Attribution model

The attribution model helps you more accurately identify the return on your advertising investment. Users may arrive at your site multiple times from various sources. For example, they might click an ad, then click a link in search results or open a bookmark in their browser. It is important to correctly determine the click source: only sessions that are initiated by clicking on an ad are counted in Yandex.Direct statistics.

You can choose an attribution model:

For pay-per-conversion campaigns, the attribution model you select significantly affects which user sessions you pay for. See the recommendations on selecting an attribution model for such campaigns.

What is an attribution model?

An attribution model is a rule that determines which click is assigned as the source for a session on your site. Choose from among these models:

  • First click — Whatever source initiated the first click within the last 180 days is attributed as the source for any user session during that period. This model lets you track the source that originally leads a customer to your site and influences the user's later activity on the site.

  • Last click — The session source is attributed to the click that most recently brought the user to your site (regardless of their session history). This model may be used for a technical analysis of your site.

  • Last non-direct click — All sources from the last 90 days are divided into non-direct clicks (like ads, search results, and other sites) and direct clicks (like cached pages, internal traffic, or direct traffic to your site). If a session takes place after a direct click, the last non-direct click is considered the session source. This model allows you to count conversions that get lost in the Last click model, like if a user left the tab open, the idle time exceeded the timeout, and a new session was registered when activity resumed.

  • Last click from Yandex.Direct — Out of all non-direct clicks over 90 days, only Yandex.Direct clicks are counted. If the user landed on your site by clicking an ad in Yandex.Direct, this click is attributed as the source of all subsequent sessions until the user clicks your ad again. This model helps you see all sessions related to Yandex.Direct, including those attributed to other sources by other attribution models.
For example, let's say you sell tours to Mars:
  • A user clicked through to your site from search results 10 days ago, but they didn't buy anything.
  • Then they clicked your Yandex.Direct ad.
  • Later, they clicked a link in social media.
  • Yesterday, they accessed your site again from an open browser tab and purchased a tour.
For different attribution models, the session source is assigned differently:
  • Last click — The open browser tab.
  • Last non-direct click — The click on a social media link.
  • Last click from Yandex.Direct — The click on your Yandex.Direct ad.
  • First click — The click in search results.

To learn more about goals, session sources and attribution models, see Yandex Metrica Help.

Which attribution model to choose

If the session history is not so important to you and you need to track which channels are key conversion stimulants, use Last non-direct click.

To evaluate the impact of Yandex.Direct ads on conversions, choose the Last click from Yandex.Direct model.

First click is good for well-known brands, like businesses with existing demand. Choose this model if you think that the first click is sufficient for the user to make a purchase decision.

If you pay per conversion, follow the recommendations below.

Attribution models in strategies

Strategies use an algorithm that predicts the probability of clicks on your ad and conversions. The algorithm uses Yandex Metrica statistics according to the selected attribution model. For example, when you select Last click from Yandex.Direct, the algorithm uses statistics generated by this attribution model.

When you change the attribution model, the statistics data used by the algorithm also changes. It will take time to build a new forecast and select the optimum bids.

Attribution models in pay-per-conversion campaigns

For pay-per-conversion campaigns, the attribution model significantly affects which of the user's converted sessions are counted and paid for. By properly selecting an attribution model, you can effectively control your campaign's budget spending.

Last click

You only pay for the sessions converted directly after clicking on a Yandex.Direct ad within the same session.

Choose this option if your customers have a very short decision cycle: for example, immediately after clicking on an ad they order food delivery, call a taxi, or enjoy instant special offers.

Last non-direct click

You pay for the sessions converted between the ad click from Yandex.Direct and the next significant event (for example, a click from social media, newsletter, or other ad).

Use this attribution model if your customers usually need more time and several sessions to make a purchase, like if you sell household appliances or clothing.

Last click from Yandex.Direct

You pay for all sessions converted after interacting with Yandex.Direct. All the subsequent significant events are ignored.

Select this option if Yandex.Direct is your main channel to attract traffic. We also recommend this attribution model if you have an overall small number of conversions.

First click

You pay for every session of the users that land on the website for the first time by clicking a Yandex.Direct ad. You also pay for every subsequent converted session.

We recommend this option if your customers have a long purchase cycle (for example, if you sell real estate or cars).


The “Cross-device” mode counts clicks from all the devices used. For example, a user can click on a search ad from an office desktop. On their way home, they can open the site from their smartphone. Then they can buy the product at home by entering the online store's URL on their private laptop.

If you need to attribute conversions on different devices, enable Cross-device when selecting an attribution model. Cross-device is used in three attribution models:

  • Last click from Yandex.Direct.
  • Last significant (non-direct) click.
  • First click.

Attribution models in statistics

You can view statistics for any attribution model in Report Wizard. To monitor compliance with goal indicators in conversion strategies, such as Optimize conversions or Optimize ROI, make sure that the report uses the same attribution model that is chosen in your strategy settings.

If it takes more than two weeks on average for an ad click to result in conversion, the Yandex.Direct reports with attribution based on the last click or last non-direct click will show a significant delay in statistics. Keep this in mind when evaluating the average CPI and average ROI.