Google Announces Update to AdWords Tracking - The Search Marketing Shop

Google has introduced a new AdWords tracking update that focuses on how conversions are tracked and reported. If you are using Google AdWords, you should know that Apple is releasing an Intelligent Tracking Prevention update for Safari and Google’s update is to counter it and allow you to continue tracking your conversions. Apple’s intention was to prevent cross-site browsing data tracking in Safari. But it affects Google and its advertisers.

What is Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention Update?

When Apple releases Intelligent Tracking Prevention in the next version of Safari, third-party cookies will stay active only for 24 hours. After that only the log-in based cookies could be used. All the cookies on Safari will be removed after a month. This will affect conversion attribution in AdWords in a big way. Safari accounts for almost 50% of mobile traffic in many regions of the world, and Apple’s update could render AdWords tracking ineffective at a massive scale.

Google AdWords Update

The new Google AdWords update will work around Intelligent Tracking Prevention while still remaining within the ad attribution guidance by Apple. A unique Google Analytics cookie has been developed that captures data about both campaigns and conversions from Safari. It does so without affecting the Apple guidelines.

This update will continue allowing advertisers to measure clicks and conversions without any issues. In fact, the changes will reach across all the browsers.

How Does the AdWords Update Works?

Google has made the following three changes as to how it will respond to Apple’s tracking prevention update:

  • The Google Analytics cookie will store info about an ad click that brings a visitor (Make sure auto-tagging is enabled and there is a Google Analytics tag on your site. You should also have linked the AdWords account with your Google Analytics account).
  • AdWords will keep reporting conversions of those users who have interacted with Google services.
  • Statistical modelling will be used to estimate site conversions. This info will also be added to AdWords reports.

What Should You Do?

So make sure that your AdWords and Google Analytics account are linked and enable the new cookie. If you don’t do so, Google AdWords will rely on the statistical modelling concept to estimate the conversions you are getting from Safari.

Google has already begun sending emails to its advertisers introducing the new update. For more information about the latest AdWords updates and to make the most of your campaigns, visit You can find all the relevant information here and also get help from Google AdWords experts for more profitable campaigns.