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'Direct' website visits as 'AdWords' in GA if the AW cookie present?

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I read this today here:

 

Even if someone visits your site directly, they’re not always going to count as a direct visit. Confused? You should be ... Take this situation for example:

 

Johnny visits your site through an AdWords campaign and returns a week later directly through a bookmark (aka. while the _utmz cookie still exists). In this case, both visits will be attributed to AdWords.

 

That’s why 3-month-old AdWords campaigns still refer you traffic, long after you’ve paused them.

 

Is this true? I assumed that the next visit would show as 'Direct' in GA...

 

Thanks Smiley Happy

3 Expert replyverified_user

Re: 'Direct' website visits as 'AdWords' in GA if the AW cookie presen

Collaborator ✭ ☆ ☆
# 2
Collaborator ✭ ☆ ☆
Yes, it is true. During the lifetime of an Adwords campaign the returning users to your site are attributed to that AdWords campaign until the AdWords cookies expire (90 days after a customer's click).

Re: 'Direct' website visits as 'AdWords' in GA if the AW cookie presen

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Ahmed, thanks for the response. Smiley Happy

 

If this is so then it flies in the face of Multi Channel Conversion Path analysis in Google Analytics.

A user should be able to see in Google Analytics if they have received subsequent Direct visits as a result of generating an initial AdWords visit.

Why would/should AdWords bully itself in and take credit for another channel's contribution, a channel which is just as, if not more important to us?

Again, if this is true, then these two products (i.e., AdWords and Analytics) are clearly fighting against each other in this regard, and the customer is missing out on the truth.

As far as I am concerned, AdWords can treat it as an AdWords-generated conversion if it wants to, but don't pollute Analytics in the process! I'd like to be able to find out if I want to that the conversion path was, for example, 'Paid Search > Direct'.

Re: 'Direct' website visits as 'AdWords' in GA if the AW cookie presen

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
MCF gets it right, so even if you see AdWords in the standard reports you will see ... -> Paid Search -> Direct in MCF. Otherwise the whole idea of MCF would be pointless.
Calin Sandici, AdWords Top Contributor | Find me on: Google+ | Twitter | LinkedIn | myBlog
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Re: 'Direct' website visits as 'AdWords' in GA if the AW cookie presen

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi AdWiser,

That's encouraging to hear... do you know this from experience, and/or is it documented somewhere?

I suppose I could test it on a raw GA view and see... Smiley Happy

Apologies if I jumped the gun; I'm assuming that Ahmed was referring to AdWords only, whereas I was (probably not clearly enough) referring to GA only.

Re: 'Direct' website visits as 'AdWords' in GA if the AW cookie presen

Participant ✭ ✭ ☆
# 6
Participant ✭ ✭ ☆

Hey WhoSoLovesUs,

 

I'm late to the conversation but I wanted to chime in.  AdWords does use cookies to attribute actions back to ad clicks, as Ahmed detailed, but Google Analytics does not.  Google Analytics uses last click attribution, as you mentioned.

 

Bookmarks can cause issues, though. When a person has auto-tagging enabled, a gclid is appended to the end of a destination URL when it is clicked. This is used to tell Google Analytics that the person came from an AdWords ad. What happens with a bookmark is that the gclid could still be present in the URL when a person bookmarks it. When they return, the gclid is still there, telling Google Analytics that they came from PPC. That's why there is sometimes a discrepancy in Google Analytics due to bookmarks. Otherwise, Google Analytics does use last click attribution - it's not a perfect system but the number of people bookmarking pages is probably relatively small.

 

Hope this helps!

Re: 'Direct' website visits as 'AdWords' in GA if the AW cookie presen

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor
Hi WhoSoLovesUs,

GA attributes return visits to the last non-direct source.

Best of Luck!

Pete
petebardo -- Deadhead doing AdWords

Re: 'Direct' website visits as 'AdWords' in GA if the AW cookie presen

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks both,

@petebardo: Could you share a doc on this? This sounds contrary to what Amy and Calin have shared

For that matter, does anyone have any docs to share? I will see what I can find. Smiley Happy

And thanks

Re: 'Direct' website visits as 'AdWords' in GA if the AW cookie presen

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks, wow that's a lot of material.

Is it necessary to read all of the above in order to answer this question?

Perhaps you could distill it down to one or two links and a quote or two?