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Campaign stopped Aug'12; Analytics still shows Adwords traffic

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# 1
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I know this question could be addressed to Analytics folks just as easily as here, but I feel like this community forum might have a higher concentration of people with experience in this area.

 

10 months ago, we halted a client's AdWords campaign.  After the campaign concluded, Analytics continued showing visits with "google / cpc" as the source/medium.  I initially dismissed those visits as holdover from the old campaign (tying new clicks back to a previous cpc-generated visit), assuming it would diminish and disappear within a few months.  10 months later, there's still significant (but slowly diminishing) traffic being reporting as google / cpc (now non-existent).  

 

An example of the volume:  when it ran, the campaign generated ~10,000 clicks/mo.  In October, 2012 (the first full month in which the campaign did not run), over 800 visits (over 4% of all site visits) were still attributed to "google / cpc ".  As of July, 2013, that's fallen to just under 500 visits (more than 1% of all site visits).  

 

I'm tracking this today because the client has display ads running on several websites (manual placements, not through Google or any ad network). We're using the ?utm= URL variables to track the campaign via Analytics.  On most of these websites, the numbers reported by the publisher and visit data we see via Analytics are consistent with each other. However, one publisher reports 5x as many clicks as we're seeing in visits via Analytics.  We've double-checked the URLs, so that's not the issue.  So now, in my attempt to make sure all visits are being properly attributed, I'm looking back that these visits being mis-attributed to an AdWords campaign that's been dormant for many months.

 

Any ideas what might be happening?

Re: Campaign stopped Aug'12; Analytics still shows Adwords traffic

Zee Community Manager
Community Manager
# 2
Zee Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Cris, 

 

I think your question is similar to the one on this thread. Check the Top Contributor's post as a possible solution. 

 

Best,

Zee
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Re: Campaign stopped Aug'12; Analytics still shows Adwords traffic

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# 3
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Thanks, Zee for the reply. The Top Contributor's post from that other thread is what I initially thought. But as noted above, I continue to see traffic attributed to that PPC program 10 months after the campaign ended, which is well beyond the 6 month window that the cookie remains in effect. So while I agree that this was the first place to look, it doesn't seem that was the issue, unless there was a time during the run of the campaign that the cookie was being sent without an "expire".