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Adsense Impressions 1/3 of those shown by multiple stats packages?
Anyone else experiencing this problem?

 2:09 am on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

I do some contract work for a site that gets 10,000+ pageviews a day (from 95% new visitors, not cached responses, and non-tech head type traffic, for whatever that's worth w/regards to likihood of having javascript disabled). They track their site stats using LiveStats.com.

They recently launched adsense ads on the site, and the adsense stats are showing only a third of the impressions as they get pageviews daily.

I'm tasked to finding out what's going on with this as I experienced it personally on a blog that I just put adsense ads on, as well (example: yesterday the blog got 1,006 pageviews and 461 unique visitors, but adsense only shows 347 page impressions?!?) Now, the blog uses Sawmill for it's stats software, so I know that of those pageviews, only 64 of them were from spiders or bots. So what is going on? Where are the missing impressions on Adsense?

Any help anyone can provide on this would be greatly appreciated!

I did some searches on webmasterworld.com before posting this, and found a number of threads with people having similar problems (and no resolution listed), but those were from 2004 and 2005. I tried paging through the last three pages of topics on here, and only found one post describing a similar problem.

How do folks explain this anomoly



 2:37 am on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've experiencedthe same problem. I think some of it may be blocking software that never actually calls the ads, so google wouldn't know your site had an impression, your stats program would tho. Also I've noticed that sometimes the ads don't show on a page then after a refresh it does, I'm not sure it Google counts a page view when it doesn't show ads (just bg color)or not. I would assume not.


 3:01 am on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

From what I've seen discussed here, there are a lot of users with javascript disabled. When I look at my sites on my copy of firefox, (JS disabled) All of the adsense is missing.

I am starting to use the noscript tags right under the google script tag. I have a php ad rotator that is called if there is no javascript.

I'm trying to get a handle now on exactly how often the noscript tags are getting activated.

The other thing that can happen is if your targeting is off and you are getting PSAs. There is an option for an alternate ad in those cases.

Hope this helps


 3:49 am on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

some of it may be blocking software that never actually calls the ads

Good point though I hope it's not that 2/3 of our visitors are blocking ads. It would be interesting to know what % of surfers do have the ads blocked.


 4:45 am on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

I looked at my Google analytics and here is a number for whatever worth it is, 98.26% have java enabled. 81% are using I.E. 13% are using FF, just my .02 (sometimes more then a search payment) doh!


 4:52 am on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

There's some loss due to ad blocking or users disabling Javascript but nowhere near 2/3, no matter what field you're in (unless it's an ad blocker user group).

My personal guess is that it's spiders that are not identifying themselves as such. They can really rack up the page views.

P.S. From what I have seen, Google's reporting is very accurate. Sometimes delayed but everything gets counted.


 6:31 pm on May 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks everyone for the responses. I guess the general consesus is that there's no recent anomoly with adsense stats.

It seems hard to imagine that 2/3 of our visitors have javascript disabled or ad blocking software installed. I know from the stats software that we're not talking about spiders or robots (unless they're somehow hiding themselves from the stats software but not from google).

Its very frustrating to read threads going back as far as 2004 which all have the same general gist -- adsense reports 1/3 the impressions as people get pageloads. And no one seems to have any real answer for it - just guesses. I certainly didn't experience this kind of reporting discrepancy with many of my affiliate marketing endeavors. But many of the affiliate codes didn't require javascript.

Again, thanks to everyone who tried to help on this one. I wish I had better news for my employer who was hoping it was a recent glitch and not representative of what he could expect on an ongoing basis..


 6:56 pm on May 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Seriously, it's most likely spiders. I can't even count how many hit my site every day that impersonate MSIE and ignore the robots.txt file.

If you're dying to have your stats match up with Google's, have your pages write a tracking image in the exact same way that Google generates an AdSense pageview; in other words via Javascript within an iframe. That should agree with Google quite closely.


 10:34 pm on May 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am in a back in forth with them right now - how about Urchin showing me 41k page views for a single page, and AdSense showing less than 2,000 impressions for the same page? I think there is something really wrong - not spiders, disable javascript, etc.


 11:25 pm on May 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

It can also be due to PSA's, but without accurate tracking (see my previous post) you will probably never know whether there's an actual discrepancy or not.

P.S. the tracking image has to have a randomizer built in, in order to avoid the effect of browser cacheing. Just have the Javascript end the image thus: ".gif?######", where ###### is some random number.

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