Self-Attributing Network

A Self-Attributing Network (SAN) is an ad platform that tracks conversions and attribution internally, like Google Ads and Facebook, mapping customer journeys.

A Self-Attributing Network (SAN) is an advertisement platform that carries out its internal conversion tracking and attribution. This system keeps track of every touchpoint in a customer’s journey, attributing each transaction and conversion to specific marketing actions. SANs like Google Ads, Facebook, and Apple Search Ads are poised to handle multi-touch attribution internally rather than simply basing it off the last click.


For example, Google Ads, a SAN, tracks user interactions with its ads and allocates a credit (conversion or transaction) to a particular ad based on its internal algorithms.

Why is SAN important?

SANs offer the capacity to claim and attribute conversions. This feature is crucial due to the dominance of platforms like Google and Facebook in the digital marketing space. Without SANs, marketers would have to rely on other attribution methods that might not accurately represent the influence of these platforms. SANs offer businesses an accurate measure of their ad performance, thereby improving marketing strategy and customer acquisition.

Which factors impact SAN?

While SANs are efficient, they can be enhanced through the following ways:

  1. Data Augmentation: By supplementing SAN data with insights from other tools and tracking systems, better attributions can be achieved.
  2. Use Granular Data: Deeper insights into user behavior at the most granular level can refine attribution models.
  3. Continuous Revision: By continuously monitoring and modifying the SAN system based on feedback, it can be made more efficient.

How can SAN be improved?

  • Incrementality: The more incremental value an ad network provides, the more likely a conversion is attributed to it.
  • User Behavior: The user's interaction with the ad greatly influences attribution.
  • Attribution Windows: The length of the attribution window impacts attribution.

What is SAN's relationship with other metrics?

SAN works in coherence with other ecommerce metrics such as conversion rates, retention rates, and customer acquisition costs for a holistic understanding of digital marketing performance. By attributing transactions to specific marketing actions, SANs can inform adjustments to these metrics, thereby optimizing overall ecommerce strategy.

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