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AdSense - Impressions / Clicks Not Accurate

Is this a systemic problem?

     
1:22 am on Dec 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I have placed Google AdSense on my sites and never paid much attention to them until now. I setup a few channels and am trying to chart out what's happening. To confirm the channels are operational, I view a few pages and click on a few links.

Problem is that I've personally views more pages on a couple of these channels than Google says occurs and I don't even show any clicks on one channel that I personally clicked on two ads. This was over 12 hours ago that I did all this and still nothing.

Moreover, I have a couple of other channels where the impressions just aren't jiving with my pages views per my webalizer stats, which seems just wrong because I show ads on every page.

And to top it all off, the sum of my channels is not equalling what google says my daily total is. Its off my $.30-40 here and there; was off my almost $3 yesterday. But I use channels for all of my ads now so I don't understand what the deal is.

Any thoughts? I've double checked the ad_channel value on all my ads and it all *should* be correct.

1:24 am on Dec 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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As long as I'm making 30% more then what channels are saying I'm happy. ;-))
1:32 am on Dec 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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With all these anamolies though I'm wonder what the heck is going on. Are their stats just completely off? Are ther various reporting schedules that don't coincide or something? Should I not rely upon the stats until the following day? Am I doing something wrong? Do others see this stuff too? It's kind of worrisome I think. :-\
2:09 am on Dec 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Probably just stats no being in sync - at lest I hope.
2:09 am on Dec 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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To confirm the channels are operational, I view a few pages and click on a few links.

Does this mean you're clicking your own ads? If so, google might be subtracting those from your totals.
6:40 am on Dec 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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this november i noticed a drop im my clicks and impressions (25% less) on my sites too despite an increase of incoming traffic.
8:17 am on Dec 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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There is more on AdSense channel anomalies in these threads:

[webmasterworld.com...] and
[webmasterworld.com...]

I do strongly recommend setting up separate tracking channels for each adunit on a page/template and check for anomalies like not adding up to 100% or differences in PI's.

Joerg

9:19 am on Dec 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Well, something is definitely not fixed - yet I would not say "broken"...

I noticed that the total earnings has rounding errors, very similar to the early errors of Microsoft Excel, where certain amounts would not sum up correctly (do you remember?). Same thing with AdSense, the totals are usually off by one or two cents at the end of the month.

I know, I know - it's not a big issue (hence I don't call it "broken"), but then again it makes me wonder whether they are actually calculating with fractions of cents. They should be at least able to correctly sum up the amounts shown for individual days.

Just my $0.01, err, $0.02 :-)

9:34 am on Dec 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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A couple of things:

- Because you have just set up channels, it is possible that people are clicking ads on cached pages, where there is no channel data.

- Stats, such as Webalizer, do a different job than the Google page impression counter and may count things that Google doesn't, such as certain bots and spiders or repeat views by the same person within a short period. They will never tally, so don't obsess about it.

- STOP clicking your own ads, it is against the TOS. Good thing that they were not counted - if you are lucky, Google has simply ignored your clicks and possibly your impressions also. If you are not so lucky the email telling you your account has been closed because of fraud is on its way.

10:05 am on Dec 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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abbeyvet -

Point 1 - The website in particular that I'm talking about is 90% first-time traffic. Aside from Webalizer, I have a cookie-driven admin tool that tells me origination of traffic - so the caching scenario is pretty unlikely.

Point 2 - Of course Webalizer does a different job. It parses my logs and amongst other things tells me how many page views I had that day. If both Webalizer and Google are telling the truth they should both be equal since there are google ads on each page. For the 4 days I've had it set up now, the number haven't even come close to matching.

Point 3 - Oh come on! I tell ya what ... tell me how else to verify whether the clicks are being reported correctly and I won't do it any more. To suggest you should never click on it, not even a couple of times during setup to verify everything is working is just crazy talk. How else would I know if I'm getting credit for my clicks or not?

11:10 am on Dec 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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1. Pages can be cached by Google, by AOL, by a number of other means than repeat visitors. It is always a possibility, especially with newly set-up channels.

2. It does not matter what stats package/method or otherwise you use, there is no way that Adssense page impressions will match. This has been repeatedly stated by many users. How Google counts a page impression is completely unrelated to how any of these tools count a page impression. Others may be able to give you more info on this - I have just accepted it now and don't really know the finer details of why.

3. You may think that, but on the other hand you agreed to abide by a set of terms and conditions when you signed up for Adsense. Those terms state that you must not click your own links. There are no exceptions to this. This is not 'crazy talk' or some daft opinion of mine.

You may not like it, you may think it is silly, but you agreed not to do it. Whether you like it or not you are now in contravention of the terms to which you agreed and Google would be completely within their rights to close your account.

3:46 am on Dec 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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> "How Google counts a page impression is completely unrelated to how any of these tools count a page impression. "

Could someone please define I "impression" for me then? My understanding is that it would be an instance of the AdSense being displayed. If I have a page with an adsense tower on it, and that page is displayed 10 times - is that not 10 impressions? Maybe you're right that the symantics are part of the problem here somehow (?).

3:50 am on Dec 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Not sure if this means anything, but I check my adsense earning stats every 30mins or so and see a certain number. However, when I return 1-2 minutes later to check them again, I notice they are LOWER than what I last saw. For example, lets say I check them and they were at $28....a few minutes later I'll check them again they are $27.

This has been happening the past 3 days. I am guessing this is some sort of dynamic 'smart pricing' going on?

4:58 am on Dec 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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> "I am guessing this is some sort of dynamic 'smart pricing' going on? "

Lovely. You know - I've always just accepted happily that I recieved money from Google each month and never thought much about it but now that I'm taking a closer look I'm seeing all sorts of interesting details. Like this beauty I just found: 3 clicks ... $.06 earnings. Umm ... 2 pennies per click?!?!?

Now granted not every niche is created equal but (a) I thought Google's minimum bid per click was $.10?, (b) I also thought we're suppose to get 50% commission cut, and (c) this isn't an entirely non-competitive niche - its probably a 4 on a 10 scale ... its city guide site.

8:47 am on Dec 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Could someone please define I "impression" for me then? My understanding is that it would be an instance of the AdSense being displayed. If I have a page with an adsense tower on it, and that page is displayed 10 times - is that not 10 impressions? Maybe you're right that the symantics are part of the problem here somehow (?).

Have you considered AdBlockers and visitors with Javascript disabled?

1:33 pm on Dec 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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cabbagehead, I've read of people accidentally clicking on their own ads and then immediately firing off an apologetic email to Google and offering to send their access logs, etc and basically getting down on their hands and knees begging not to get their account terminated and they still got terminated. I've read other horror stories where people's accounts got terminated for apparently no reason whatsoever and Google refused to have any dialog with them about it. So as far as I'm concerned, their ban stick is on a hair trigger and I would definitely NOT mess with it by clicking on my own ads. You'd be wise to consider yourself lucky that your account hasn't been terminated already and to cease clicking on your own ads immediately and forever more.
1:53 pm on Dec 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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(a) I thought Google's minimum bid per click was $.10?,

why would you think that? Did you read it somewhere? Or is it just wishful thinking?

(b) I also thought we're suppose to get 50% commission cut,

Again, why would you think that?

and (c) this isn't an entirely non-competitive niche - its probably a 4 on a 10 scale ... its city guide site.

4 on a 10 scale means that its probably not the authority on that city therefore you might be a prime candidate for smart pricing if not a complete ban from the program for your curiosity clicks.

4:38 am on Dec 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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> Could someone please define I "impression" for me then?
In my experience it counts impression only when it can display a paying ad on the page. To actually find the number of impressions on your pages you should use one of their referral ads.
2:20 am on Dec 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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even thou my numbers seem to puzzle me sometimes, im still happy that there's Adsense. I mean hey I can pursue my hobby, which is making websites, and earn easy money at the same time because of them. I dont have to loose sleep over some stats.

Cabbagehead, I suggest you go back to your previous attitude: "I have placed Google AdSense on my sites and never paid much attention to them..." After all, you are still earning money, right?

2:32 am on Dec 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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> "Cabbagehead, I suggest you go back to your previous attitude: "I have placed Google AdSense on my sites and never paid much attention to them..." After all, you are still earning money, right? "

Seriously, am I the only one with a problem with this? Numbers don't add up, seeming evidence that clicks aren't being counted at times, a policy that prevents us from digging to deep, and a secretive commission rate. Just be greatful I'm making money off my own site? I don't see how anyone can build a business with such a passive attitude!. I mean, its my internet property I built it, and I deserve every penny I make off of it - not google! And I'm just shocked by how many people seem to be ok with this. Its like a "don't rock the boat" attitude ... as if everyone feels they're greatful rather than deserving of th money they're making. It just baffles me. :-\