tgupta logo Tushar Gupta's Blog

What is the default attribution model in GA4?

- April 12, 2022 | FAQ | #01

With GA4 coming on board, there are a lot of changes in how the data is modelled in Google Analytics as compared to GA# (Universal Analytics). Since GA4 has moved to event-based, let's take a look at the default attribution model that GA4 uses for reporting.

Default attribution model for reporting in GA4

The default attribution model that GA4 uses for reporting is the Cross-channel data driven model. Earlier this model was only available for premium Universal Analytics customers (GA360), but now it's the default for all users for GA4.

Cross-channel data driven uses machine learning algorithms that attribute the credit to the touchpoints in both conversion and non conversion paths based on probabilistic models. The models are continuously improved, learning from your accounts' historical data and automatically adapting to changes in the performance of different touchpoints.

A more in-depth understanding of the model is explained by Google

Can I change the default attribution model for reporting in GA4?

Yes, GA4 is pretty robust and you can change the reporting attribution model in GA4 for your property. There are various options available: Cross-channel rules-based models like the last click, first click, linear, position-based and time-decay.

Steps to change the attribution model

  1. Goto Admin for your selected property
  2. In the Property column, click Attribution Settings.
  3. Under Reporting attribution model, select your desired model from the drop-down.
  4. Click Save.

How can I compare conversions based on default channel groupings with GA4 and GA3?

The conversions in GA4 are attributed to each channel based on the property level attribution settings. In the case of default, it is Cross channel data-driven model. The good thing with GA4 is you can go to Model Comparision, and compare your conversions based on different models.

To compare GA3's last non-direct click conversion data, you can select Cross-channel last click model and see the results. It's selected by default in that tab, if not you can always choose from the dropdown.


Where is the Model Comparision in GA4?

In order to access the Model Comparision window, you need to go to
Advertising (from left hand side main navigation) > Attribution > Model Comparision


Changing the reporting attribution model will apply to both historical and future data in your GA4 property. These changes will be reflected in reports with conversion and revenue data. More details on the impact of changes