According to Adsense stats, I've had 5 page views in the last 5 hours. So, stats are moving, LOL. They're just not moving fast enough to keep up with reality or even molasses on a cold day. I'm envisioning a massive click dump with a mind-blowing CPC to go along with it soon. ;) Will be tempted to start a CDIP (Click Dump In Progress) thread if it does. The other option would be to start a DITDIP (Down In The Dumps In Progress) thread if it doesn't.
This is indeed a long period of delayed processing. Over 12 hours of the red-bar here. Processing is taking place but at a snail's pace. Whatever's up, it's major. Who knows, maybe they're processing all that missing GA data today. It will be interesting to see what rolls out in the near future.
The recent halts in Adsense reporting, the escalating complaints of invalid click activity, and the source of those complaints makes even me wonder what's going on in Mountain View. Here's a couple of theories for your consideration.
1. Google is tweaking their invalid click algorithm or rolling out new ones. This could easily explain why stats are periodically delayed. Add another layer of algorithm to the mix, it's going to add to processing time (particularly if you go back and run it against historical data -- like from the beginning of the month). It's just a guess but it would explain some of these logjams of late.
2. All that aside, there is a trend (layered onto this) which seems more troubling. It seems to relate to cross-jurisdictional traffic and points to a flaw in the way Adwords and Adsense (and perhaps even third-party ad networks) are integrated. I'm starting to wonder if advertisers are specifying that their ads only show in certain countries but Adsense is incapable of preventing itself from showing those ads to viewers in other countries. This would set up a mandatory invalid click scenario and G would then need to remove the click. If Google is getting better at catching mistakes like this, it could explain the increased click shaving some are seeing.
I'm really wondering if there is a disconnect between ad serving and advertiser targeting (particularly regional targeting) that's driving this because, once again, this problem is most highly-reported by people getting traffic from countries other than their own. We've all seen crazy disconnects between the ads served on our sites and the site content itself. Could there be a real disconnect between who advertisers want to target and who is actually getting targeted?
If I'm an advertiser in the US and I want to target US traffic only but Google is serving my ads to people in Italy, Google has an obligation to not charge me for clicks on my ad from Italy. If G is getting better at catching this, all this click shaving could really be G fixing is own mistake where ad targeting is concerned. If this is true, it would indicate a deep, systemic problem. One thing's for sure, this theory wouldn't be out of line with some of the crazy targeting we've all seen in the past.
Feels like G is click-dumping in the morning and freezing up in the afternoon the last two days. Some movement in the evening but marginal at best. Weird how the highest traffic times of the day just go flat and then the next morning things start off rapidly, only to go flat as traffic heats up.