Dan London from the AdWords Editor Explained blog has a rundown of some alarming stats he saw in his Google Adwords and Google Analytics accounts, and how these clicks were apparently click fraud driven.
We’ve all hear click fraud stories in the past, but Dan puts together an interesting account of a huge discrepancy between the traffic and click numbers tracked from within Google AdWords and also by Google Analytics.
The difference? The Google AdWords account tracked and billed for 97,000 clicks in one day. Google Analytics only showed 34,000 clicks from that same campaign.
Google responded that :
“Google AdWords tracks clicks, while Google Analytics tracks visits. If a user clicks on your ad twice within thirty minutes without closing the browser, this will be registered by Analytics as one visit to your site, even if the user left your site and then returned shortly after.”
The stats that Dan provides are interesting, and he questions the clicks coming from Indonesia and the Philippines, although he targeted the campaign to those countries by targeting Friendster.com via Google AdWords., so the geo-location of the clicks should be a non-issue in this case.
Dan also questions why so many ads were being served to Asia, while the clicks were tracked from a US-Asia site : It’s because Friendster, the US owned top social network of Pacific Asia, is in English and English is one of the official languages of the Philippines.
So, by Dan targeting Friendster, he targeted Pacific Asia.
Regardless of the poor targeting, I wouldn’t think that a major company like Friendster would be performing such questionable clicks, but the difference in clicks is an issue in this case… and more reason for Google AdWords and Google Analytics to work together instead of reporting differently.
Check out the stats and screenshots on AdWords Editor Explained.