One of the attribution methodologies used by Singular for Android installs is Google's Install Referrer method. Here is Google's documentation regarding the Install Referrer:
When a user clicks on a Singular Attribution Tag for Android and are redirected to the Google Play Store app, Singular appends a click ID to the Google Play Store URL in the referrer parameter. When that user downloads and launches the app, the Singular receiver captures the data from the referrer parameter. If the Singular click ID that is captured matches the click ID we appended to the referrer parameter upon redirecting the user to the Google Play Store, we record an attribution.
Campaign data such as campaign source, campaign name, and campaign group can also be passed in the referrer parameter, using what are called UTM parameters. If the Singular receiver captures referrer data that includes UTM parameters when a user installs an app, and there is no corresponding click from a Singular Attribution Tag, we will attribute the install to the campaign source, campaign name, and campaign group that is specified by the UTM parameters.
Here is an example of a Google Play Store app link with a referrer parameter that contains UTM parameters:
When we receive UTM parameters, we map them in our reporting as follows:
- utm_source = Campaign Source
- utm_campaign = Campaign
- utm_term = Campaign Group
There are some instances where users can be redirected to the Google Play Store by a 3rd party that is not using a Singular Attribution Tag. This 3rd-party source will append the Google Play Store link with a referrer parameter and UTM parameters, leading to these campaigns populating in the reporting.
The most common occurrences of this behavior come from users finding your app in a 3rd-party app store (i.e., not Google Play Store). Some 3rd-party apps may have a listing for your app, which will redirect users to the Google Play Store page if a user clicks "download". Example of these 3rd-party apps stores are (this list is not comprehensive):
- 79 or 79Market
The other common source is Facebook, via the "Find Apps" section of the Android Facebook app. If a user clicks "Install" from within the Facebook app, they will be redirected to the Google Play Store app, and their install will be attributed to apps.facebook.com as the Campaign Source.
While Singular cannot prevent campaign data from entering our system in this manner, this data can be a valuable insight into how users are organically finding your app. In all of these instances, this type of install can essentially be considered an organic install that came from a specific source, as opposed to the user searching for your app manually in the Google Play Store.