MyBlogLog and AdSense

Here’s a question for anyone that uses MyBlogLog and Google AdSense on the same site: Do your stats match up?It’s a simple question, but one I’ve been struggling with ever since one of my sites received a large spike in traffic. MyBlogLog’s stats and AdSense’s stats showed roughly the same number of impressions (give or take what you’d expect for people who block ads), but the stats for click-outs were totally different – by a factor of 10!A little background information. This page recently appeared on the front page of BoingBoing, and as a result hit a load of new blogs. Traffic went up ten-fold over night. The following day, I was checking my AdSense stats and noticed that the spike produced no increase in ad clicks at all. The impressions were there, but clicks were reported at exactly the same level.So I decided to check the MyBlogLog stats, and was surprised to see they reported an increase in clicks on Google Ads that matched the increase in impressions. There were three possibilities:

  1. AdSense was reporting incorrect stats
  2. MyBlogLog was reporting incorrect stats
  3. They were both reporting incorrect stats

Personally, I was more inclined to believe the MyBlogLog stats because they’re completely independent – and because my other sites linked from the page in question were also seeing an increase in traffic. It’s difficult to believe these 10,000 or so extra visitors clicked everything except a single Google ad.So, thinking some kind of automated fraud-detection system had incorrectly kicked in at Google’s end, I mailed them and asked them to investigate. The curt response I received simply castigated me for using MyBlogLog and did not mention the actual issue at all.

“Unfortunately, we do not endorse or encourage the use of any particularclick tracking tools, and we are unable to verify the statistics reportedby any third-party tools. As per our Terms and Conditions(, a publisher’s earnings and payments willbe determined based on the statistics reported within their AdSenseaccount.”

Note that MyBlogLog usage does not contravene Google’s Ts&Cs at all, and while the response from Google did not directly accuse me of breaking the rules, I was left with the distinct impression that I was somehow in the wrong.After exchanging a few more emails with Google, I was finally able to get the problem escalated. I explained, in depth, what I was seeing and a week later received a final response from Google:

Hello Dom,Thanks for your patience.I’ve compared our reports with the information you gave me, and ran sometests of our own, but still could not resolve the difference between whatMyBlogLog is showing and what we’re seeing. Unfortunately, ourunfamiliarity with how MyBlogLog compiles its data prevents us fromdigging much deeper when looking for possible causes.I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this has caused. I assure youthat this case will be noted and we will keep this issue in mind movingforward. As previously mentioned, we realize accurate reporting isextremely important to publishers like you, and your help in thisinvestigation will be extremely useful for future reference.If you have any questions about this or anything else AdSense-related,please feel free to let me know.Sincerely,MollyThe Google AdSense Team

That was 5 days ago and there have been no further responses to my emails.So, basically Google is saying “nothing we can do, sorry” and not really taking an interest. And I’m left with MyBlogLog still reporting significantly higher ad clicks than Google.Now I’m not accusing Google’s stats of lying – it could be that MyBlogLog is wrong, or there’s something I’ve overlooked, but something doesn’t add up. So my question is, has anyone else seen such a large discrepancy in AdSense and MyBlogLog stats – or seen anything similar using other click-tracking solutions? And more importantly, were you able to resolve it?

19 thoughts on “MyBlogLog and AdSense

  1. This appears to be very serious because reading between the lines (e.g. seeming to pretend they don’t have anybody looking into how MBL tracks clicks) it appears clear that Google must have rejected the extra clicks as “suspicious” even though in this case they were legitimate. Another example where transparency is lacking and the case is therefore frustrating. I hope Shuman or Matt comments on this because I do think that Google would not intentionally juggle any numbers.

  2. Wow … I’ve seen some differences between what Adsense reports and what the Analytics hack shows, but it’s always been 1 or 2 off — not a factor of 10.

  3. We experienced the same thing. The only thing I can assume is that Google’s system incorrectly labeled everything as fraud since it was such a high spike in volume but that still doesn’t explain the issue with the differences seen daily.

  4. Shuman and I have been discussing this one; I’ve seen a pretty reasonable explanation earlier today, and I recommended that someone reach out to you Dom. Dom, I’m leaving my email and if someone doesn’t contact you in a couple days, would you ping me and I’ll try to introduce you to someone who looked at it in more detail?

  5. Yes I have had this experience this last week.
    Exactly the same “template” email from Google and also exchanged a few more emails. My last email to them explained that I think it is necessary for Google to actually communicate with mybloglog to see if/where the discrepancy lies.

    There is too much of the “We are Google and therefore God”. I won’t accept anyone telling they are right just because they are one of the biggest organisations on the web.

    My site is fairly low traffic, but mybloglgo showed about 20 clicks in one week all of which were not on my adsense reports.

    Google need to be told that a spike in traffic is not a fraudulent act. What with social networking sites a plenty now it is common to get traffic spikes for one or two days.

    Personally I think Google are just being lazy and cheap.

  6. Is it possible that google is penalizing mybloglog stats users by taking away their clicks somehow? Is this even possible? Now I’m paranoid and want to take the script off my page.

  7. This has been a question for some while… today: 147 clicks through mybloglog, google adsense: 4 clicks (!) ???? Who can solve this? Adsense support mailed me they could not help me further.

  8. Hey man, I had the identical problem and I figured it out what was happening.

    Try this: Check your mybloglog for how many adsense clicks you have, then come back to your site, let your mouse hover over one of your adsense ads, then click backspace, or somehow use your keyboard to navigate away from the page. DONT CLICK THE AD. After you’ve navigated away, check your mybloglog and you’ll have another adsense click.

    Mybloglog determines clicks based on where the pointer is as the browser navigates away from the page.

  9. I’ve tried Max’s tip, and sure enough, when I use my mouse back/forward buttons while hovering over a link, it adds to my MBL ad clicks…that seems like a really ass-backwards way of tracking clicks…I can only assume they have some magical reason for it.

    It should be noted however, that it DOESN’T register when I press backspace…only mouse actions.

    I am very uncomfortable with the idea that the only way to track revenue FROM google is with google’s own tracking software. Something like this definitely needs to be verifiable via a 3rd party source.

    If this MBL bug is responsible for only 10% of the discrepancy, google can easily say it’s responsible for 100%. Not cool.

  10. Yesterday MBL reported 15 clicks on a Google Adsense unit installed on one of my websites and when I logged in to check Adsense it showed a whopping ZERO clicks. I wonder what the cause of this is.

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