GA4 & Google Ads removing First Click attribution-models

GA4 and Google Ads will deprecate non-last-click rules-based attribution models which includes first-click, linear, positioned based & time decay as per official Linkedin post:

and here


  • first-click attribution models to not be available for new conversions in GA4 starting May
  • first-click attribution models to not be available for new conversions in Google Ads starting June
  • first-click attribution models to be sunset in GA4 and Google Ads in September (I assume not tracking at all, not sure about historic data but my guess is it will be removed at some point)

I have been following this thread and others, and wanted to share with Matomo community as I believe it’d be beneficial for other users, and from my understanding this is what it means for us users (who some use GA4 + Matomo):

  • it will push us away from Google Analytics 4 towards using our custom tracking solutions (hint Matomo), as per comments in the Linkedin thread:

Not cool. Basically pushing users away from GA towards custom or 3-party tracking solutions. Personally I’m feeling bad for the first-click model that is great for growth focus and insights.

  • other data tracking solutions are tracking multiple ways, like first click, multiple clicks etc attribution models; it seems to me that this push will give Google Adwords the last say in terms of attribution
  • the Google Ads Product Liaison at Google mentions that (check the Linkedin thread comments):

The Model Comparison & Conversion Paths reports will be available in GA4 but limited to cross-channel DDA, cross-channel Last Click & Ads-preferred last click.

For DDA, Conversion Paths in GA4 will show conv. credits for early, mid & late touchpoints & can be filtered many ways.

Additionally, Explorations such as path explorations & funnel explorations can be used to help further understand users’ paths to conversions.

but when I looked into it cross-channel DDA prefers Adwords mostly as per here, so my take on it is that how trustworthy the data in GA4 will be for non-Adwords conversions? → my guess is that I can’t be 100% sure of that data, as it would prefer Adwords as last click attribution right?

  • I agree with this other Linkedin user comment:

Non surprisingly, last click survives. This closes many doors and leaves open only the two most beneficial and profitable for Google

This being said, it’d be great if any Matomo users that have experience using Adwords and/or Google Analytics 4 (or just Google Analytics) see this change moving forward – how can we prepare to make sure that what we track in terms of conversions is actually accurate? Do you then compare Matomo conversions vs GA4 and thus use different attribution models in Matomo to compare?

Could any Matomo user(s) and Matomo admin(s) confirm if Matomo tracks (or can be setup to track) all attribution models, like first-click, 2nd-click, or multiple-clicks attribution models? @heurteph-ei @Lukas @kal

Would it be possible to use different attribution models in the same time inside Matomo?

If Matomo does track all attribution models, are there any guides on this on how to setup for instance first-click attribution model, 2nd click attribution model, or multiple clicks attribution models?

Thank you so much and any feedback or opinion on this would be greatly appreciated from any Matomo user(s).

Yes, with the plugin Multi Channel Conversion Attribution - Matomo Plugins Marketplace

(or with the Matomo Cloud licence)

Awesome, this is great, I see it supports multiple attribution models:

  • Last Interaction
  • Last Non-Direct Interaction
  • First Interaction
  • Linear
  • Position Based
  • Time Decay
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Yes, that’s correct. As per a LinkedIn post by Google on March 31, 2021, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and Google Ads will be deprecating non-last-click rules-based attribution models, which include first-click, linear, position-based, and time decay.

This means that these attribution models will no longer be available for use in GA4 and Google Ads, and users will need to switch to other attribution models, such as last-click or data-driven attribution, to analyze their marketing performance.

According to Google, the decision to deprecate these attribution models is based on the changing consumer behavior and the need for marketers to have a more comprehensive view of their customer journey across different channels and devices.

It’s important for businesses to be aware of this change and adjust their marketing strategies accordingly to ensure they are accurately measuring the impact of their marketing campaigns.

@muhammad_haseeb I’d suggest providing the source link for the Linedkin post so that other users can see the context for it

It’s probably this link:

which ultimately takes up the tweet initially posted by @metrprime

Does the plugin handle the new data-driven attribution model too?

I am not sure, but I’d get in touch with Matomo support regarding this

It’s official now seems so, as per

Google Analytics today officially removed first click, linear, time decay, and position-based attribution models. This leaves only last click and data-driven, as Google announced would happen in April. […]

How will marketers be impacted? If your Ads account has conversions using these models, you can continue to use them until September. But after that deadline, the models will be removed and data may be lost.

If you are working on conversions not using these models, you will not have the option to switch over after mid-July. In addition, newly created conversions will no longer have the option of even choosing these four models.

Sad day.

This was honestly what I was looking forward to most about with GA4 – the ability to change ALL date based off your attribution.

Sadly now only left with Last Click and DDA :face_vomiting:

Lets see how we go, I hope we can make it happen with Matomo.
I’ll be looking into this as well and report back when I get the chance.