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Google Adwords Conversions

Are the conversion stats given by google reliable?

     
8:09 am on Jan 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Hi,
I have a million dollar question - are the conversions stats given by google adwords reliable? I am keeping track of conversions with another system too and while google shows few conversions the other system shows none. Could someone explain to me how google tracks conversions(javascript, cookies etc)?

Many thanks

[edited by: WebGuy84 at 8:09 am (utc) on Jan. 5, 2007]

3:19 pm on Jan 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

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It's good that you have another system to track. With our campaigns, Google conversion data has a 98% accuracy for us which is brilliant compared to others. MSN & Yahoo often report twice as much sales then actually take place, making managing keywords a bit troublesome.
3:45 pm on Jan 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Well in my case it has been much less accurate, for example google would track 6 conversions while the other system would track 0 conversions. I started thinking that google might be inflating their statistics cause they treat various situations differently. What do you think?
6:29 am on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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To find out, why not try a test? Invent a KW that no one else is likely to use in the short term. Search on that KW and click on your ad X times. Wait a day. See what G reports.
6:11 pm on Jan 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Does anyone in this forum that tracks data independently have input into the accuracy of the convesrion reporting from Google Adwords, YSM and MSN?

Thank you in advance.

6:56 pm on Jan 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Does anyone in this forum that tracks data independently have input into the accuracy of the convesrion reporting from Google Adwords, YSM and MSN?

It is not exactly an easy question to answer.

They all work basically the same way. Tag a user as they come from an engine and see if that same person makes a conversion later. So in theory they can all be 100 percent accurate.

Differences in tracking happen because of variables used to determine when a conversion takes place. An easy variable to explain is time. One tracking script may consider a conversion to happen within 14 days of the initial click and another may go 30 days and another may go 365 days on so on. So the script that only tracks 14 days would not see a conversion on the 15th day after the click that a script that tracks for 30 or higher would. So the question then becomes which tracking script is right in the website owners mind based on all the variables that can change the reported data.

There are many other factors that may skew the numbers so while theory says they can ALL be accurate the reality is that NONE of them will be truly accurate.

JAG

9:27 pm on Jan 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Jag > Many thanks for your response.

What I am really trying to ascertain is if anyone in this forum has encountered a problem with Google, YSM or MSN in reporting a significantly different number of conversions than those which are reported by independent tracking methods. In other words, I would like to hear opinions from others as to whether they believe that conversions are being inaccurately overstated or understated by Google, YSM or MSN when compared to conversions that are reported by other tracking methods.

I would also appreciate opinions as to which of the above mentioned companies has the biggest issues in overstating or understating conversion data when compared to an independent benchmarking system.

I would like to believe that conversions as reported by these reputable companies are accurate. Yet, it is obvious that these companies have a vested interest in conversions being as high as possible. I worry that this may affect the means of their reporting. I am currently not tracking these conversions with independent software and I am wondering if it is something that I should be doing.

Thank you to anyone in advance that can provide some opinions on this matter.

[edited by: UnitedRigo at 9:29 pm (utc) on Jan. 14, 2007]

9:30 pm on Jan 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Very well said, JAG.

The only other point that I'd add is - accuracy depends on how you choose to credit conversions across various sources of traffic.
If a user clicks on multiple ads from multiple sites before making a purchase, who gets credit? Unless you're using one tracking system across all your online channels to manage this overlap, results may not mesh with how you're choosing to credit conversions - even though the tracking may very well be 100% accurate.

11:16 pm on Jan 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I manually track conversions and have found Adwords to be pretty much spot on, certainly over 90% accurate. It has never overstated conversions, its actually missed out on two or three.

Yahoo is worse and quite frequently reports wrong data. There'll be an odd wrong day every two weeks or so, some days it goes crazy and shows A LOT more conversions than I have really had. For me personally its around 75% accurate.

11:57 am on Jan 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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you have to make sure that you track each url link seperately. If you have more than one url, you need to track each one seperately. If you use tracking such as digital river, you need seperate campaign i.d's for each url link.
12:45 pm on Jan 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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UnitedRigo, to me it sounds like you're after a class action (;

[edited by: DoctorDoctor at 12:46 pm (utc) on Jan. 15, 2007]

4:20 am on Jan 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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DoctorDoctor> No, I am not. I'm just the little guy trying to make sure I'm getting my money's worth!
7:30 am on Jan 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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lethal0r - I have about the same accuracy in YSM, but MSN usually reports more than bouble the sales that actually take place. Google has sometimes missed some sales, which is better than over reporting
2:15 pm on Jan 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I've seen discrepancies too - Google at times has also under-reported conversions.. it is always better to have external tracking as well.
5:00 pm on Jan 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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NO No No,

Itīs not reliable at all.

I have another 3rd party Analytics system, and plus I compare data with my real sales, and let me tell ya, it only tracks 50% of the real sales made through adwords.

 

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