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Click Report Discrepancies

A difference or discrepancy in the number of clicks reported by our network versus those from other marketing analytics reports may sometimes occur. 

In addition to our affiliate marketing program, a third-party analytics system such as Coremetrics, Google Analytics, or Omniture are sometimes used to measure traffic and performance. Sometimes, a publisher will find that the data in one system doesn’t match that of the other.

Why This Happens

The data can differ due to a variety of reasons; some are “expected” discrepancies, while others are “unexpected.”

  • Expected Discrepancies include data differences on metrics such as clicks, sales, orders, or transactions.
  • Unexpected Discrepancies include tracking failures.


Systems count clicks differently. We do not filter any data, so our counts are generally higher. Other systems may represent clicks as visits and have clear rules defining said “visit.” For example, a single user clicking on a link three times will generate three clicks in our system, but one visit in another.

Time could also be a factor in the visit count. In the same scenario, three clicks spread out over a specified time period may be treated as two visits.

The other thing to remember is that we do not filter bot clicks whereas other systems do (as reference, a bot is a software application that can run automated tasks such as clicks).

Sales, Orders, or Transactions

Attribution is the most common factor in sales discrepancies. Unless some type of attribution tracking is in place across all marketing channels, each channel would be tracking the user independently. For example:

  1. A user clicks through an affiliate link. The referring URL will contain an analytics tag identifying the source of the traffic as affiliate. The user does not place an order at this time.
  2. User then revisits the site using a search link. The referring URL will contain an analytics CM tag identifying the source of the traffic as Search. The user places an order as a result of this visits.

In this scenario, the analytics platform will likely attribute the sale to Search since that was the last referring channel. However, our system dropped a cookie during the user's initial visit and was able to capture the sale due to Return Days tracking.

Unexpected Discrepancies (Tracking Failures)

It is worth noting that failure of the tracking processes will create discrepancies. Most third-party processes are JavaScript and cookie dependent. So, in some cases:

  • If the user deletes/blocks cookies, or does not support JavaScript, the process may fail to register a click, or attribute an event to the correct channel. Depending on the tracking method, we might encounter the same issue with sales tracking.

  • A user can navigate away from a page before the code has been executed by the browser, and as a result, the expected tracking function does not execute.
  • Similarly, there may be unrelated code that creates an error or conflicts with the third-party code.

If you would like to learn more about your specific account data, contact Customer Support.

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