Fix missing data and discrepancies

Often you may notice that a report you've downloaded is missing certain details, or that your data doesn't match what you see in Google Analytics or your third-party reports. Click the sections in this article to know more about the issues and their suggested resolution.

Missing data

Date range adjustment
If you’re encountering an "ads not serving" issue, make sure to adjust the date range to view the latest data. To do so, click the date range in the upper right of the page. The date range will update for both the table and the chart. You can also compare 2 date ranges to see them side by side in the chart.
Report is missing data

In some cases, a downloaded report from the Report Editor may exclude data from your account performance tables. For example, if you received “0” clicks or impressions in a particular row, Report Editor will remove that data from your downloaded report.

You can also filter out rows with “0” within the Report Editor.

Report is missing sum totals

If you apply certain segments to your data and then download your report, you may see "--" instead of summary row totals. The data is unavailable because a sum total would provide inaccurate information.

For example, "click type" may apply to multiple aspects of the same impression (a click-to-call impression may show alongside a headline impression in the same ad, for instance). If you've applied the Click type segment to your data, you'll see "--" instead of summary totals in your downloaded report. In this case, a sum total would be inaccurate because it would double-count some of the impressions.

Report is missing columns

Occasionally, if you try to include certain segments when you download a table on the Campaigns page, some columns in your table might be excluded from your report because not all column statistics are available for all segments.

For example, let's say you want to include conversion tracking segments in your campaign report. Because multiple conversion actions may be associated with a single click, it's impossible to include both conversion statistics and basic performance metrics (such as clicks and impressions) in the same report. Consider adding columns containing conversion metrics such as "Conv. rate," "Total conv. value," and "Cost / conv." to your table instead of converted click metrics. If you have columns for basic performance metrics in your table, they won't be included in your report.

Report is missing certain keywords

Only keywords which received at least one impression during the reporting period will appear on a given report. For example, if your report covers the last 7 days, and your keyword "flowerpot" received no impressions during those 7 days, then "flowerpot" won't appear on the report.

If you don't see a particular keyword, try expanding your date range before downloading your report.

Some highly detailed keywords simply may not receive any impressions. Keywords that receive no impressions for a 90-day period will eventually be disabled.

Data discrepancies

You may notice one of 2 types of discrepancies between statistics in your Google Ads accounts and those in your web server logs or third-party tracking software:

  • The first type occurs when web logs or third-party tracking software show fewer clicks on your ads than your Google Ads statistics show.
  • The second type occurs when a third-party click auditing firm reports more invalid clicks than those detected by the Google Ads Traffic Quality Team.

Learn more about the differences between Google Ads and third-party data

Differences between Google Analytics and Google Ads

There are some cases when your Google Ads data may disagree with your imported Google Analytics data. Here are some of the most common reasons:

  • Google Ads tracks clicks, whereas Google Analytics tracks visits. There are several reasons that these metrics may differ:
    • A visitor may click your ad multiple times. When one person clicks on one advertisement multiple times in the same session, Google Ads records multiple clicks while Analytics recognizes the separate pageviews as one visit.
    • A person may click on an ad, and then later, during a different session, return directly to the site through a bookmark or saved link. This situation would register as one click in Google Ads, but multiple visits in Analytics.
    • A visitor may click on your ad, but then change her mind and prevent the page from fully loading by clicking to another page or by pressing the browser's Stop or Back buttons. In this case, Analytics won’t register a visit, but Google Ads still counts this as a click.
  • To ensure more accurate billing, Google Ads automatically filters invalid clicks from your reports. However, Analytics reports these clicks as visits to your website in order to show the complete set of traffic data.
  • Comparing long date ranges may include periods during which your accounts were not linked.
Clicks exceed impressions / CTR is higher than 100%

Though it isn't actually possible to have more clicks than impressions, sometimes your account reports may reflect more clicks than impressions, or a clickthrough rate (CTR) of more than 100%.

Why does this happen? First, the reports that you see in your account aren't in real time. Clicks are updated about every hour, while impressions are updated every few hours. So, it's possible that the number of clicks displayed in your reports will exceed the number of impressions, until your reports are completely updated. This usually happens by the end of the day (11:59 p.m. in the time zone you've selected for your account).

To see the greatest accuracy in your reports, we suggest reviewing a given day's reports on the following day, when the servers have finished reporting the clicks and impressions.

Second, because browsers cache the search results and ads on search results pages, our technology registers only one ad impression per search. However, your reports will show multiple clicks if a visitor clicks on your ad more than once in a cached browser session.

You may see a certain amount of multiple clicks in your own weblogs. These clicks represent legitimate visitors accessing your advertisement in expected ways. It's possible that a visitor legitimately clicks on your ad more than once. For example, the person may be comparison shopping or returning to your site for more information. Additionally, some internet service providers assign a single IP address to more than one person. In this case, multiple clicks from the same IP address don't mean that someone is clicking multiple times on your ad.

Unique users, clicks, and conversions reported as decimals in the Reach and frequency view

Because the estimated frequency is based on sample group data, the estimation of unique users, and their subsequent clicks, isn't always a whole number.

Data impacted by daylight savings time

Your time zone affects the time shown on reportsand can affect other settings such as targeting.Your Google Ads statistics will always reflect the local time in the time zone you've chosen for your account.

Many countries make an annual adjustment to their official time to increase daylight hours during summer months. This is often called Summer Time or Daylight Savings Time. If the time zone you've set for your account shifts in this way, your Google Ads account schedule and statistics will adjust automatically as well. Your account will also adjust when the time zone returns to normal time at the end of the summer.

You can, if you wish, have your account set to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) year-around, with no shifts for Summer Time. You must make this selection during the account signup process.

To see your time zone:

Note: The instructions below are part of the new design for the Google Ads user experience. To use the previous design, click the "Appearance" icon, and select Use previous design. If you're using the previous version of Google Ads, review the Quick reference map or use the Search bar in the top navigation panel of Google Ads to find the page you’re searching for.
  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Admin icon Admin Icon.
  2. Click Preferences.
  3. In the Time zone section, you'll see your time zone listed.

If you are sure you want to update your time zone selection, contact us to request a change.

The option to reset your timezone is available only in manager accounts. Learn more about changing your time zone setting in a manager account.
Your timezone can only be reset once, so please choose your new time zone carefully. Requests to change time zones must come from an Admin user of a manager account, and your time zone may only be shifted eastward, for example, GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) to IST (India Standard Time). If your time zone has already been reset once at your request, we will not be able to change it again. 
GDN delays

For new GDN campaigns it takes 12 hours before approved ads start to begin serving. For changes on the GDN, it varies how long the delay is. However, in general, there is a longer delay for GDN changes to take effect than for search campaigns.

Keep in mind

Performance data isn’t available instantly, and some reports are only updated once a day. Learn more about Determining your data's freshness

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