There will be a change to Google AdWords as of 29 March, 2017. The default window for the conversion of an impression – an instance of a user viewing an ad without clicking on it – on an advertiser’s banner display, i.e. the view-through conversion (VTC), will be reduced from 30 days to 1 day. This change will apply equally to new conversions and to those still set at the old default window.
When a banner ad is made viewable to a user browsing a website but the user does not click on it the ad sends a cookie to the user’s device. If the user subsequently goes to the advertised website and makes a purchase, the VTC will employ the original cookie to register that purchase as being connected to the initial impression. This procedure will now take just 1 day, rather than a month, to complete.
VTCs are not counted in the AdWords Conversions column and only VTC reporting will be affected by this change. The latest ad impression will only be credited to a purchase on the advertiser’s website if the user does not click on the ad or view their other ads.
Reducing the VTC window to 1 day will certainly have clear benefits for advertisers. Customers who click through to an advertiser’s website inside the window will most likely have been inspired to do so by their original impression. A longer window has the negative effect of distorting statistics by crediting clicks that may have had no connection with earlier impressions. The short window will significantly reduce, if not completely eliminate, this bias. Potential manipulation of VTC statistics by network displays can also be obviated. This means that businesses will be able to predict and understand customer interactions more accurately and thus improve the customer experience.
This more advanced Conversions system will supersede the old Converted Clicks metrics, which will be deactivated at this time, but changing to the new system should not pose any problems. It will still be possible to customise window settings for individual conversion events in the Conversions menu under the Tools tab.