Counting impressions and clicks

Digital advertising can provide detailed metrics on how advertising campaigns are performing. The most fundamental metrics are impressions (the number of times an ad has been served) and clicks. Here are some insights into how Ad Manager counts those metrics.

Counting impressions
Counting clicks
Filtering invalid impressions and clicks
 
Use the Delivery Inspector to investigate why a line item isn't recording impressions, and creative preview to validate whether a creative will count clicks.

Counting impressions

Ad Manager counts an impression each time a creative is downloaded in the user's device and has begun to load. Note that the impression is counted before the creative is fully downloaded and viewed by the end user.

Google Ad Manager counts mobile app impressions in alignment with industry standards. A mobile app impression is counted when one or more pixels of the ad creative is visible on a device's screen. Currently, Ad Exchange creatives, some Ad Manager creative formats, and Open Bidding use this methodology.

Learn more about how Google Ad Manager counts mobile app impressions

Delayed impressions

All creative types use delayed impressions. This means that Ad Manager doesn't count an impression until the creative sends an impression request to Ad Manager. Because of this secondary request, the "Total code served count" metric total can be greater than the "Total impressions" value for these creative types.

Ad Manager must receive a follow-up impression request from the creative within 1 hour from the time the creative code is delivered to the end user.

Manual impression counting for banner ads in mobile apps

By default, Ad Manager counts an impression each time a creative is sent to a mobile app, but there is also the option to control impression counting for banners by using the manual impression counting feature of the Google Mobile Ads SDK, which utilizes delayed impression counting.

Manual impression counting is compatible only with creatives trafficked directly in Ad Manager. It should not be used when requesting ads to ad units that can serve backfill, such as Ad Exchange, AdSense, or AdMob, or ads from third-party networks, including SDK mediation.

If your Ad Manager-trafficked creative has third-party impression tracking pixels, those will be triggered when the mAdView.recordManualImpression() function is triggered.

Interstitial impressions in mobile apps

Ad Manager counts an impression when the interstitial is shown to the user, not when a creative is served from Ad Manager. If an interstitial request is made and Ad Manager sends the creative to the app, but the app never shows the interstitial, an impression isn't counted.

Counting clicks

When a user clicks on an ad creative, a click request is sent to the Ad Manager ad server. Ad Manager counts a click as soon as it receives the click request and then sends the user the defined click-through URL. Note that Ad Manager counts the click when it's received, not when the user is redirected to the click-through URL.

Filtering invalid impressions and clicks

Ad Manager discards impressions and clicks that are considered invalid. Learn more about Ad Manager invalid traffic detection and filtration methodology

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