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Paying for Gmail Clicks but no traffic

     
4:02 am on Aug 24, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Every time I setup a Display campaign I start to get charged for clicks coming from the Gmail app in the google play store but there actually isn't any traffic.

I have to add them to my exclusions list after I catch it but the other day I went though $40 before I realized what was happening. and the CTR on the ads is like crazy...like 80% so it's gotta be fake.

I'm trying to figure out if there is something wrong with my site not rendering when someone clicks on an ad in gmail and what is the best way to exclude the gmail apps when I start a campaign? I go to the exclusions list and type in gmail and there are 1,000 apps that pop up. Seriously?

Thanks for any input.
11:25 am on Aug 24, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Here is an example.....100% ctr on gmail....

[screencast.com...]
9:46 pm on Aug 24, 2018 (gmt 0)

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It's not fake, you just don't know how these ads work - see "How it works" section at the top.
[support.google.com...]

Here's a very good article that also explains collapsed and expanded, with good examples:
[instapage.com...]

They are clicking to expand your ad, not to go to your website.
If none are following through to your website, your ad isn't compelling for the people you've targeted.
10:13 pm on Aug 24, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Thanks RhinoFish.... very interesting. The strange thing is I'm just running regular display ads....not a specific gmail ad but they lumped gmail in there anyway.

For what I'm doing I for sure wouldn't want that type of ad. Strange they just automatically added that in there with a regular display campaign.
2:07 am on Aug 25, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I don't trust 3rd party reports very much.

Server logs will show something similar to https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/ as referrer for traffic coming from Gmail.
10:10 pm on Aug 26, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The strange thing is I'm just running regular display ads....not a specific gmail ad but they lumped gmail in there anyway.

It's almost always a good idea to split it out into it's own Campaign, because it definitely does get measured differently, and it performs differently.

Don't be too quick to dismiss it as not fitting what you're doing, it can be among the very best (non-Search) ways to reach your desired audience - but the targeting and creatives you use to do it, need to be considered carefully. Because the expand is the click, if you're the type to over hype, you'll get creamed (the bar to expand is much lower than the bar to click). But, especially with visually appealing items, the right creatives and targeting can turn what seems like the impossible, into glory and gusto and gains!