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Understand information in your reports and troubleshoot reporting issues such as self-referrals, (not set) data, and inaccurate information
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Location Reporting

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# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I'm running a mobile display ad campaign geo-targeted only to 1 city in the US. Over the weekend, we received 60 site sessions from that city, a few from others, but 500 sessions from Dubai, UAE. I understand that these ads were served off lat-long mobile location service data, and GA's location data is based off IP Address, so there can be discrepancies. The ad vendor has assured me that the impressions were only served in the 1 city, but it seems like something is wrong when 60% of site traffic from the weekend was tied to an IP Address in Dubai. 


Has anyone had this issue & is there an explanation here outside of the potential of fraud?



1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Location Reporting

[ Edited ]
Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star

Under the location options, was the setting change from the default to "People in my targeted location?" If you targeted Chicago, but left the target on the default, then people in Dubai who showed an interest in Chicago could still see the ad.  To be honest, I see this as a probable cause simply because I run across it all the time.

Google does not use IP address alone for location targeting. See - and for the Display network infers location of interest by a variety of means including content context.

How are you detecting this traffic as coming from Dubai? Are you seeing this in the AdWords location report, or are capturing the IP address using a different tool as a cross-reference?

Foreign users can have their device set to one location when using VPN and then switching to local IP address when they leave their home Wi FI and get in their car.

Have you reviewed your invalid click data ( These are clicks that you aren't paying for. I just checked a mobile display campaign I'm running - the invalid click rate ranges from 4.5% to 16% the past month.

So yes - plenty of reasons besides fraud to see invalid traffic!

Director of Marketing | Nehmedia | Partner Profile

Re: Location Reporting

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hey Phillip,

Thanks for the response! Our display ads aren't running through the Google
Display Network, we're using another vendor that is only serving mobile
ads, geo-targeted with a 1 mile radius, using only gps location data. We're
seeing the Dubai traffic through our Google Analytics page, and haven't
gotten to see any report from our vendor to cross reference.

The way I understand it, is that if the Wi-Fi at the event location has a
tie to Dubai, then the IP address that Google Analytics uses to track
traffic by location could interpret that as Dubai traffic. Is it reasonable
to think that the Wi-Fi at the event linked all devices to an IP in Dubai?


Re: Location Reporting

Rising Star
# 4
Rising Star
Sorry for the misunderstanding - yes, I've geo-targeting using opt-in gps targeting as well. Not everyone at the event would have connected to the Wi Fi.

I asked someone I've worked with who supported some large scale Wi Fi at SXSW here in Austin, and without getting into the plumbing issues - all their IP address location data in GA from the event reported they were in Oklahoma City. IP lookups are not real-time - they are assembled from various sources into databases that can be out-of-date or incorrect.

I would pull the server logs and do an independent verification on the IP address - do a reverse lookup and verify that it was nothing nefarious.
Director of Marketing | Nehmedia | Partner Profile