Google's Advertising Identifier

In November 2013, Google announced that they’re replacing the unique Android ID with a new “Advertising ID” by August 2014, making it the only identifier available for attribution purposes for Android devices. This announcement is similar to Apple and their efforts to establish the Apple Identifier for Advertising (IFA) for iOS devices.

According to the Google Play™ Developer web site, their new Advertising ID is:

“A user-specific, unique, resettable ID for advertising, provided by Google Play services. It gives users better controls and provides developers with a simple, standard system to continue to monetize your apps. It is an anonymous identifier for advertising purposes and enables users to reset their identifier or opt out of interest-based ads within Google Play apps.”

Google does not prohibit the use of other identifiers at this time. However, as Google Play is updating its terms to require advertisers to use the Google Advertising ID (AID) after August 1, 2014, we must continue pushing technology forward as an industry and migrate to the Google AID to ensure an efficient transition.

Similar to Apple, users can “opt out” of the Google AID and reset it, but they cannot connect it to any personally identifiable information (PII) or device identifiers.

Google_AID_2.png
 

Google also mirrors the Apple advertising guidelines about what users can do when they enable the opt-out function. Specifically, "Allowed activities include contextual advertising, frequency capping, conversion measurement, reporting, and security and fraud detection.”

Please note that the Google AID differs from the Google Play Install Referrer string because Google AID has a client-based setting that controls advertisements in the Android platform, while the Google Play Install Referrer has no client-based setting and focuses on measuring app installs through the Google Play Store.

Google AID collected by the Attribution Analytics SDK

Starting February 2014, the Attribution Analytics (previously MobileAppTracking™) SDK for Android collects the Google Advertising Identifier (Google AID) by default, along with its supplementary Limit Ad Tracking setting.

***If you’re looking for implementation code (including the collection of the Google AID), then please visit our latest Android SDK.

If you’re an advertising partner (publisher), then encourage your mutual clients to update their Attribution Analytics SDK for Android so Attribution Analytics can start collecting the value on installs (and other events) and perform attribution. You pass the value on ad click via your measurement URLs.

After clients update their SDK implementation to collect the Google AID, they can view it in their Install and Event log reports in the Attribution Analytics platform, as shown in the following screenshot.

Googles_Advertising_Identifier_2_Google_AID_in_Install_Log.png
 

Clients can also access the Google AID data point in the log reports via the API. The following list shows the fields in the API logs for clients (advertisers).

Note: You can insert Raw, MD5, and SHA1 values of the Google AID into our "google_aid" parameter.

The following measurement URL shows an example of an advertising partner with the Google AID value set to our “google_aid” parameter:

https://12345.api-01.com/serve?action=click&publisher_id=1465&site_id=4118&campaign_id=240548&google_aid=38400000-8cf0-11bd-b23e-10b96e40000d

 

After clients collect the Google AID on install (and other events) and it is being passed on ad click, the advertising partner can then receive notifications via macros in postback URLs that include the Google AID value.

Postback URL Macros:

  • {google_aid} - The Google AID formatted as uppercase with hyphens. AAAAAAAA-BBBB-CCCC-1111-222222222222
  • {google_aid_sha1} - The Google AID hashed with the SHA1 algorithm. Generate the value based on uppercase characters with separating hyphens. sha1(AAAAAAAA-BBBB-CCCC-1111-222222222222)
  • {google_aid_md5} - The Google AID hashed with the MD5 algorithm. Generate the value based on uppercase characters with separating hyphens. md5(AAAAAAAA-BBBB-CCCC-1111-222222222222)
  • {google_aid_lower} - The Google AID formatted as lowercase with hyphens. aaaaaa-bbbb-cccc-1111-222222222222
  • {google_aid_sha1_lower} - The Google AID hashed with the SHA1 algorithm. Generate the value based on uppercase characters with separating hyphens. sha1(aaaaaa-bbbb-cccc-1111-222222222222)
  • {google_aid_md5_lower} - The Google AID hashed with the MD5 algorithm. Generate the value based on lowercase characters with separating hyphens. md5(aaaaaa-bbbb-cccc-1111-222222222222)
  • {google_aid_alphanumeric} - The Google AID formatted as uppercase without colons. AAAAAABBBBCCCC111122222222222
  • {google_aid_alphanumeric_lower} - The Google AID formatted as lowercase without colons. aaaaaabbbbcccc11112222222222222
  • {google_aid_alphanumeric_lower_sha1} - The Google AID hashed with the SHA1 algorithm. Generate the value based on lowercase characters with no hyphens. sha1(aaaaaabbbbcccc11112222222222222)
  • {google_aid_alphanumeric_lower_md5} - The Google AID hashed with the MD5 algorithm. Generate the value based on lowercase characters with no hyphens. md5(aaaaaabbbbcccc11112222222222222)

If a postback URL includes the Google AID value, then include one of the following Limit Ad Tracking settings:

  • {google_ad_tracking} - If you're going to use the "google_aid" parameter, then set the "google_ad_tracking" parameter to indicate if the user has enabled Limit Ad Tracking (where 0 indicates enabled/limited).
  • {google_ad_tracking_disabled} - Opposite of the previous parameter (where 1 indicates enabled/limited).

NOTE: The MAT SDK collects the Google Advertising Identifier at time of install in either case and logs the value of the "limit ad tracking" status of the device which is passed back to your advertising partner.

For more information about the identifiers that Attribution Analytics uses for attribution, please visit Unique Identifiers for Attribution.

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