The Problem with Unranked Event Custom Facebook Ads Reporting

You may be seeing that reported conversions are down since iOS 14+ changes of 2021. You aren’t alone. While there are many reasons for a drop in reporting, one may be the way that you configure your custom Facebook ads reports.

It has to do with unranked events. Let’s discuss…

Custom Ads Manager Reports

If you’re like me, you create custom Facebook ads reports in Ads Manager. You don’t rely only on the default construction of columns that Facebook provides.

I even wrote a post about how I have a saved report called “The Good Stuff.” It allows me to monitor the impact of my ads on the metrics that I care about most, regardless of optimization.

My custom report consists of about 30 metrics in all, from standard Facebook ads metrics to standard events and custom conversions.

And there, of course, is the potential issue.

Ranked and Unranked Events

A quick refresher on Aggregated Event Measurement, ranked and unranked events, related to iOS 14+ changes…

When an iOS user opts out of tracking, only that user’s highest-ranked event will be reported (no change to reporting for an iOS user who opts-in). This, of course, assumes that you have ranked your events (you can rank up to eight).

Aggregated Event Measurement Ranking

In theory, only a ranked event has the potential to be reported for an opted-out iOS user. And the higher that event is ranked, the greater the possibility that it will be reported when executed.

Unranked events, though, won’t be sent. They are bound to be far less complete (the level of completeness, of course, will depend upon the density of opted-out iOS users in your targeted audience).

An Example

I’m running a Reach campaign to a very warm audience to promote my 10 Tips free opt-in lead magnet. One of my columns is for the Complete Registration standard event. Facebook reports 51 registrations.

However, I added a column for registrations for the specific opt-in I’m promoting as well using a custom conversion. There, Facebook is reporting only 39. Where are the other 12?

Well, the next thing I did was add a column for my other primary lead magnet, The Basics. If a user I targeted opted in for both within seven days of clicking the ad, they could both be counted.

But, nope…


Then it occurred to me: The Complete Registrations event is ranked among my eight events. The custom conversions for each opt-in are not.

While it’s impossible to know whether opted-out iOS users account for the full 12 additional conversions (reasonable to assume there are other explanations, too), it’s certainly consistent to assume that some or most of those missing conversions are due to opt-outs.

If these signups follow my normal traffic trends, about 12-percent came from iOS devices. So, it’s reasonable to assume that at least something in the neighborhood of 6 of the 12 weren’t counted due to opt-outs.

The Lesson

It’s important not to overreact to this. I could simply stop tracking unranked events in my reports. Instead, I understand that this information still has value.

Just understand that while reporting may be incomplete overall, reporting for unranked events should be expected to be even less complete. Be aware of it. Don’t act on that raw data. Maybe compare it to a related ranked event for clarity (like the Complete Registration event in my case).

It’s situations like this where it’s important to cross-check results these days. It’s why I use URL parameters with Google Analytics, and why I’ve also experimented with duplicating landing pages and forms that are used only for ads.

Your Turn

How do you address the issue of unranked events in your custom reports? Do you ignore them entirely or do you simply look at them with more scrutiny?

Let me know in the comments below!