Default and Custom Attribution Models in Google Analytics

This article is in conjunction with the article: Beginners guide to Attribution Modelling in Google Analytics where I introduced the concept of attribution modelling in the context of Google Analytics and explained the various components of attribution modelling in great detail.

So if you have not already read that article, then I would strongly suggest you to read it first.

The knowledge acquired through that article will help you greatly in understanding the present article.

Introduction to Google Analytics Attribution Models

An attribution model is a set of rules that determine how credit for conversions should be attributed/distributed to various touch points in a conversion path.

In the context of Google Analytics, Attribution models can be broadly classified into two categories:

  1. Default Attribution Models
  2. Custom Attribution Models

Introduction to Default Attribution Models in Google Analytics

The default attribution model (also known as baseline model) are pre-built models that defines how credit for conversion should be distributed to various interactions (or touch points) in a conversion path, before the custom credit rules are applied.

Get the Free E-Book (52 Pages)

Different types of Default Attribution Models in Google Analytics

Google Analytics provides eight different types of attribution models.

They are:

  1. Last interaction attribution model (popularly known as last touch attribution model)
  2. First interaction attribution model (popularly known as First touch attribution model)
  3. Linear attribution model
  4. Time Decay attribution model
  5. Position based attribution model
  6. Last non direct click model
  7. Last Ad Click
  8. Data Driven Attribution Model

#1 Last interaction attribution model

The Last interaction attribution model  assign 100% credit for conversion to the last interaction (or touch point) in a conversion path.

Google Analytics uses this model by default for Multi channel funnel reports.

#2 First interaction attribution model

The First interaction attribution model assign 100% credit for conversion to the first interaction (or touch point) in a conversion path.

#3 Linear attribution model

The Linear attribution model assign equal credit for conversion to each interaction in a conversion path.

#4 Time Decay attribution model

The Time Decay attribution model assign more credit to the interactions which are closest in time to the conversion.

#5 Position based attribution model

The Position based attribution model assign 40% credit to the first interaction, 20% credit to the middle interactions and 40% credit to the last interaction.

#6 Last non direct click attribution model

The Last non direct click model assign all the credit for conversions to the last non-direct click in a conversion path.

Google Analytics uses this model by default for non-Multi channel funnel reports.

#7 The last Ad Click attribution model

The Last Ad Click model assign all the credit for conversions to the last Google Ads click in a conversion path.

#8 Data driven attribution model

The Data driven attribution model uses an algorithm to assign credit for conversions to various touch points in a conversion path.

For now, this model is available only in Google Analytics 360 (aka Google Analytics Premium) accounts.

As such, a traditional MMM model is not suitable for carrying out digital marketing mix modelling aka attribution modelling.

Which Attribution Model to use in Google Analytics?

There is no one size fit all attribution model.

The selection of attribution model depends mainly on your business model and your advertising objectives.

For example, use the last touch attribution model when least amount of buying consideration is involved.

Use the first touch attribution model, if brand building/brand awareness is very important for you.

To learn more about selecting an attribution model, read this article: Which Attribution Model to use in Google Analytics?

How to view default attribution models available to you in Google Analytics?

To view the default attribution models available to you, follow the steps below:

Step-1: Navigate to ‘Model Comparison Tool’  (under Conversions > Attribution) in your Google Analytics view:

model comparison tool

Step-2: Click on ‘Select Model’ drop down menu:

select model drop down menu

You can then see the list of all available default attribution models in your GA view:

attribution model lists

Note: If you don’t see ‘Data driven attribution’ model in the ‘Select Model‘ dialog box and you use GA premium/360, then it means this model is not enabled for your GA view.

Read this article, to enable this model: How to set up Data driven attribution model in Google Analytics

Custom Attribution Models in Google Analytics

As the name suggest these attribution models are developed by people like me and you.

They are user defined attribution models.

When you build your own attribution model, you create your own rules to assign credit to different interactions in a conversion path.

These rules are known by the name ‘custom credit rules’ in Google Analytics.

Proportional Multi Touch attribution model is a good example of custom attribution model.

I developed this attribution model.

This model assigns credit to interactions in proportion to their contribution in a conversion.

This model is not supported by Google Analytics.

You can learn more about creating your attribution models, through this article: How to create Custom Attribution Model in Google Analytics.

Other articles on Attribution Modelling in Google Analytics

  1. Touch Point Analysis in Google Analytics Attribution Modelling
  2. 8 Google Analytics Conversions Segments You Must Use
  3. Google Analytics Attribution Modelling – Complete Guide
  4. Attribution Model Comparison Tool in Google Analytics
  5. Which Attribution Model to use in Google Analytics?
  6. How to create Custom Attribution Model in Google Analytics

  1. How to do ROI Analysis in Google Analytics
  2. Data-Driven Attribution Model Explorer in Google Analytics
  3. Guide to Data Driven Attribution Model in Google Analytics
  4. Conversion Credit distribution for Attribution Models in Google Analytics
  5. You are doing Google Analytics all wrong. Here is why

  1. Marketing Mix Modelling or Attribution Modelling. Which one is for you?
  2. Introduction to Nonline Analytics – True Multi Channel Analytics
  3. How to set up Data driven attribution model in Google Analytics
  4. How to valuate Display Advertising through Attribution Modelling
  5. Understanding Shopping Carts for Analytics and Conversion Optimization

  1. View-through conversion tracking in Google Analytics
  2. Understanding Missing Touch Points in Attribution Modelling
  3. Guide to Offline Conversion Tracking in Google Analytics
  4. How to explain attribution modelling to your clients
  5. 6 Keys to Digital Success in Attribution Modelling

  1. How to use ZMOT to increase Conversions and Sales exponentially
  2. How to Measure and Improve the Quality of SEO Traffic through Google Analytics
  3. How to analyse and report the true value of your SEO Campaign
  4. How to allocate Budgets in Multi Channel Marketing
  5. What You Should Know about Historical Data in Web Analytics

  1. Google Analytics Not Provided Keywords and how to unlock and analyze them
  2. Selecting the Best Attribution Model for Inbound Marketing
  3. Introduction to TV attribution in Google Analytics Attribution 360
  4. Cross Device Reports in Google Analytics via Google Signals

Learn about the Google Analytics Usage Trends Tool

The Google Analytics usage trend is a new tool which is used to visualise trends in your Google Analytics data and to perform trend analysis.


Do you want to Learn Web Analytics in 4 Weeks?

  • Learn and Master Web Analytics, Conversion Optimization & Google Analytics from Industry Expert in 4 weeks.
  • Lifetime access to the course + Lifelong FREE course updates.
  • New study material added every few months (lifelong learning).
  • Up to date training material.
  • Most exhaustive course on Google Analytics on the internet.
  • Hundreds of Assessments to test your learning.
  • Your 24/7, 365 days a year reference source.
  • Learn at your own pace and from any place.
  • Risk Free with 30 days 100% Money Back Guarantee.

Take your Analytics knowledge to the next level. Checkout my Best Selling Books on Amazon

Maths and Stats for Web Analytics and Conversion Optimization
This expert guide will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of maths and statistics in order to accurately interpret data and take actions, which can quickly improve the bottom-line of your online business.

Master the Essentials of Email Marketing Analytics
This book focuses solely on the ‘analytics’ that power your email marketing optimization program and will help you dramatically reduce your cost per acquisition and increase marketing ROI by tracking the performance of the various KPIs and metrics used for email marketing.

Attribution Modelling in Google Analytics and Beyond
Attribution modelling is the process of determining the most effective marketing channels for investment. This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling. It will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to allocate marketing budget and understand buying behaviour.

Himanshu Sharma

Certified web analyst and founder of OptimizeSmart.com

My name is Himanshu Sharma and I help businesses find and fix their Google Analytics and conversion issues. If you have any questions or comments please contact me.

  • Over eleven years' experience in SEO, PPC and web analytics
  • Google Analytics certified
  • Google AdWords certified
  • Nominated for Digital Analytics Association Award for Excellence
  • Bachelors degree in Internet Science
  • Founder of OptimizeSmart.com and EventEducation.com

I am also the author of three books:

error: Alert: Content is protected !!