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AdWords and Google Analytics medium discrepancies

Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 1
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆

Hi Folks!


I've run into an odd problem. At least it seems odd to me. I'm running a display campaign for a client. I believe the pertinent criteria for this question are:


1. Type of ads: I'm using several different sizes of image ads plus a text ad. 100% Google Display Network using site-targeting, no paid search.


2. I'm using CPC, not CPM


3. There are two campaigns running (one for national websites and one for local media websites), each using the same exact ads. In theory, the ONLY diffference between these campaigns in the auto-tagging for GA should be utm_campaign.


4. I have confirmed that auto-tagging is ON.


When I compare total Adwords clicks with GA sessions (in the GA Adwords report), there is a small discrepancy as expected. However, the GA Channels report has the visits from the AdWords categorized in two different channels (other and display). The raw data:




From image ads: 124 clicks

From Text ads: 375 clicks




Medium CPC: 517 (odd that GA is reporting more visits!)



Channel = other: 386

Channel = display: 133


From reading the following support article, I don't see that text and image ads should be categorized differently:


The numbers, however, suggest this:


image ad + cpc results in utm_medium = display, so the channel is display


text ad + cpc results in utm_medium = cpc, so the channel is other


BUT, in the Adwords report in GA, the medium for all ads, regardless of format, is CPC. Why would different GA reports show different mediums? I'm baffled.


Dave Culbertson

LightBulb Interactive - "Bright ideas for Internet Success"
Website & Blog:

Re: AdWords and Google Analytics medium discrepancies

Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭

The Channels report doesn't actually use utm_medium.

You can combine this report with custom segments to find the data you need.

Does this help?

Re: AdWords and Google Analytics medium discrepancies

Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 3
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
Thanks for the reply Ryan.

In retrospect, I probably made my post too long. Also, I shouldn't have used utm_medium, but simply wrote "medium" since I'm using auto-tagging. With that out of the way....

Given how the channels report aggregates sessions based on source + medium, the large discrepancy between the channels report and the adwords report in GA leads me to hypothesize the following:

image ad + medium of cpc = channel grouping is display

text ad + medium of cpc, = channel grouping is other

I'm really just trying to understand why the channel report groups some sessions as "other" and other sessions as "display" even though they all have the same medium (cpc). I guess that it's because some clicks are from image ads and some text ads.

Re: AdWords and Google Analytics medium discrepancies

Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 4
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
I just dig deeper into the channels report and confirmed my hypothesis.