Floodlight conversion discrepancies

If you use another service to track conversions, whether it's a Google product or a third-party service, you might find discrepancies with Floodlight's conversion counting.

Discrepancies with third-party services

There are various reasons why a third-party service might count a different number of conversions from Floodlight:

  • Counting unique users: If your Floodlight activity is counting unique users within each 24-hour day, it's possible that a third-party service will count multiple conversions for a single user, while Floodlight will count that user only once per day.

  • Floodlight and cookies: If you're using Floodlight to serve third-party tracking code, you might find that Floodlight counts more conversions than your third-party service. That's because Floodlight only delivers publisher tags to users who accept DoubleClick cookies. For users who don't accept cookies, or who have opted out of the DoubleClick cookie, no publisher tags are served. Learn more about publisher tags

  • Differing methods for counting: Each third-party counting service uses its own method for counting conversions. Because of differences among services, discrepancies are inevitable.

Discrepancies between report builder and attribution tab

Due to different counting methodologies there may be discrepancies between reports downloaded from report builder, and the attribution tab. 

Discrepancies between Search Ads 360 and Campaign Manager

Search Ads 360 and Campaign Manager may report different data for Floodlight conversions because of the way Search Ads 360 handles conversion counts, Floodlight instructions, and uploaded conversions. Learn more

Discrepancies between Floodlight and Google Ads or Google Analytics

If you compare conversion tracking data in Campaign Manager Reporting against Google Ads or Google Analytics, you may see that the numbers don’t match. First, confirm that you're tracking the same set of activities in each report. You can customize the set of activities you include in a Floodlight report. Confirm that the set of activities has been customized in the same way on Google Ads for conversion tracking and on Google Analytics.

Once you’ve confirmed the set of activities is the same, you may still see some discrepancies. This is expected, as there are some differences in how the systems count conversions and how they attribute them to days.

In terms of counting conversions, some of the differences include lookback windows, display versus search attribution, and counting configuration.

Detailed reasons for discrepancies

Please keep in mind:

  • This is not a complete list of possible reasons for discrepancy, nor is it a full description of Google Analytics and Google Ads Conversion Tracking. Refer to the Google Analytics and Google Ads Conversion Tracking help for details on all settings for these products.

  • The details below apply to standard Google Analytics reports and not multi-channel funnel reports, which attribute conversions differently.

  • If you’re comparing data in Campaign Manager Reporting to data directly in the Google Analytics UI, confirm that the campaign/ad group data is propagated in a similar way across the two products.

Reason for discrepancy Campaign Manager Floodlight Google Ads Conversion Tracking Google Analytics
Day of attribution Campaign Manager attributes conversions to the day of conversion. Google Ads attributes conversions to the day of click. Google Analytics attributes conversions to the day of conversion.
Lookback windows Floodlight allows advertisers to customize lookback windows. Google Ads cookies expire 30 days after a customer’s click. Google Analytics has a lookback window of 6 months, and the customer can customize the length.

Display/search attribution

If a consumer:

  1. Clicks a search ad.
  2. Later clicks a display ad and converts.
Conversion attribution can go to a Campaign Manager display click if it was the last click. The conversion will be recorded in Google Ads. Conversion attribution can go to the display click if it was the last click.

Last-click attribution:

If a consumer:

  1. Clicks a search ad.
  2. Later clicks a natural search result and converts.

NOTE: This applies to both referral and direct traffic.

The conversion will be attributed to the ad in Campaign Manager. The conversion will be attributed to the ad in Google Ads.

The conversion won’t be attributed to the ad in Google Analytics.

To exclude non-Google Ads traffic from attribution, go to Google Analytics’ attribution model tool and select Last Google Ads Click.

Time zone Campaign Manager attributes the conversion based on the Campaign Manager account time zone. Google Ads attributes the conversion based on engine account time zone. Google Analytics attributes the conversion based on the profile time zone.
Counting configuration To learn about different counting configurations in Campaign Manager, see Floodlight tags. Google Ads has two types of conversions: 1-per-click and many-per-click. To learn about conversion configurations in Google Analytics, read this Help Center article.
Discarded click discrepancies Can lead to conversion discrepancies. Can lead to conversion discrepancies. NA
Tracking activity The activity tracked in Campaign Manager can be different from what’s tracked with Google Ads conversion tracking or Google Analytics. The activity tracked with Google Ads conversion tracking can be different from what’s tracked in the Actions, Transactions, and Revenue columns on Search Ads 360. Refer to Google Ads help or support to determine what exactly Google Ads conversion tracking is tracking. The goals and transactions on Google Analytics can be different from the activities tracked with Campaign Manager or Google Ads.

Ad robots and other spam

NOTE: Google Ads clicks correspond to visits in Campaign Manager and Google Analytics.

Campaign Manager excludes visits from ad robots, but does not have the advanced spam filtering of Google Ads. Google Ads excludes clicks from ad robots and applies more advanced spam monitoring and human review to filter invalid clicks. Google Analytics includes visits from ad robots and does not have the advanced spam filtering of Google Ads.

For more about data in Google Ads and Google Analytics, see:

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