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Advertising platforms and consultants are always pushing ecommerce merchants to "move beyond Last Click attribution" and use fancy new "data driven" attribution models. For related reasons, they are also pushing us to use longer conversion windows. But they're rarely explaining the unintended consequences of the changes they're trying to sell us. If you're considering changing your attribution model, go into it with both eyes open, and an understanding of how it will distort the figures you've been using to make business decisions.

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“Did you hear the news? More people perform product searches on Amazon than Google now.”

This buzz started a couple of years ago, and since then, it's picked up. Seems like every month or two we see a new headline about the latest data. Sometimes the headline says that Google took back the lead or that Amazon has been slowing. But the question of who is ahead is clearly of interest to a lot of people.

After hearing this "fact" about Amazon being more dominant than Google a few times, we decided to go digging. And guess what? It's BS… Probably.

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Advertising profitably on your brand terms requires some dynamic strategy and a real appreciation for the game you're playing. Whether you advertise on your brand terms or not, you’re already caught up in that game… and the rules are designed to drive profit to Google. Your competitors have taken their turns. They have stolen what was yours. The clock is ticking. What’s your move?

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Things are changing a lot in the search ad arena. There is a steady ongoing shift of traffic from organic to paid search. You can’t fight it. Any profitable searches are going to be bought by competitors if you don’t pay for them. And increasingly that also means customers searching for brand terms and coupon codes for your site are getting directed to other sites where you’re losing some sales. There's no longer any question of whether you should be using PPC, or even whether you should bid on brand terms. You must. Paid search is going to become a bigger factor in your success going forward than it has been in the past. It’s critical to get it right.

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Everywhere we turn, we're being bombarded by propaganda from the major advertising platforms: "You need to move beyond Last Click attribution!" Google is always pushing the Data-Driven attribution model, and that certainly sounds good. But what's the truth here? What's going on behind the curtain, and should you make the jump to a different attribution model?

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