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Revenue and Conversion Tracking

Home > English > Revenue and Conversion Tracking > Conversion Tracking > Troubleshooting Articles: Conversion Tracking > Understanding Cost and Conversion Discrepancies

Understanding Cost and Conversion Discrepancies


It is entirely expected that you will occasionally see a difference between the cost reported in the publisher’s interface and cost reported in the Platform. These discrepancies can be up to 1% and occur for a number of reasons, some of which we will outline below.

You may also encounter conversion discrepancies whereby the total number of conversions differs in the Platform than in the publisher interface. If you are not on publisher tracking (i.e. you are using Platform Tracker instead), this discrepancy is expected since different tracking solutions will have different tracking methods. The discrepancy can be quite minor when comparing a single keyword/ad on a single date (i.e. a difference of 0-2 conversions), which can appear larger when selecting a greater date range and/or viewing an entire group/campaign/account that contains multiple keywords/ads. Again, we will outline some possible causes below.

If you happen to see a discrepancy (cost or conversion), please attempt to narrow this down to 1) a single, example keyword/ad on a 2) single, example date that is having this issue. This investigation can often lead to the explanation of the discrepancy you are seeing.

Why cost discrepancies occur

If you notice small cost discrepancies in the Platform, they can usually be explained in one of the following ways:

  1. Publisher adjustments
    Publishers often adjust cost metrics several days later to account for bots, click fraud or other false data. Our system by rule pulls 3 days of cost data each night, which captures the majority of these cost adjustments – but not all. To re-pull cost data prior to the past 3 days, please file a Support Services ticket. In some cases, publishers remove all the impressions and clicks for a certain keyword or ad for a date in the past (i.e. after reporting some impressions). In these cases, this keyword or creative will not appear in the cost report that the publisher sends us since there is no data to report. As a result, we do not change the data for this keyword or creative. This problem often manifests itself in single impressions that appear in Marin only and not in the publisher. 

    Note: In cases where the adjustment involves removing all metrics for a given keyword, downloading a cost report will not fix the issue, since publishers skip rows with no metrics in the cost report.
  2. Deleted objects
    We do not download cost data for deleted ads or keywords, which could account for differing cost figures.
  3. Creative edits
    If you edit an ad, it is essentially recognized as a new ad with a new publisher ID. Therefore, cost data may sync down as partial data for that day or publisher cost adjustments may not be captured for those deleted ads.
  4. Keywords with clicks but no impressions from the publisher
    Our cost report download logic does not allow downloading clicks without impressions into the application, however the publishers sometimes send this type of data. For Google specifically, the report that we are building our cost reporting based on, skips rows with no impressions and that prevents us from being able to report on these clicks as well.

  5. Difference in currency settings
    If impression and click data between the publisher and the Platform matches, and cost is the only metric that is showing a discrepancy, this may be due to different currency settings. Please check to make sure that the publisher currency settings match the Platform's currency settings.
    • To see the Platform currency settings, go to Admin > Clients > Click the client account you are in > View the Currency field. If the publisher currency settings do not match the Platform's currency settings, this explains why the cost metrics are not the same.
  6. Object types not supported by the Platform

    If the Platform does not yet support a publisher object type (i.e. perhaps it is a new publisher object type), this will either 1) not sync down to the Platform or 2) will sync to the Platform but no data can be pulled in from the publisher. If this object does not sync down to the Platform, the data will not sync down either. Examples of objects not yet supported in the Platform:

    Third Party ad types (Google). The Platform does not yet support Third Party Ad types within Display Network Only campaigns. Although these ads will not pull in (therefore data is not pulled in at the creative-level), the data will still get pulled in at the higher group/campaigns/account-level.
    • Shared Ads (Google). Because of this, publisher data will not match at any level (Keyword, Creative, Group, Campaign, or Account) when Shared Ads exist. To identify if an ad is a Shared Ad, there will be a percentage listed below the display URL in the Ad column in AdWords.

    • Mobile Placement Ads - AdMob (Google). These relate to Google campaigns targeting on Mobile Apps only (AdMob). 

    • Content remarketing with parental targeting campaigns (Google). The Platform does not yet support content remarketing campaigns on Google that have keywords.

    • Content remarketing with search companion campaigns (Google). The Platform does not yet support content remarketing campaigns on Google that have placements.

Why conversion discrepancies occur

Small discrepancies in the total number of conversions may occur occasionally. Here are some possible reasons for this:

  1. Different cookie windows
    The cookie windows may differ between the locations, meaning that a conversion counted for the Platform may not be counted in the publisher.
  2. Tracking pixel implementation issues
    If the tracking pixel has not been correctly set up on your website, you may see conversion discrepancies.
  3. The Platform always uses Last Click attribution
    Some other tracking technologies may use a different type of attribution which could account for a discrepancy.
  4. Latent conversions
    If you are using publisher tracking as a revenue source for our Platform, you might see discrepancies between the publisher and our Platform. The reason for this may be that there are latent conversions recorded on the publisher's end (where the conversion happened more than 3 days after the corresponding click). By default, our Platform will only pull in the last 3 days of data from the publisher every night, and will thus not download these latent conversions. In order to correct the conversion numbers in our Platform, please raise a ticket to our Support team, who will be able to download data from the publisher prior to the last 3 days. Our Support team can also investigate means of downloading more than three days of publisher data every night. 

Additional information

  •  If you require assistance investigating data discrepancies, please raise a Support ticket via the Contact Us button at the top of this page. 
  • It is also worth noting that the Platform will only show data up until yesterday, whereas the publisher interface will have data from today. For this reason, you may sometimes think discrepancies are present when in fact they are not.
  • If you'd like to compare the discrepancy between the Platform and some analytics tools (such as Google Analytics), make sure you are comparing conversions from the same source. This is because Google Analytics also tracks conversions from direct or referral traffic, but the conversion data showing in the Platform is mainly for paid campaigns.
  • If cost or conversion data is missing from the Home > History tab, please check if there is data in the other tabs such as Channels or Campaigns.
    If data is present there, this signifies that the data has arrived in our system but is still loading into the History tab (which loads last). If data is not present there, please reach out to your Platform representative. 
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