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Welcome to the help center for DoubleClick Search, a platform for managing search marketing campaigns.  While the help center is available to the public, access to the DoubleClick Search product is available only to subscribing customers who are signed in. To subscribe or find out more, contact our sales team.

Data differences

Differences in conversion tracking systems

When you report on conversions tracked by FloodlightAdWords conversion tracking, and Google Analytics, the totals from these different systems might not match.

How to investigate

  1. Confirm that Floodlight, AdWords, and Google Analytics columns are reporting on the same events.
    For example, you can customize a Floodlight column to report a specific set of activities, which might be different from the activities tracked by AdWords or Google Analytics.

  2. Make sure your advertiser's web server or redirection service doesn't strip the gclid and gclsrc parameters from landing page URLs.
    These parameters are added automatically for AdWords accounts when you enable auto-tagging and for other accounts when you link your DS advertiser with Google Analytics. If the parameters are removed, Google Analytics  will not attribute visits to your search campaign, and the metrics in Google Analytics will not match DS.

  3. Understand measurement differences.
    Some differences are expected because of supported ad types, how each system counts unattributed conversions, how they attribute conversions to days, and more.

Common measurement differences

This following list of differences is not exhaustive. In addition, the list does not include Multi-Channel Funnels in Google Analytics, which attribute conversions differently than the standard Google Analytics reports described below.

Day of attribution

The day of attribution is the day on which a conversion is reported to have occurred.

Floodlight AdWords
Conversion Tracking
Google Analytics
The day of conversion. The day of click. The day of conversion.

Time zone

Systems may use different time zones to attribute conversions.

Floodlight AdWords
Conversion Tracking
Google Analytics
The DCM account's time zone. Engine account time zone. The time zone that is defined for the Google Analytics view.

Lookback windows

The lookback window is the period of time after a customer clicks and ad during which a conversion, such as a purchase, is recorded. The lookback window can vary between the supported conversion-tracking systems.

Floodlight AdWords
Conversion Tracking
Google Analytics
You can customize the lookback window. You can customize the lookback window between 7 and 90 days.

For Google Analytics data in DS, DS uses the lookback window set in Google Analytics.

By default the lookback window is 6 months, but you can customize the length.

Last-click attribution: search ads and display ads

In reports that use last-click attribution, conversion credit might vary if a visitor first clicks a search ad, later clicks a display ad, and then converts.

Floodlight AdWords
Conversion Tracking
Google Analytics
If the last click is on a display ad managed by a DoubleClick product, conversion credit goes to the display click. If the last click is on a display ad managed by DoubleClick or other system, conversion credit goes to the search click. If the last click is on a display ad managed by DoubleClick or other system, conversion credit can go to the display ad.

Last-click attribution: natural search results

In reports that use last-click attribution, conversion credit might vary if a visitor clicks a search ad, later clicks a natural search result, and then converts. This applies to both referral and direct traffic.

Floodlight AdWords
Conversion Tracking
Google Analytics

If the last click is on a natural search result, the conversion will be attributed to the ad in DoubleClick Search. 

The conversion may be recorded by the optional DoubleClick Natural Search feature, depending on the attribution option you selected.

If the last click is on a natural search result, the conversion will be attributed to the ad in AdWords. If the last click is on a natural search result, the conversion won’t be attributed to the ad in Google Analytics.

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

All conversions and unique conversions

Some systems count every conversion that occurs after a click, others only count one conversion per user.

Floodlight AdWords
Conversion Tracking
Google Analytics
DCM counting configurations can vary. AdWords uses flexible conversion counting. Counting configurations for Google Analytics goals can vary.

Ad robots and other spam

Floodlight AdWords
Conversion Tracking
Google Analytics
Floodlight excludes visits from ad robots, but does not have the advanced spam filtering of AdWords. AdWords 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 AdWords.

For more information

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