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Google Advertising ID

What is Google Advertising ID

Google Advertising ID (GAID), often known as Android ID, or Android Advertising ID (AAID) serves as Google's distinctive device identifier. Every smartphone and tablet is assigned a unique device ID (a string of numbers and letters) generated upon the initial device setup. Thus ID is anonymized and has no personal user information. Apps installed on the devices can access this ID with users' consent.

The Google Advertising ID typically has 8 characters followed by a dash and three sets of 4 characters. It utilizes only lowercase letters and numerical digits. An example of a GAID is "bk9384xs-p449-96ds-r132".

Google Advertising ID was introduced in 2014 and it functions similarly to Apple's Unique Device Identifier. GAID helps advertisers to track ad impressions, app interactions, and conversion events. Further, it grants users the option to reset their GAID but, still enables their device to be identified by Mobile Measurement Partners (MMPs), and media vendors.

How to Find Your GAID

Finding your Google Advertising ID can differ depending on the user's device and operating system. But the process is broadly the same. Here is how to find your GAID:

  • Step 1: Open "Settings" on your Android device
  • Step 2: Click on "Google"
  • Step 3: Select "Services" and then click "Ads"

Your Google Advertising ID will be on the bottom.

It is important to note that the "Reset advertising ID" option enables users to generate a new GAID for themselves without deleting the user data registered under their old GAID.

Why is GAID Important

Google Advertising ID has played an important role in mobile advertising and offers multiple benefits to those leveraging it. Here is why GAID is important:

  1. Analyzing App Traffic and Attribution: Google Advertising ID enables advertisers to analyze app traffic and attribute it to specific actions such as app installations and in-app purchases, or specific media sources and campaigns. GAID also helps segment audience, and facilitate personalized messaging to various user groups.
  2. Campaign Optimization and Personalization: GAID helps marketers optimize ad campaigns in real-time. Google Advertising ID assists marketers in understanding which media source drives desired actions, helps them make data-driven modifications, and maximizes the impact of their ad spend.
  3. Fine-Tuning Ad Campaigns: GAID helps marketers fine-tune their ad campaigns with ease. By targeting users who have taken specific in-app actions or displayed interest in particular products or services, GAID ensures that the ads reach relevant audiences.
  4. Attribution and Conversions: Google Advertising ID helps in attribution by linking user actions or conversions directly to the stimuli provided by advertisements. This helps in the precise tracking of the ads and their impact on user behavior.
  5. Privacy Considerations: GAID treats user privacy with paramount caution. Users can opt out of ad personalization and enable Limited Ad Tracking (LAT).

Google Privacy Sandbox and GAID

Privacy considerations are reshaping the landscape of advertising identifiers like the Google Advertising ID (GAID). At present, when an Android user opts out of receiving personalized ads on their device, GAID remains accessible to app developers or advertisers for analytics or fraud prevention. This helps maintain a degree of data availability and respects user preferences.

However, Google's announcement regarding GAID brought significant changes to GAID's privacy settings. In June 2021, Google announced that when Android 12 OS users opt out of personalized ads, their GAID will be rendered unavailable to app developers and marketers for any purpose. Instead of the standard ID, a string of zeroes will be displayed. This move aimed to prioritize user privacy and control over personal data.

Furthermore, to address the changing privacy landscape, Google introduced the Privacy Sandbox, a two-year initiative aimed at developing technologies that prioritize user privacy online. This industry-wide collaborative effort spans multiple platforms, including web and Android apps, and seeks to limit user tracking while offering safer alternatives to existing technologies.

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