Google recently announced an entirely new API for Google Ads app conversion tracking and remarketing. The primary drivers for developing this new API are to make app analytics and attribution simpler for advertisers and more reliable for Google Ads attribution partners.
From here on out, we'll simply refer to the new API for app conversion tracking and remarketing as "the API".
The API introduces several new concepts for those who are familiar with the legacy API.
Where the legacy conversion tracking API is concerned with "conversion IDs" and "conversion labels," the API is concerned with "app events" in a generic sense. In the legacy API integration, the syntactic mapping between app events and Google Ads app conversion events is handled in the third-party analytics systems via their respective configuration panels. The legacy integration hence requires the generation of said "conversion IDs" and "conversion labels" in Google Ads followed by a mapping in the third-party system.
The API, however, allows consumers to forward app events by name, atomically, to Google Ads. With this, advertisers can begin tracking conversions externally without additional required setup in Google Ads.
All consumers of the API will need to generate a developer token. The purpose of the developer token is to restrict and control access to the API, and this token will function as a static shared secret. A consumer of the API will always use the same developer token to sign all app conversion tracking and remarketing requests, regardless of which app they are creating a request on behalf of. When filling out your application for a token, please make sure that you indicate the token will be used for the App conversions and remarketing API. Note that you need to complete the developer token application process by clicking on Apply for Basic Access. You can check your current access level in the Google Ads API center within Google Ads. Also, if you use the Google Ads API for other reporting or campaign management functionalities, you'll need to create a separate Manager account and developer token for use with this API.
If you are a third-party provider, all requests on behalf of advertisers using your service should be sent with your developer token. Do not ask each client to apply for their own developer token. Instead, each client should create a Link ID using your Provider ID (see section below) and then provide you their Link ID.
A link ID is a unique identifier for binding a specific app to a specific
developer token. Here, a "specific app" refers to a single app on a single
platform (for example,
App123 on iOS). Link IDs can be
generated and shared
between Google Ads accounts regardless of
Google Ads account management hierarchy,
and completely eliminate the need to manage multiple tracking identifiers for
the same app.
To create a link ID associated with your unique developer token, select Other provider from the app analytics provider dropdown. In the input box labeled Enter your provider's ID enter the external customer ID associated with the Google Ads manager account where you applied for your developer token. Enter the ID without dashes (ex. 1234567890 for an account ID shown as 123-456-7890 in the Google Ads UI).
Cross-network deduplication is a core feature of many products in the app attribution space. The API brings the concept of cross-network de-duplication to Google Ads by requiring API consumers to send an additional "cross-network attribution" request after receiving a conversion confirmation from Google Ads. The purpose of the cross-network request is to notify Google Ads whether or not the conversion confirmation was counted as a conversion by the API consumer who received it.
You can find more details on the app conversion tracking and remarketing specifications here.