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GBRAID Parameters for iOS 14.5: What to Know

Online privacy is currently one of the most important topics in the online world. So much so that 85% of adults worldwide want to do more to protect their online privacy. Also, the biggest tech companies understand the importance of staying compliant.

Apple is an example of a company that’s releasing updates to ensure user privacy. Because they understand the data compliance risk, Apple released some user privacy changes in iOS 14.5.

This is a difficult landscape to navigate for advertisers using Google Ads. In response to Apple’s privacy updates, Google released GBRAID, which may affect the way advertisers measure and report data. What can advertisers do about the GBRIAD parameters for iOS 14.5? Here’s what to know and how to navigate these new compliance rules.

iOS 14.5 Data Changes

Before explaining GBRAID, let’s provide more information about Apple’s data privacy changes in iOS 14.5. Apple created its ATT policy to request user permission to track activity across various websites and apps. “ATT” stands for “app tracking transparency,” and is best recognized as a pop-up that asks users if they want to share their data with the website or app. 

Apple rolled out this policy in April 2021 with the iOS 14.5 update. To this day, Apple’s ATT is affecting many advertisers. Google has responded by ditching its previous GCLID parameters and replacing them with GBRAID.

What Are GBRAID Parameters?

GBRAID parameters once again allow the attribution of conversions back to your ad campaigns. Previously, Google used GCLID for this. However, GCLID no longer abides by Apple’s ATT Framework, so Google had to release a new solution that was legally compliant.

How does GBRAID differ from GCLID? Unlike GCLID, GBRAID doesn’t collect data from any individual user. This ensures that it stays compliant with Apple’s ATT policy.

Configuring GBRAID parameters is easy. When advertisers create a landing page, they will add GBRAID to the URL when auto-tagging is enabled in iOS 14.5. Advertisers can add this URL to any landing page on search, shopping, and display ads. WBRAID parameters are similar, but they’re used to measure web-to-app conversions, whereas GBRAID can also measure app-to-app campaigns.

Reporting With GBRAID

While GBRAID will change some aspects of your advertising campaign, advertisers can still use the same reporting tactics. Like GCLID, GBRAID offers advertisers insight into their clicks, conversions, and impressions. Google Ads will stay connected to Analytics, identifying key data and measuring your ads. Advertisers can still access data reports that track essential metrics, such as conversions.

However, the data section in Conversions will now look different. When Google collects data from iOS users, they will use modeled conversions. Modeled conversions ensure that the data can’t be traced to individual users. Instead, you’ll see a wider view of customer data that still lets you make informed decisions and ensure compliance.

Important Technical Aspects Of GBRAID:

Parameter Structure and Syntax: GBRAID parameters are structured as additional text strings appended to URLs, usually following a question mark and separated by ampersands. For instance, a GBRAID parameter might look like “&gbraid=1234567890.” Advertisers need to ensure proper syntax and encoding to ensure accurate data capture and interpretation.

Integration with iOS 14.5 Privacy Updates: With the introduction of Apple’s iOS 14.5 privacy updates, GBRAID was developed as a solution to maintain tracking and attribution capabilities while adhering to Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policy. This policy requires user consent for tracking, and GBRAID ensures that data collection and attribution remain compliant with this new privacy framework.

User Privacy and Data Collection: GBRAID operates by collecting aggregate attribution data, ensuring user privacy while delivering valuable insights to advertisers. Unlike its predecessor GCLID, which tracked individual users, GBRAID focuses on aggregated information that cannot be linked back to specific users. This approach aligns with Apple’s privacy guidelines and safeguards user data.

Configuring GBRAID Parameters: To configure GBRAID parameters, advertisers can follow a straightforward process. When setting up landing pages, advertisers enable auto-tagging and include the GBRAID parameter in the URL. This ensures that attribution data is captured accurately for campaigns targeting iOS 14.5 users. Advertisers can seamlessly integrate GBRAID across search, shopping, and display ad campaigns.

Reporting Changes and Interpretation: Shifting from GCLID to GBRAID introduces changes in reporting interfaces. GBRAID offers insights into clicks, conversions, and impressions, just like GCLID. However, the Conversions section’s data representation evolves, as GBRAID relies on modeled conversions to protect user privacy. Advertisers can still access critical metrics but should understand the nuances of interpreting the new reporting format for informed decision-making.

Stay Compliant on iOS 14.5

Are you struggling to measure customer data and metrics from iOS 14.5 users? While GBRAID may display data differently, you can still measure advertising results if you know what to do.

As a best practice, you can also trust professional advertisers who are knowledgeable about new privacy updates.

Ballantine has been in the marketing business ever since 1966. Our firm started as a direct mail marketing company, so we know all about privacy and customer data. Ballantine uses this knowledge in the context of digital marketing, ensuring that your campaign stays compliant. We offer PPC marketing services and are experts in ad targeting. Click here to learn more about our services.

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I'm the Director of Digital Services and Partner at Ballantine, a family-owned and operated direct mail & digital marketing company based in New Jersey. and started in 1966 by my great uncle!