Apple’s IOS neglect paid conversions
Apple’s commitment to customer privacy is resulting in particular conversion metrics from being discounted from measurements, particularly those relying on third-party cookies, study shows.
Apple iOS for iPad and iPhone ‘damaging conversion traffic metrics’
Monday, March 21 2011 by Kate Billinghurst
Apple’s iOS platform is having a significant impact on conversion traffic metrics, by failing to count paid-search conversions, research shows.
Devices that make use of the iOS, such as the iPad, iTouch and iPhone, are neglecting website conversions 80 per cent of the time when third-party cookies are used for tracking, according to Marin Software.
This has the potential to cause huge problems for internet consultants and search engine optimisation firms when it comes to managed search engine marketing.
Marin notes that most marketers have assumed a uniform level of undercounting when third-party cookies are concerned.
However, while Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox undercounting was found to range between 32 per cent and 38 per cent, Apple browsers performed significantly worse.
Safari (Mac) undercounting was found to average 51 per cent, while iOS’ 80 per cent undercounting underlines the extent of the problem.
The report noted: “While all browsers can pose challenges for advertisers, Apple’s focus on consumer privacy has had the unintended consequence of limiting the viability of third-party cookie-based tracking systems.”
What is perhaps more concerning is that the actual conversion rates for iOS compared to Windows is actually far higher, which makes third-party conversion across iOS appear much lower than it actually is compared to Microsoft’s operating system.
This undercounting therefore poses a significant risk of underinvestment, which ultimately amounts to lost revenue.
Overall, this is also a major revelation with respect to third-party cookie conversion metrics. The addition of the 80 per cent statistics to an average for all browsers suggests that tracking systems are “systematically undercounting conversions by as much as a third”.
Marin has therefore advised advertisers to avoid third-party redirects whenever possible. The new figures also provide a basis from which advertisers can re-adjust their metrics to account for these unattributed conversions.
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