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AdWords vs. DCM - Clicks Discrepancies | #AdWordsAnswers



Hi Community!


I’m Sinduri from The Google AdWords Team and I’m going to walk you through some of the reasons why you might see discrepancies between clicks in AdWords and DoubleClick Manager.


The metrics, by and large, do not compare between AdWords and DCM. In fact, there’s usually roughly a 20% figure discrepancy between DCM and AdWords. This is because of difference in the way the two systems are designed and built. However, if you do see discrepancies higher than 20%, here are a few reasons why this might be happening.



In most cases, what looks like a discrepancy in data turns out to be the case of comparing "apples" with "oranges."

Check to see if you're looking at the data at the creative level, as the click tags are applied at different levels in DCM. In AdWords, we count clicks at the creative level only.


Are you looking at data from the same locations?

Many times the AdWords advanced location settings are set to show ads to "People in, or who show interest in my targeted location," which means even someone outside of your targeted locations can see and click on your Ads. You can read more here.


In some cases, clicks are counted differently in AdWords than DCM.

For example, in Gmail ads, there are two clicks that happen before a user reaches the website. The first click would be on the ad and when the ad expands and on the second click, the user is taken to the website.

In AdWords, the first click would be counted. However, DCM only counts the click if the user clicks on the ad and then again on the expanded ad and finally lands on the website. So, in this case, if a user clicks on the collapsed ad and doesn't click on the expanded ad, the click would be counted in AdWords and not in DCM.


Check the tags

If the DCM tags haven't been applied correctly, you could be tracking the wrong data. If the tags have been altered, you may see discrepancies. Also, make sure that the tags you're looking at have been properly trafficked in DCM. Improper implementation of DCM tags could lead to discrepancies.


Are there any Alerts in the DCM UI?

If there are, this means that something might be amiss in the setup. Check the alert to find out it what the issue is.


Is there an End Date passed for any DCM object (creative, ad, placement) without a hard cut off?  

If so, DCM has stopped recording data for that object.


Check the Change Logs for any DCM objects (creative, ad, placement)

If anything has been changed, there would be a mismatch in data. Any changes made to the campaigns in the period you're looking at could have an effect on reporting.



Hope these points help you with your troubleshooting! Please feel free to to leave a comment below if you have any questions.


Good day!


December 2016

Hi Sinduri,


Thanks for enlightening on the count of clicks at creative level. So the only way to count clicks at keyword level would be by using Keyword Level URLs?


Also with Gmail Ads, you need to use a placeholder method for DCM to track your keywords and ads. Probably there is a more intense process to make all this work properly. What do you suggest - Can we import all the metrics from Adwords into DCM to report those.