How the Google Ad Manager/Analytics 360 reporting integration works

A detailed look at the intersection of monetization and user behavior.

The Analytics 360 integration with Google Ad Manager relies on several key processes, including shared IDs and data joining. Here are the details on how they work.

In this article:

Shared IDs

To work effectively, Analytics 360 and Ad Manager tags communicate with each other using shared IDs. Each system logs multiple IDs that are generated on the page and inter-tag communication ensures that logged IDs are the same. If the tags can’t communicate, Analytics 360 and Ad Manager can’t determine which ad impressions match which Analytics 360 hits.

Analytics 360 will only surface Ad Manager data when both the linked Ad Manager network and Analytics 360 property sent hits to their respective systems from the same page. The Ad Manager network and Analytics 360 property must be linked and available when hits are sent and ads are served for those data to be available in this integration.

The <iframe> HTML tag can interfere with tag communication and prevent ID sharing. When Ad Manager tags are served inside of an <iframe> they’re separated from the rest of the page and will log different IDs. Passback tags are usually rendered within an <iframe> and therefore can’t pass data to Analytics 360.

Use Universal Analytics Tags ('UA-XXXXX-Y') and Google Publisher Tags (GPT) for maximum compatibility. The Analytics Measurement Protocol and legacy DART tags don’t communicate with each other and don’t share IDs.

Data joining

Analytics 360 joins its data with Ad Manager log files using shared IDs that match ad events with Analytics hits. If the IDs are inconsistent (say, due to an implementation issue) the system won’t be able to pull that data into Analytics reporting.

This integration uses the information available when each individual event occurs. Making changes to the rate field in Ad Manager, to tagging configurations or to page dimensions in Analytics 360 won’t affect the data displayed in Analytics 360 reporting for past data. Likewise, the Billing and Reconciliation process in Sales Manager will not affect the reported revenue numbers in Analytics 360.

Example: Revenue

Revenue is calculated based on the value that was present in Ad Manager when the event was registered. Changing that value after the ad event occurred will not impact the data shown in Analytics 360. Note: The value of the “Rate” field in Ad Manager is used to calculate revenue in Analytics 360.

Which integration to use

If your website is tagged with Ad Manager, you should only use the Analytics 360 Ad Manager integration.

Analytics 360 publisher integrations with Ad Manager – AdSense and Ad Exchange (AdX) – rely on inter-tag communication to synchronize logged IDs. When publishers serve their AdSense or AdX ads through Ad Manager, it will fetch the ad creative from the other system via a server side connection. No AdSense or AdX tag is ever served directly onto the page and therefore the Analytics 360 tag cannot communicate directly with AdSense or AdX. Instead, Analytics 360 gets information about those ads from Ad Manager and displays them within the GAM Backfill tab of the Analytics 360 publisher report.

Note:

Because there’s no AdSense or AdX tag on the page when these sources are served through Ad Manager, data from those events won’t show up in Analytics 360 under the AdSense or AdX specific integrations tabs. Instead, you'll find data from AdSense and Adx under the GAM Backfill tab in Analytics 360.

View Google Ad Manager reports in Analytics 360

Once you’ve set up the Ad Manager reporting integration, you’ll be able to see your Ad Manager data in Analytics 360. You’ll find the reports in Analytics 360 > Behavior > Publisher. Available reports include:

  1. Overview
  2. Publisher Pages
  3. Publisher Referrals

The Google Ad Manager tab covers everything besides AdSense and AdX backfill. It includes all ad types including sponsorships, standard, price priority and house ads. The Google Ad Manager Backfill tab covers AdSense and Ad Exchange data when those products are served through Ad Manager.

Note:

The Ad Manager reports found within GA are approximate and intended to be used to identify trends. These reports should not be used for accounting work or financial reconciliation.

Data quality and discrepancies

Most discrepancies are due to implementation issues that prevent the tags from communicating or mismatches in the reporting in Analytics 360 and Ad Manager. If you’re experiencing these kind of discrepancies, here are some things to check.

You can resolve most tagging issues in three steps:

  1. Using Universal Analytics Tags ('UA-XXXXX-Y').
  2. Using Google Publisher Tags (GPT).
  3. Avoid serving Ad Manager tags inside an <iframe>. Remember that passbacks are usually rendered within an <iframe> and therefore won’t be included in the integration.

To ensure matching reports:

  1. Verify that you’re only pulling events for display ads in Ad Manager. Video ads and mobile app ads aren’t currently supported.
  2. Ensure that you’re only including Ad Manager data for pages measured by the Analytics 360 property that you linked.

As mentioned earlier, this integration will only surface Ad Manager data from the linked Ad Manager network that is associated with Analytics 360 hits from the linked property that occurred on the same pages. If the Ad Manager network and Analytics 360 property aren’t linked and both present when hits are sent and ads are served, then the data will not show up in the integration.

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