Your Understanding of Report Discrepancies is Wrong. Here’s Why

Ad Optimization
October 11, 2019 | by Kean Graham
Your Understanding of Report Discrepancies is Wrong Heres Why

Let’s look at the auction process to show you why your understanding of report discrepancies could be wrong.

During an auction, bidders respond with their bids and as an example, go into the auction as $2.50. On the other end, Google Ad Manager receives and records the bid as $2.50 because that’s how much the bidder said they are willing to pay for the impression. However, on payday, you only get $1.50 deposited in your bank account. Now you might be wondering where your other $1 went.

This is called ‘Reconciliation.’

Reconciliation is a process that causes discrepancies. Sample scenarios were reconciliation can be applicable include:

  1. The advertiser went bankrupt and decided not to pay publishers.
  2. Traffic was detected as bot or invalid traffic, which resulted in clawbacks.
  3. There was a currency exchange rate fluctuation between the time when the bids came in versus when payment was released.
  4. Slow internet connection wherein creatives fail to load or tracking pixels are not firing.
  5. Timezone difference in reporting.

Bidders can retroactively lower down their numbers, and there’s no way for you to get those numbers in real-time. This is why expecting Google Ad Manager report to be accurate in real-time, is wrong. Even with Ad Exchange or AdSense rates, real-time stats cannot and do not measure them.

The next best thing is to come up with an estimate that they would pay at least $0.01 higher than the highest Header Bidder because Google doesn’t disclose their bids externally.


The bottom line is, your ad earnings aren’t final until they hit your bank account. Even then, we’ve seen clawbacks carried over to subsequent months. Publishers should expect at least small changes as time goes by solely for reconciliation. If you’re struggling with report discrepancies and can’t seem to figure them out, why not let the ad ops experts handle it for you? As you can see from the article above, we have in-depth insight and knowledge with regard to every part of ad optimization.

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