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Analytics shows CPC visits but we've no PPC programs

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

I was shocked to look at a client's Google Analytics yesterday and see six visits from 6/3/13 to 6/5/13 with a "Source" of CPC/Paid.

 

This client has never had and does not now have any PPC programs in play.

 

I wanted to ask about ideas you have on how I can track this down to find out what PPC copy is being used to drive visitors to the site, who is doing this, and why.

 

As Spock would say, "Most puzzling, Jim."

 

Thanks!

 

 

2 Expert replyverified_user
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

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Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Jeff K
September 2015

Re: Analytics shows CPC visits but we've no PPC programs

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thank you to everyone for your comments and suggestions.

 

There have been no more CPC visits in Analytics since the first week of June... just the original 6 CPC visits ending June 5.

 

I got a second version of the weblogs that went back to June 1, and indeed on the morning of Sunday, June 2, there is the first visit that includes "gclid="

 

00.000.000.0 - - [02/Jun/2013:01:38:08 -0700] "GET /?gclid=test%20or%20&gclid=test HTTP/1.1" 301 265 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/27.0.1453.94 Safari/537.36"

 

I'm in Georgia on the east coast of the US, and my client and the hosting is on the west coast in California. So the weblogs show the "gclid=" visit at 1:38 am Pacific time that day. The IP address for this first "gclid=" visit is the same ISP I use for access - about 60 miles from where I live. On the subsequent visits #2 through #6 (6 total CPC visits ending June 5), the "gclid=" does not appear, and I'm guessing that there is a cookie on the visitor's PC that continues to register with Analytics on return visits without the "gclid=" values.

 

Beyond this info, the questions around who and why are just plain puzzling... can't get my arms around this at all, but the visits ended June 5, so no worry... thank you for suggestions that narrowed this down.

 

Jeff

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Re: Analytics shows CPC/Paid traffic - but we have no PPC programs

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi Jeff,

 

If you are seeing this data under Traffic sources>> advertising>> Google Adwords, then it means that the Adwords is being used and has auto tagging on in the Adwords account and that Adwords account is already linked with Google Analytics.

 

Second scenario could be that instead of auto tagging, manual tagging has been used and that's why the traffic is being shown from Google CPC using URL builder.

 

Let  us know if that helps anywhere!

Pankaj

Re: Analytics shows CPC/Paid traffic - but we have no PPC programs

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thank you very much, Pankaj... your comments are very helpful, and here is additional info.

 

I'm seeing the six CPC visits in two places in Google Analytics:

  

1. Traffic Sources >> Sources >> Search >> Paid

With these values:

Keyword: (not set)

Source: Google

Medium: CPC

 

And then also seeing data here:

 

2. Traffic Sources >> Advertising >> AdWords

With these values:

Campaigns: (not set)

Keywords

  Keyword: (not set)

  Ad Content: (not set)

Matched Search Queries: (not set)

Day Parts

  Hour: 01, 05, 07, 09, 10, 18

Destination URLs: (not set)

Placements: There is no data for this view.

Keyword Positions: There is no data for this view.

 

It sounds like my being able to see this data in the Advertising >> AdWords area means that AdWords is being used.

 

But the many empty values in the Advertising >> AdWords area makes me lean toward the idea that the CPC visits I'm seeing are not being generated by a formal AdWords campaign - but rather by manual tracking codes created as you suggested in Google URL Builder.

 

What is so puzzling for me is that I have worked with this client since startup early in 2011, and since then neither they nor I have created an AdWords account. We are talking with vendors now, but I'm responsible for marketing, and I know for certain my client does not have an AdWords account. 

 

Nor am I or my client using Google URL Builder.

 

Thanks again and best regards,

 

Jeff 

Re: Analytics shows CPC/Paid traffic - but we have no PPC programs

Participant ✭ ☆ ☆
# 4
Participant ✭ ☆ ☆

While I was studying Google Analytics with a test website I used manual tagging to try it out.
I maniged with that to get :
Campaign names
keywords
Ad content

And did have goal complesions and revenue in the Adwords section of Google Analytics

I think it can be, as you suggests,
that some parameter tagging has confused Google Analytics.

And at that time I did not know anything from Adwords, and did not have an Adwords account.

** I´am learning Adwords and find it very interesting.
** Ik ben Adwords aan het leren en vind het erg boeiend.

Re: Analytics shows CPC/Paid traffic - but we have no PPC programs

Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

Hey Jeff,

 

Manually tagged URL's don't show up under Traffic Sources >> Advertising >> AdWords. Instead, they will be under Traffic Sources >> Sources >> Campaigns.

 

If you have access to your web logs, open a day when you had this traffic. First, search for "gclid=". These will be clicks from an auto-tagged AdWords link. If you find any, someone is running an AdWords campaign for the site. Look at the referrer data for these clicks. Should be google.com or doubleclick.com. That's about all you can tell from the logs.

 

Then look for "utm_". These are manually tagged URL's. Typically, these tags are used to track paid traffic from sources other than AdWords. If you find any of these, check the referrer data. If the referrer is other than google.com or doubleclick.com, you can chase that down to try and find out what's going on.

 

Best of Luck!

 

Pete

 

petebardo -- Deadhead doing AdWords

Re: Analytics shows CPC/Paid traffic - but we have no PPC programs

Participant ✭ ☆ ☆
# 6
Participant ✭ ☆ ☆

Manually tagged URL's DO sometimes show up under Traffic Sources >> Advertising >> AdWords.

 


i do not have an adwords account. I´am only learning Adwords.

 

But I have a lot of Google Analytics Accounts.

 

And I see manually tagged URL´s sometimes under  Traffic Sources >> Advertising >> AdWords.

 

As example this one
campaign, with secondary dimension Ad Content (Google Analytics profile for a website I own)

 

Adwords data without Adwords

** I´am learning Adwords and find it very interesting.
** Ik ben Adwords aan het leren en vind het erg boeiend.

Re: Analytics shows CPC/Paid traffic - but we have no PPC programs

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thank you, petebardo and Elja G... I just sent a request to our web engineer requesting the logs for yesterday when Google Analytics showed three of these Paid/CPC visits. I really appreciate your comments and suggestions.... will let you know what the logs show.

 

Jeff

Re: Analytics shows CPC/Paid traffic - but we have no PPC programs

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Pete,

 

I've been looking at the weblogs and can say for sure that "gclid=" is not present, so I think that means that there is no AdWords program.

 

Looking at the "utm" manual tagging is kind of overwhelming because - while we don't do manual tagging for PPC programs because we haven't run any yet - we do use Google URL Builder to tag and track fresh content shared via social media, newslettters, etc.

 

So we have thousands of server requests a month that include entries in the weblog like this...

 

000.000.000.000 - - [05/Jun/2013:00:14:58 -0700] "GET /page-name.asp?utm_source=acme&utm_medium=acme&utm_campaign=acme HTTP/1.1" 200 35558 "(referrer)" "(agent)"

 

Thinking that maybe one of the utm variables might have a word related to AdWords or PPC, I've searched on words in the weblog like "paid" ; "ppc"; and "cpc" - but not getting any matches.

 

I'm curious to ask if these words are missing, how would Google Analytics be able to recognize a weblog request and score it as Paid or CPC?

 

Or are there other words that Analytics searches on that are synonymous with paid, cpc or ppc?

 

There's a needle in my haystack somewhere... just haven't found it yet. Smiley Happy

 

Thanks again,

 

Jeff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Re: Analytics shows CPC/Paid traffic - but we have no PPC programs

Participant ✭ ☆ ☆
# 9
Participant ✭ ☆ ☆

As far a I remember (it is a year ago) utm_medium=cpc 

did the trick with my site

** I´am learning Adwords and find it very interesting.
** Ik ben Adwords aan het leren en vind het erg boeiend.
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Jeff K
September 2015

Re: Analytics shows CPC visits but we've no PPC programs

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thank you to everyone for your comments and suggestions.

 

There have been no more CPC visits in Analytics since the first week of June... just the original 6 CPC visits ending June 5.

 

I got a second version of the weblogs that went back to June 1, and indeed on the morning of Sunday, June 2, there is the first visit that includes "gclid="

 

00.000.000.0 - - [02/Jun/2013:01:38:08 -0700] "GET /?gclid=test%20or%20&gclid=test HTTP/1.1" 301 265 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/27.0.1453.94 Safari/537.36"

 

I'm in Georgia on the east coast of the US, and my client and the hosting is on the west coast in California. So the weblogs show the "gclid=" visit at 1:38 am Pacific time that day. The IP address for this first "gclid=" visit is the same ISP I use for access - about 60 miles from where I live. On the subsequent visits #2 through #6 (6 total CPC visits ending June 5), the "gclid=" does not appear, and I'm guessing that there is a cookie on the visitor's PC that continues to register with Analytics on return visits without the "gclid=" values.

 

Beyond this info, the questions around who and why are just plain puzzling... can't get my arms around this at all, but the visits ended June 5, so no worry... thank you for suggestions that narrowed this down.

 

Jeff