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Google Adwords - How real time is it?

How do the stats showing on Google relate to real time



5:37 pm on Nov 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

We've just launched a couple of campaigns on Google Adwords and according to our tracking tool we should be delighted with the results and judging by the e-mails and phone calls we have had we are.

So, first off, big thanks to Google for delivering the traffic.

But, when we look at the Google stats, they should be something close to the stats we see but they are a million miles away in terms of Google say they have delivered 250 visitors, when we feel it's more like 500 in the past 5 hours or so.

Is there a problem with the real time nature, or is it that it's not real time at all? If it is historical, how much is the lag?

Can anyone shed some light on this?

Mikkel Svendsen

10:03 pm on Nov 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I just want to be clear, what you are saying is that you track more visitors coming from Google than what they are charging you for?

Are you indexed in Google too?
How are you tracking your ads?

Unless you use some sort of tracking URL for your Google ads your can't seperate ads and regular SERPS

But even if you set up everything correct there will allways be a difference. Thats just a fact of life on the web - once you track things using two different methods (in this case Google's and yours) you WILL get two different results :)

In most of my tracking Google count approx 15% more than I do. That is absolutely within reasonable limits. Caching alone can make up for the 15%.


11:44 am on Nov 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


We do track each adword click, so we can establish the normal SERPS from the paid ads.

Yes I noticed that we had noticed there was a significant number more than Google's interface indicated.

It seems to have aligned itself more now and is almost real time, guess Google had a nap or something.

Just as an aside, the real benefit of tracking the clicks is in identifying whether it's .com .co.uk or other Google engine, but also on phrase matches we can see the search string used. If it is obviously not the type of visit we are looking for then we can include the bit we don't want as a negative match. Sometimes you don't know until you see it.

It's funny when ever you get something like this happen Google just refuse to accept that your tracking may be better than theirs (which is probably true... but the elitist attitude sheesh!)


9:41 pm on Nov 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

I know Overture screens clicks to help prevent fraud, and it sounds like Google may be doing the same thing. That is, Google may see some of the 500 clicks you have recorded as someone trying to charge your account for a bunch of 'piffle clicks'.


11:19 pm on Nov 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

Also, often there is a lag in reports that could be upto 4 hours based on my past observations! So, that could be a potential factor too!


5:59 pm on Nov 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member googleguy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

We try to keep things very close to real-time, but things can lag behind if we have to do maintenance, or a backbone connection gets cut, etc. So we don't guarantee everything is real time, but we do our best to deliver it that way.

Glad that Adwords is working well for you. Any tips you'd care to share to help out other webmasters?


10:29 pm on Nov 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

Adwords is a great product if used rightly. Identifying the relevant keywords and using the keywords in your Title will help a ton. Even if that means, you need to set up a number of campaigns/adword-groups, I think it is well worth the trouble!


11:42 pm on Nov 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Glad that Adwords is working well for you. Any tips you'd care to share to help out other webmasters?

The tips I'd suggest might seem common sense to some people but maybe not to others.

1. 1000 impressions seems like a lot, but in a popular category it will go in no time at all. I'd suggest you start your campaign off using exact match for your keywords [square brackets]. If you don't get a good number of impressions and clicks then try phrase match "inverted commas" and if that doesn't work then try it with all the safeties off.

2. Use some form of tracking facility to allow you to understand the search parameters for those that do click on your ad. In some industries what you want is not what you get, and you may be lulled into thinking your campaign is working when it isn't.

3. Google prefer continuity of your ads. Although you can pause the ads, it is better to leave it running, the click popularity is important to your price and also your importance, if you pause the ad sometimes you can lose your space at the table.

4. Put the expensive keywords in a campaign all on their own, don't leave them in a pool with all your less expensive ads as they will drag the overall cost of your ads up. This happens because invariably the higher competition keywords have a lower CTR as more people are vying for market share.

5. Syndicated partners can be your friends but can also kill you. If you find that you are struggling with keeping ads alive then switch off syndication for a while.

6. Don't load up your ad groups with lots of keywords. Small keyword groups work far better for me. This also generally makes the ads a tighter fit with the keywords in question.

7. Try 3 or 4 different headlines with 3 or 4 ads and the same keywords to see which ones work over a period. Once you have established the best ones eliminate all the non-performing ads, no point rotating them with the ones that do work as it's wasted impressions.

8. Certainly in the UK don't take the estimates that are shown as gospel. In some instances the numbers will be woefully inaccurate (I hope eventually Google will have a UK specific database to help advertisers). Try things for a little while and if a keyword doesn't hit, then delete it or try it in another group with a different ad.

9. Don't assume that the same keywords that work on Google will work on other PPC's. Each has it's own idiosyncracies.

10. Be prepared to invest some capital in Adwords, almost as R & D. It's quick to get results from and those results will transfer across to normal SERPs too.

There's more, but don't want to give all our secrets away!


2:51 am on Nov 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member googleguy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Good advice! A couple points in there that I hadn't thought of before. :) webdiversity, would you mind if I passed these on to our adwords folks? They might want to mention a few of these to help our adwords advertisers out..


9:56 pm on Nov 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

GG I'd be honoured if you did!


1:53 pm on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

There's more, but don't want to give all our secrets away!

Let`s get the rest of your secrets webdiversity! Your 10 points were excellent advice and if you have more I would certainly welcome it. ;)


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