Today after many back and forths for the last week, trying to figure out the real reason why Doublelick click through's don't match the same data as Google Analytics.
I can understand to a point why advertisers winge and whine that data does not match. But for gods sake people. It's like going to car dealership and saying "I want a refund on my Holden car because it does not do the same speed as my mates car who owns a Ford" Two different cars people, same as DFP and GA, two different systems. They should not be compared.
DFP Support strongly advises that clients do not try to reconcile analytics data with DFP reporting. A discrepancy between DFP and analytics is to be expected because of the standing differences in reporting methodologies; DFP data is based on ad server logs and it is generally much more accurate at reporting ad impressions than analytics data, which is based on cookies or page loads.
Unfortunately, because discrepancies are to be expected between DFP and analytics, DFP support cannot investigate specific instances, but please see below for a couple of reasons that could account for discrepancies:
- Different counting methodologies (server-based counting vs counting cookies or page loads)
- Not counting the same thing: a click in Dart is not the same as an impression in analytics packages
- In case of an ad in Flash with Internet Explorer, the Referrer Url is not provided and the origin of the user is then "blank". In this case, a user who clicked on a Flash ad in Internet Explorer would be, on the landing page, considered as having typed in the URL directly in the browser and analytics would not record the user as originating from another website. As about 70% of people use Internet Explorer, there can be a huge discrepancy.
- If you use Iframe for your ad calls, you may have the same issue as the referrer will not be the site itself but the source of the Iframe, DoubleClick.
- Also referrers in analytics aren't an accurate measure of clicks or landings for the following reasons:
- Referrers can be disabled on most browsers.
- Internet security applications can block referrer data.
- Firewall and proxy servers can filter out referrers.
- Users can set up referrer spoofing to prevent a site from knowing where they've been.
- Analytics only counts visitors in a 30 minute window. If a user were to click on the ad, go to the site, view the landing page, then repeat the process (perhaps from another page on your site with another ad from the advertiser with the same referral URL) within 30 minutes, Analytics will still only count the first referral, but DFP will have counted 2 clicks.
In a nutshell, the numbers do not have to match because they are not counting the same thing, DoubleClick has a validated click counting methodology. Analytic packages is work as a "page visit" tool.
Hope this clears things up.