Not Adding Up (Literally) – Google AdWords’ Glitch
Ryan Moothart May 17 2012
This is one of those short posts that will make you squint your eyes slightly, furrow your brow, tilt your head, and say, “Wait, what? This doesn’t make sense.” Like this:
I have an account in Google AdWords that has had a conversion metric calculation glitch. I first noticed it a few months ago when comparing cost/conversion and conversion rate metrics I calculated in my excel reports with the metrics reported in the AdWords interface. For this account, AdWords consistently under-reports the cost/conversion and over-reports the conversion rate. As you can guess, this has the potential to cause confusion and frustration.
Here’s a screen shot of the summary bar at the top of the data table:
The conversion types are consistent (1-per-click), but the calculations reported are incorrect. These are what they should come out to:
Cost/Conversion = $3,054.09 / 299 = $10.21
Conversion Rate = 299 / 2,190 = 13.65%
You can try calculating them yourselves right now if you’d like: Google AdWords is wrong. Now we know if they ever try to take over the world, math is their weakness.
So far, I’ve only encountered this issue with one account. Have you noticed this before in your account(s)? Let us know in the comments below.
Senior PPC Strategist
Ryan is a PPC Architect and has been with Portent, Inc. since 2010. He has over seven years of hands-on PPC experience including large-scale e-commerce, international B2B lead gen, and everything in between. Graduating from Willamette University with a BA in Rhetoric and Media Studies, he became a published author in 2016 with the release of his book, Towards Cascadia, which is a non-fiction exploration of Pacific Northwest identity, bioregionalism, and nationhood. He and his husband, Paul, enjoy traveling and are avid followers of Sounders FC, Seattle’s Major League Soccer club. Read More