Google Ads Grossly Undercounting Page Views?

  • madirish
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hello, on my site www.MadIrish.net I've deployed Google Ads. My site is powered by PHP and every time a page request and composition is complete the PHP engine logs the date, time, page, and requestor IP into a log file. This is much more accurate than the webserver logs because entries are only made for full page requests (not images, directory listings, 404 errors, etc.).

Reviewing my logs for one day I see 1409 total page compositions (views) with 448 distinct IP addresses being logged. However, when I log into my Google Adsense account and check the report for the same day Google only reports 364 page impressions.

Reading the 'page impression' description leads me to believe that perhaps some of the impression is underreported since the ads are javascript based and so the viewer has to have javascript enabled and working properly. Still, I find it hard to believe that 1050 page views (2/3 of the total page views) were made by a spider or a browser with javascript disabled.

It seems to me that Google is grossly underreporting the usage on my site (and consequently not paying appropriately).

You might say that the Google Adsense is free and I shouldn't complain because I'm still making money - but I'm giving up real estate on my website. I'm sacrificing very real resources on my end to host these ads and it doesn't appear that I'm being fairly compensated.

Has anyone else had this experience?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

About half of the page impressions to ozzu every day are bots of some sort. Also you should remember some people have programs that block ads (but relatively that number is probably small).
  • madirish
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Mystery solved. It seems that Google is actually responsible for the majority of the hits. This is a curious phenomena, but it seems that whenever a page is called Google actually requests the page and ostensibly adjusts the Google Adsense content to match the page content. This leads to erroneous traffic reporting that can nearly double your traffic reports. Distilling your traffic down to distinct IP addresses helps to give a much clearer picture of your traffic.

Even looking only at distinct IP's you'll find Google Adsense recording fewer hit counts. This is likely because a certain amount of traffic is due to spiders and users with javascript disabled. The former is likely to drive more hits that aren't recorded by Google than the latter.

It is very interesting that Google doesn't disclose that by placing Google Ads on your page you'll nearly double your "traffic" but all due to Google crawls. This can lead to some very skewed analysis if you don't adjust to the up tic in Google activity on your page.
  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well they do disclose that the Google Media Bot will visit any pages with the ad on it. That is how they are able to show ads relevant to the content on your page. Whenever an ad is called up on a page it hasn't indexed yet, Google Media Bot will come within a few minutes usually to index it so that ads show that relate to the content on the page the next time someone visits it.

There are many other bots besides Google Media Bot visiting our pages though. You have the regular Googlebot, Yahoo's bot, MSN's bot, and archivers, and many other smaller search engines, becomebot, etc. Many bots we straight out ban from visiting our site as well due to the increased load all of these bots cause.

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