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Huge Click Discrepancy



7:54 pm on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hi all,

This is my first post. I've been an adsense publisher for 8 years. I have made good money but its not primary source of income. In the last month there has been a huge drop off in revenue form my site. I have had no changes in traffic (in fact an increase). My clicks have dropped by 80% since this time last year. My revenue has dropped at least 60%. I use multiple analytics programs and for the most part they have been accurate.

Today I am showing 141 clicks in one analytic program so far but adsense show 26. This has been going on for at least a month. In fact, it really started in August.

The first analytics program seems the correct value as its in line with what I've been getting for the better part of 8 years.

Here is the funny part. I logged in this morning and adsense showed a decent revenue number, only to have it cut in half 2 hours later. I am finally at the amount I was when I checked it at 5:30 AM. I emailed support and they gave me the "check traffic for possible spam clicks, etc....). My traffic is the same. I get 65% of my overall traffic form Google referrals. Nothing has changed other than Adsense reports at least 80% less clicks than what is actually occurring.

Something is definitely not right about this.

My ad spots have not changed. My traffic sources have not changed. My number of pageviews has not changed. There are no strange traffic sources (spam sources form single IP's). Everything has stayed the same and my sight has a steady growth rate for 8 years, but my clicks are now 80% less, even though my other analytics program shows WAY more clicks.

Anyone else have this problem?


8:04 pm on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

There are various reports of this - if you page through this forum, you'll see several posts.

Google has stepped up their "invalid clicks" reporting, so that it happens almost instantly as opposed to at the end of the month. It sounds like you might have a lot of clicks being reported as invalid. While your traffic might come from Google referrals, you might want to look to see what parts of the world it's coming from (is the geo mix the same?) and also at your mobile traffic (is the mix there the same? Does your site render ads well on phones?) to see if any of that has changed.


8:10 pm on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

90% is from the US.

Its a US site. I don't get that much international traffic.

My site renders great on all platforms. Its a responsive design.

I was getting 120k-140k impressions last year. I am getting 30k now and traffic is more now than last year with the same ad spots.

I understand they stepped up their invalid clicks but 80% of all my clicks? No way.

Other than small site changes (colors) everything is the same. My other advertisers (direct) are happy with their performance and perform the same.


12:37 am on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

There is a huge thread on Google support forums. Some suggest to check for elements (social buttons etc.) that expand over Adsense ads.


1:00 am on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Can you share the link? I couldn't find it.

I have nothing covering my ads.


2:13 am on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Analytics is not always accurate. What's important is what is showing in your Adsense performance report.

I don't use Analytics myself - I use statcounter instead.


2:55 am on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

I use statcounter. Right now i am showing 250+ clicks in statcouner on one ad spot. Examining them they are legit users. People that are surfing the site. People that are on the site for 5-10 minutes at a time.

Adsense says I have 47 clicks. Its crazy. Their invalid click system is WAY off target and as of now I'm losing roughly $3,000 per month because of it.

Problem is, adsense and satcounter used to match pretty close. Since August, is way off.


3:06 am on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

3k is a huge drop. Did you make any changes to your site design/coding prior to this incident?

I'm confused about your statement that you were getting 120k impressions last year but now 30k? But you said in your earlier post your traffic only increased?


3:22 am on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

No major changes at all. Slight colors here and there but nothing to do with the ads.

Last year, according to analytics and adsense, i was getting 100k-150k ad impressions per day.

Now I am showing 30k ad impressions per day in analytics and adsense.

Overall, my traffic is up though..Uniques and pageviews...The site is 10 years old and has steadily grown for all that time. Its a model of conservative growth.

No ad spots were changed. No drastic site redesign. Traffic overall is up.

Adsense shows roughly 40-70 clicks per day. Statcounter shows around 300. Last year those clicks were legit, now all of a sudden they are not. I would post the screenshot if I could.

We need Barry Schwartz to do some digging around because this isnt right.

This time last year i made $4500 in the month of August. i will be lucky to get to $1500 this month and nothing has changed but more traffic. Its ridiculous.


3:55 am on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Let me get this right.. In the month of July this year, you were getting roughly 100k daily ad impressions. Then this month went down to 30k. Where did you get that info that your traffic is up? What's your daily traffic in July compare to August?

My guess is your getting lots of stop words. Browse your site thoroughly (including old posts) in different browsers and computer and check if there's any blank ads.


4:28 am on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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jbayabas, I think gateway8810 is saying that traffic is up but ad impressions are down. Totally possible. The question of course would be why? I'm wondering if ads aren't getting loaded before users leave the page. Is there a bottleneck in the page load pipeline?


4:43 am on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yep, big discrepancy even among G's own tools. I did a PPC campaign for a friend this weekend and even on ultra-low traffic there was terrible data. GA reports one thing, GWT another, and Adwords yet another. Not only number of visits but keywords, etc. Multiply that a few thousand times and I can see how some of you see some serious problems.

I think more and more you cannot rely 100% on GOOG's data for accuracy.


4:49 am on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yes, webcentric, that is correct.

Ad impressions dropped by a large margin as well as clicks. No bottleneck. Nothing has changed in terms of code. This time last year, 300+ clicks and 100k-150k ad impressions per day.

As of this moment I am showing 56 clicks, 34,000 ad impressions today and I have roughly 10% more traffic today than he same date last year.

Statcounter shows 300+ clicks to adsense banners.. Adsense simply is not counting imoressions and clicks for some unknow reason.

Jbayanas, if i was getting stopwords and blankpages, people wouldnt click. Statcounter shows people are clicking there.

Check for yourself. See what adsense states, then go into statcounter, go to Exit Links and count there. In my case, adsense says 53, statcounter is over 300. Something is not right.


4:58 am on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Statcounter shows in real time, when an adsense banner is clicked. I have 20 clicks (1st page of stats) within the last hour and a half.

Adsense has counted 4 clicks in the last 4 hours..


5:04 am on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Youre not answering my questions. Forget about last year. I want to know your Daily traffic and ad impressions last month and this month.

Do not compare statcounters clicks to Adsense's. Their reporting are totally different. That is totally untrue that the clicks you'll get from statcounter will be the same in Adsense.

One of my sites registered 400 clicks on statcounter today, but only 140 clicks on Adsense, yet my ad impressions and earnings are normal. No discrepancy at all.

I want to find out if your traffic increased as you say it did. Something is not right. Also remember, we're only the 16th today, so your 30k ad impressions could become 60k this month.


5:14 am on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

I said my traffic is up from this time last year....about 10%.

Last August I made $4500.....I'm at $752 right now. What I did last month is irrelevant to me. i will bedwn roughly 25% from last month and July is usually our slow month of the year due to holidays.

So you registered 400 clicks from statcouner and 140 from adsense...and you think thats correct? Sorry, ive been tracking this for 8 years...it hasnt been this far off.

Are you actually reading my posts? I said 30k ad impressions TODAY. I used to get 100-150k ad impressions DAILY.


5:40 am on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

My bad.. got mixed up with daily and monthly. It's 1am here. ;)

One of my sites has almost the same stats as yours so I'll compare it to yours.

Normally, a daily traffic of 100k will generate around 90k ad impressions. If you say your traffic increased to 10% -- thats 110k, then you should be getting 100k daily ad impressions, and not 30k. That is way off. You should worry more about your ad impressions than your clicks. If what youre saying is true, many publishers will be reporting this anomaly here. But I don't read it, unless I'm mistaken.

I should worry more about how your site is viewed in different browsers, computers... your ad impressions are just way way off. Either your ads are not loading, or you're getting stop words. The number of clicks is irrelevant, it's your ad impressions that concern me.


5:53 am on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Jbayanas, if i was getting stopwords and blankpages, people wouldnt click. Statcounter shows people are clicking there.

If you set your adsense code to have your alternate ad appear in case of blank ads, statcounter will show people are clicking there also.


9:38 am on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)


12:35 pm on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)


I've run adsense for 8 years and made high 5 figures from them for many years. I fully am capable of spotting blank ads and that is not the issue.

If statcounter shows 300 clicks and adsense shows 50, one of them is severely flawed and up until recentl, it hasnt been the case. Adsense is choosing not to record them as impressions or clicks. Statcounter has been accurate for 8 years...it doesnt sunddenly lie about clicks.

I know for a fact my site gets over 100k impressions and it simply is getting more than 50+ clicks pre day.


12:36 pm on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)


Is there a link to the actual thread?


1:55 pm on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I've never compared statcounter's clicks with Adsense so I can't disprove your statement. I rechecked the clicks of one of my sites for yesterday -- it says 280 clicks on statcounter and 153 clicks in Adsense. Almost 50% difference. However, my page loads/views on statcounter matched with adsense, only 10% difference. Does your page loads/views on statcounter match with Adsense? That's the important question to your problem. If there's a big discrepancy then there's something wrong with your site and not Adsense. However, if there's no discrepancy in page views, then Adsense is registering most of your clicks as invalid.

Just to add that my earnings never suffer at all even with big click discrepancy.

I'll wait for your response so I can better help you.


2:23 pm on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

No, not even close.

Statcounter page views and clicks are WAY more than what adsense reports

Google anayltics is roughly the same as statcounter when it comes to traffic. (uniqes and pageviews)

I have said over and over again, there has been no major changes to the site. The same site that made $150/day is the same site today, just more traffic. Google is choosing NOT to count them. Its that simple.

Adsense is saying over 80% of my clicks are invalid when they are coming from legit US traffic. I can actually track them real time and show the actual IP, country of origin, exit link (usually adsense ad), time on site, etc....they are legit users. I had a user on the site for 55 minutes, click an ad, and it was not counted. Not sure how many bots and spam traffic stay on a site for 55 minutes from Michigan and view over 60+ pages.

You yourself have showed how off Adsense is. Adsense is saying 50% of your clicks are invalid. Are we supposed to believe that Adsense has been paying me for 8 years for invalid and spam clicks?

If thats they view it, then there is nothing I can do about it. My traffic patters are the same with the majority of traffic coming from Google itself. I have a hard time believing that Google was so flawed that it was paying me for 80% spam/invalid clicks.


3:07 pm on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

There's probably a calculation you need to make in regards to your 80% reduction figure before settling on that figure (maybe you've already made it but I'll point it out just in case).

As netmeg mentioned, G is taking clicks away much closer to real time now then they were a year ago. This means there's less of an adjustment at the end of the month and more taking place during the month. My question would be, what kind of a percentage of adjustment were you experiencing last year when final earnings came out versus say, last month's end of month adjustment. The difference between these two figures should be subtracted from you're 80% figure (assuming you're not already doing so). It may be only 1% or it could be 20%. In other words, if you were loosing 5% on average a year ago at the end of each month, you should consider that normal and subtract it from the 80% you are now experiencing because it's probably still happening, just at a different time. At least in this way, you're eliminating one known constant from the equation and can focus more closely on the true variance.

Of course, if you're beef is entirely about the difference between statcounter stats and G's stats, then this is less applicable. My point is about what G says, now vs then.


3:14 pm on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)


It was roughly 1-2% difference in estimate from actual last year.


3:31 pm on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

It was roughly 1-2% difference in estimate from actual last year.

Well that pretty much rules that out as a primary factor.


3:42 pm on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

The real problem here is the big discrepancy in your page views which reflects in your big discrepancy in your clicks. I don't believe for a second that adsense's reporting is flawed or has a bug, if it were, many here would be up in arms defending you.

I firmly believe it has to do with your site. I'm sure even if you contact google, they will tell you to check your site. You stated you made "small changes" to your site prior to this big drop. Small changes could be a big thing in Adsense (ei. Adding the word "up" to "beat" is already a big difference as Adsense consider "beat up" stop words).

Are you sure you only change the colors of your site and did not add any texts to your header, footer, and widgets? Do not be so sure you do not have blank ads. Some of your visitors may be seeing your site differently than you.

Use pingdom to check if youre seeing Adsense ads on the screenshots. Focus on your secondary and old pages, not just the homepage. Use also google Adsense sandbox to see if ads are displaying on all your links.

My other suggestion is to revert to your old design/ layout / colors to see if it makes a difference.


5:44 pm on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Webmasterworld redirection brakes the links.



5:58 pm on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Wow, looks like this is not an isolated case. Many are reporting there that everything resolved in a few days or weeks. In the case of OP, it's now on the 16th day. There may be a bug in Adsense part. I suggest wait til the end of the month and see if revenue picks up again.


6:51 pm on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

i read through that discussion on google's forums, and this was one thing that jumped out
It is more likely something to do with conversion rate of the clicks generated through your site.

as far as i know google is not doing pay-per-action, its always pay-per-click, but i did hear someone say once that they were ignoring genuine clicks if the user immediately pressed their back button. because its a poor return for the advertiser. maybe it's something to do with that.

it might be something to do with your ads subject matter. if people are clicking the ads only to find that the resulting site is not what they want, a high percentage of them could be clicking back quickly. presumably google would then discount the clicks.

there is also one obvious thing, which i'm sure you have already checked... but is it possible that you've not got your site (or one of your sites) listed in the "allowed sites" box? google might be ignoring a load of clicks for that reason.
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