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That's why my tracking stats weren't adding up....

Discussion in 'Affiliate Programs' started by iziah01, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. iziah01

    iziah01 Newbie

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    I recently launched a placement targeted campaign on Google's content network, and noticed that although my CTRs on my ads were good and I was getting a good amount of clicks, they weren't registering on my tracking software (Prosper202) and they also weren't registering with my CPA network.

    By the time my adwords account was showing that I had 20 clicks, my CPA network stats and Prosper202 stats only had me down for having 2 clicks, these were more than likely the inital "test clicks" that google does to make sure that your landing page is "OK". Since I was running a placement targeted campaign, I decided to find my ad on one of the URLs that I was targeting, and to click on it to see if it was working properly and taking my visitors to my offer's landing page. Guess what??? When I clicked on my ad, an error message appeared, in the location where my ad was located, saying "page not found", I knew there wasn't a problem with my destination URL because I tested it in advance. When I contacted google to inform them of this problem, they told me that this more than likely due to some websites having trouble processing the code (auto tagging) that they append to my destination URL and that I could disable this feature by doing the following (I'm pasting a copy their email response back to me):

    =============================================
    To prevent this error from occurring, you can either turn Auto-tagging off
    in your account, or ask your webmaster to allow URL parameters.

    To turn off auto-tagging, please follow the steps below:

    1. Log in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.com
    2. Click the 'My Account' tab and select 'Account Preferences.'
    3. From the Tracking section, click 'Edit.'
    4. Deselect the 'Destination URL Auto-tagging' checkbox.
    5. Click 'Save Changes.'
    ==============================================

    Luckily, I was able to catch this early enough in the launching of my campaign. Had I not done so, just think about how many clicks google would have continued to charge me for and not properly delivered, having me scratching my head, wondering why I'm not getting the conversions that I was expecting. Google is aware of this problem, but yet they still put "auto tagging" on by default and make no explanation of the possible issues that can occur.

    I wonder how many other marketers are also being charged for clicks that they aren't truly getting. The moral of the story is always use more than one tracking program when running your campaigns and keep on top of your stats.

    P.S. I have yet to hear back from google regarding refunding/crediting me for those bogus clicks that they charged me for.
     
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  2. Entrepreneur

    Entrepreneur Regular Member

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    It's bizarre that that would cause your site to 404, obviously it did, but it's your LP causing it, not Google.

    Appending ?gclid= to a url ordinarily has no affect. I've personally never encountered a situation where that causes a 404 before so i'd do some investigating on your site if i were you.
     
  3. iziah01

    iziah01 Newbie

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    I'm actually not using a landing page, I'm direct linking from my banners, on the content network, to my CPA offer.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  4. Entrepreneur

    Entrepreneur Regular Member

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    Oh OK, their landing page then. Oh well, it's a weird one regardless.

    I'm guessing that something to do with a variable passed by google in the string, by some coincidence is also related to the script that displays the LP and causes it to hunt for a variable that doesn't exist and the script is designed to 404 in such instances.
     
  5. iziah01

    iziah01 Newbie

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    I have to believe a lot of people aren't even aware of this happening to their ads.
     
  6. MisterGemini

    MisterGemini Senior Member

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    That's amazing. I am sure there are plenty out there who are running entire campaigns even as test and finding zip in conversions thinking it's the offer.

    Good job spotting it and taking ownership of your campaigns.
     
  7. Entrepreneur

    Entrepreneur Regular Member

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    When did this place become the amazing suck-up forum?
     
  8. topsytips

    topsytips Regular Member

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    Thanks for this...I had something similar happen to me recently, for a new promotion, where the adwords stats didn't match my visitor numbers...am going to check my settings today as I just ended up pausing the campaign.
     
  9. MisterGemini

    MisterGemini Senior Member

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    This guys post may well save dozens if not hundreds or thousands of people hundreds of dollars now that he posted this point here.

    Never sucked up, but showed gratitude for sharing a small but major detail. His own due diligence helped everyone. Be thankful.
     
  10. Entrepreneur

    Entrepreneur Regular Member

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    lol, good one. :D