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  1. #1
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    AdWords Reporting Discrepancies
    This past week, I discovered a fairly large "reporting discrepancy" for Content Network traffic on Google AdWords. Google AdWords Support initially said they would "escalate" the issue, but then followed up with a "boilerplate" reply. I've also posted some comments in one of the AdWords Help Discussion Groups ( without any replies from other advertisers.

    The issue: when I run a "Placement Performance" Report, the number of impressions varies considerably depending on whether I choose to report "by Domain" or "by URL," and both versions of that report show many fewer impressions than the AdWords account interface.

    For the same Content Network campaign (1 day of traffic) I see the same number of clicks in all reports, but huge variations in impressions:
    369,000 impressions are reported in the AdWords account interface = 0.46% CTR
    233,000 impressions (63%) are reported in a Placement Report by Domain = 0.72% CTR
    98,000 impressions (27%) are reported in a Placement Report by URL = 1.73% CTR

    For "Site A"
    67,141 impressions reported in the "Placement Performance by Domain" report (0.09% CTR)
    14,467 impressions (22%) reported in the "Placement Performance by URL" Report

    For "Site B"
    51,360 impressions in the Domain report (0.04% CTR)
    22,572 impressions (44%) in the URL report

    Of course, if I just look at "clicks," then none of this seems to matter. However, when I am trying to optimize campaigns, then it's pretty important to know what the "real" CTR figures are, so I can decide if it's worthwhile to delete "high-traffic, low-CTR" sites in order to try to get better exposure on other Content Network sites. (If my CTR on the Content Network is low, then my ads won't be shown as often nor as high as if the CTR is higher. If I can properly identify which sites are "dragging down" my CTR, then I can remove them and improve overall performance. But these reporting discrepancies make it impossible for me to know the "real" CTR or even the relative performance of different sites, since different reports rank them differently.)

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    March 2nd, 2007
    There is generally a "lag" in reporting between the summary (ad-group level) and detail (keyword or by URL level) reports. It should get sorted out in 24 hours

  3. #3
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Thanks, redtagdeals, but I already knew that, and in my email to Google I was very clear to identify the dates so they knew I wasn't dealing with a standard reporting delay. (The discrepancy is similar if I run new reports for traffic from weeks ago.)

    I was pretty annoyed when Google's reply to the "escalated" support ticket was to note there there are sometimes reporting delays so I should wait until at least 3pm the next day -- when I'd made very clear that this was NOT the issue nor the timing involved. It was especially annoying because the first-level support acknowledged that this was a large discrepancy that was being escalated, and then the follow-up just ignored the size of the discrepancy and gave me "boilerplate" that did not apply.

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
    Join Date
    March 13th, 2006
    Colorado / Florida
    Good luck getting anything more than a boiler-plate reply Mark. I had to stay on them hard for nearly 3 months to resolve another reporting issue earlier this year, so be prepared to keep after them. Good Luck - I'm curious as to what the final resolve / issue will be.
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  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    March 2nd, 2007
    In my experience, Adwords support has been good.
    Most issues are resolved over e-mail or chat or call-back or call-in .. pretty much within a day if not instantaneously!

    I guess there are always some "exceptions"

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