari impressions / impression assisted conversions.   But, it will take a concerted effort for advertisers to fully consider this phenomenon in their buying decisions.

Defeat ITP 2.0 with GTM and conversion linker sitewide tagging