Apple Search Ads

Apple Search Ads(ASA) helps users discover your apps in the most efficient way as promoting your apps on the App Store for iPhone and iPad. You can display your apps in the suggested Apps list or on the top of search results when users search for your apps.

Please read on below guide and learn how to run ASA ad campaigns and track your performance in the Airbridge.


Basic Setup

  1. Install or update Airbridge iOS SDK 1.15.3 or later version.
    • Necessary frameworks to measure ASA Ads performance are automatically applied if you've installed Airbridge SDK via Cocoapods.
    • If directly installed Airbridge iOS SDK, refer to the Airbridge Developer Guide to directly apply the AirBridge.framework and Dependency framework.
  2. Create and run Ad campaigns in the Apple Search Ads Dashboard. ASA doesn't require to have a tracking link to measure performance.
  3. Any conversion attributed to ASA, can also check from the Airbridge Dashboard.


Apple Search Ads Reporting

iAd Framework and AdService Framework

With the release of iOS 14, ASA campaigns are measured by the newly added framework 'AdService' along with 'iAd' framework.

While iAd framework offers a richer attribution than 'AdService' framework, it doesn't offer attribution data if ATT Status is not 'Authorized' on the devices running iOS 14.5 and later. Hence, Airbridge will try to request the attribution data from iAd framework first, but if it's not available, it will retry to call AdService framework in which offers attribution data regardless of the ATT status.

As shown below table, iAd and AdService framework supports different attribution data fields; the AdService framework only supports 'ID' fields, not 'name' fields.

Data Field



Campaign Name O X
Campaign ID O O
Ad Group Name O X
Ad Group ID O O
Keyword O X
Keyword ID O O
Creative Name O X
Creative ID O O


Campaign Data Fields Mapping

AdService framework only offers 'ID' fields, which it makes difficult to analyze the data in your Actuals report. To provide better readability, Airbridge supports data fields mapping by using 'Apple Search Ads API' providing both 'ID' and 'Name' fields.

To use the reporting data of Apple Search Ads API, Airbridge needs to acquire advertisers' certificate of Apple Search Ads account. Please refer to Apple Search Ads API Certificate FAQ for further inquiries.

Agency Setup

By default, only the 'Owner' and 'In-house marketer' has the access to ASA data. To grant data access permission to the specific agencies, go to [ Integrated Ad Channels > Apple Search Ads > Agency Settings ] and assign them.


Apple Search Ads API Certificate FAQ

1. Why do we need to set up API certificate?

With the advent of a stronger user privacy policy starting on iOS 14 release, iAd framework can no longer report attribution if ATT status is not 'Authorized' on the devices running iOS 14.5 and later. Alternatively, Apple introduced a new framework called 'AdService', which includes attribution data for users with iOS 14.5 and later regardless of their ATT status. But, AdService has the limitation that it only includes 'ID' fields(e.g. Campaign, Ad Group, Keyword, etc), not 'Name' fields (e.g. iOS_install_campaign).

Therefore, to continuously provide ASA attribution report with 'Name' fields for the AdService framework, Airbridge supports campaign data field mapping by Apple Search Ads API which requires Advertisers' ASA account certificate.

2. How can I set up API Certificate?

API Certificate Integration is being done only for the advertisers who operate ASA ad campaigns, upon request. If you need the integration, please reach out to your CSM or Airbridge Platform Team.

3. What's changing after setting up the API Certificate?

After API certificate integration, your ASA campaign data will appear both in numerical ID and name.

* ID and Name field mapping is applied once integrated with API Certificate while previous data is not applied.

4. Is there any way to check the mapped data before the API certificate setup?

Yes, even though Actuals report does not offer mapped data before the API certificate setup, this data is available via [ Raw Data Export ].

5. 'ID' and 'Name' fields are mapped in real-time? Can I check from Actuals Report?

Unfortunately no, it may take up to 48 hours to view the mapped data in your Actuals Report.

For example, let's say install was attributed to ASA on May 5th, but you may see only the ID fields(CampaignID, Ad GroupID, etc) in the report. This might result from the user with ATT Status is not 'Authorized' on the devices running on iOS 14.5 and later. The mapped data will appear in your report on May 7th, two days(48 hours) later.

However, if you wish to check mapped data faster than Actuals Report, then use the [ Raw Data Export ] that updates every 4 hours.


6. Does Airbridge report Keyword ID (Term ID) for ASA Search Match?

No, If you enable search match, the ASA API doesn’t return keyword Id in the attribution response. Therefore, you may find some ASA campaigns with blank Term ID and Term. To check whether it is due to the Search Match, filter it by Ad Group. 

Search Match Keyword can be found on Apple Search Ads Dashboard.  

💡 What is Search Match?

Search Match is a default feature of Apple Search Ads Advanced search results campaigns that your ad may be matched automatically to search terms without you having to figure out all keyword possibilities and actively bid on them.

→ See Apple Search Ads Guide 

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