Why don't our click stats match?

Believe it or not, there are actually many things that can seem to go "wrong" when it comes to tracking clicks from one click tracker to another. In fact, the stats from two different tracking systems are never going to match up exactly.

Even if two users with  the same tracking platform send clicks to each other, as you're about to see, there are a few common reasons that the stats may not match up exactly on both sides.

Small discrepancies of just a few clicks here and there should be considered normal, while larger discrepancies almost always point to an obvious problem somewhere.

Here are the main causes we've seen for stats being "different" from one system to another: 

Reason #1 - Clicks Coming in from Somewhere Else
If you're receiving clicks from TrafficForMe (t4me.me) and you show MORE clicks than we do, the only possible explanation is that you've also received traffic from other sources.

You could have multiple people incorrectly sending traffic to the same tracking link, you could be receiving "clicks" to your tracking link directly from bots, scrapers and other automated processes, or who knows what else.

Either way this has nothing to do with T4Me, and you simply need to check your tracking system or your logs to figure out where the extra clicks are coming from (or not - it's up to you).

With that being said, all of the other reasons for stats discrepancies discussed below are related to the much more common scenario where T4Me shows MORE clicks than your stats do ... This happens all the time

Reason #2 - GoDaddy. NameCheap. Others.
We do not recommend that you use GoDaddy or NameCheap as your domain registrar. For some reason out of our control, these two domain name providers' domain redirect system stopped working properly and caused our users to "lose" clicks.

Without getting too technical,  GoDaddy's system simply doesn't redirect all clicks properly and NameCheap sometimes has this same problem as well. (We will update this FAQ if any other hosting/domain providers show this same problem.)

As of August 14, 2015 we recommend users stay away from GoDaddy for this reason.
As of Nov 27, 2015 we recommend users stay away from Namecheap for this reason.

If you experience a large unexplained discrepancy with us, the first thing we'll ask you is if you're using GoDaddy or Namecheap custom domain with ClickMagick, ClickMeter, QualityClickControl, or some other tracking system.

If you are, we'll point you to this FAQ for info and request that you change your registrar.

Reason #3 - Click Filtering or Blocking
T4Me automatically blocks clicks from bots, scrapers, spiders, anti-virus programs, ad networks, abusive IP addresses, and other automated processes or software.

It's possible you're using a system that is somehow blocking MORE clicks than our system is. In this case, the agreement we have between advertiser and publisher is to use T4Me's stats.

We're open to the idea that your system is blocking some other form of fraud. Please share all IPs and reason for extra blocking with us and we'll do our best to mediate the situation as fair as we can.

Having T4Me block all of this fraudulent traffic is a HUGE benefit to you because it helps to ensure you receive as many real, high-quality clicks as possible ...

Unfortunately, since most other tracking systems can't differentiate between these and actual real clicks, it can lead to some serious discrepancies if your tracking system is blocking more than us. We feel we have the absolute best bot-blocking system available in the industry with a  99.9% accuracy rate.

Reason #5 - Differing Methods of Determining Uniques
Every tracking system is different in terms of how it handles  unique vs. non-unique clicks under certain circumstances and in various scenarios ...

For example, T4Me counts uniques on a per-campaign basis while other systems work on a 24 hour basis and still others are on a lifetime basis.

When receiving traffic from us, you shouldn't have to worry about this because we will always send you the most unique clicks possible and the cleanest clicks possible on a per campaign basis. This means that if the same person today clicks on your link again 3 days from now - it will not be counted as a new unique.

Other problems are caused by trackers that just aren't accurate ...

Here's part of a click log from a tracker that tracks users only by IP address, which in this case resulted in 4 clicks from the same mobile user in under 2 minutes all being counted as "unique" - simply because they are behind a proxy and their IP address changed in between requests ...

Most mobile carriers provide Internet access to their users via proxies, and so do lots of other ISPs like Google Fiber, etc. so this is automatically a huge problem for any tracker that only tracks people based on the IP address of their requests.

On the other hand, T4Me along with many "premium" tracking systems use a combination of both cookie tracking and other proprietary methods to ensure the most accurate tracking possible.

Reason #5 - Bots, bots and more bots!
This can be a huge problem and cause all sorts of discrepancies between different tracking systems with certain types of traffic.

This is also the main reason for stats discrepancies when clicks are sent from T4Me into one of the premium tracking systems like ClickMagick, ClickMeter, Click,org, QCC, etc ... 

"Bots" can be both innocent (like a link monitoring bot) or malicious (like a bot created to generate fake clicks or stuff leads), but either way they can wreak havoc on stats.

The big problem is that many bots don't follow redirects, or they don't always follow ALL redirects ...

... and this is a disaster if you're buying and/or selling clicks.

Generally what happens is a bot will hit the tracking link of the "seller", but then it doesn't follow the redirect to the "buyer's" tracking link and the buyer never gets the click.

What this means is that the bot "click" will be recorded in the seller's stats, but since the "click" was never redirected it doesn't show up in the buyer's stats ...

... and both sides are left scratching their heads wondering what happened, or worse, they point fingers at each other or blame the other person's tracker for the "lost click."

WIth T4Me, we BLOCK THE BOTS - but this can still become an issue and we've found that this is the cause of approximately 90% of all "missing clicks."

Reason #6 - Server or Script Problems
You may have had  a problem with your server, site or tracker.

T4Me's redirect is always lightning-fast and never goes "down", but unfortunately the same can't always be said for some of the tracking platforms out there or, especially, a self-hosted tracking "script" on your own hosting.

Many people, especially in the "Internet marketing" and "solo ad" worlds, use tracking scripts hosted on extremely slow, $10 a month shared hosting accounts ...

... and this is a big problem because users will often click away somewhere else if the final destination URL doesn't respond fast enough due to a slow or overloaded shared server.

If there are a bunch of clicks "missing" for a clearly-defined time period, you should assume you had some type of problem with your hosting or your tracker, and look into that.

Reason #7 - Quick Clickers
A user may have clicked a tracking link,  but then quickly clicked another link for some reason.

Whether the first click didn't respond fast enough, the first click was a mistake, or anything else ... users sometimes click a second link before the first click even has a chance to fully load.

When this occurs, what often happens is that both the first and second clicks will be registered in the "sender's" stats, but only the second click will register in the "receiver's" stats.

This should not be the cause of too many clicks unless there were slow server issues  on the site receiving the click.

Reason #8 - Blocked IP Addresses
It's possible that the recipient of a click has  blocked a particular user's IP address. This may be happening without you knowing it because some hosting providers do their own IP blocking.

Most tracking systems provide at least some type of basic functionality that allows users to filter or block clicks, and the clicker's IP could have been blocked due to previous abuse, etc.

Reason #9 - Safari Browser - Especially on Mobile
The Safari web browser, especially on mobile devices, doesn't always follow multiple redirects properly. With the default settings on most devices, Safari also rejects "3rd-party" cookies which can cause tracking issues with some tracking systems under certain circumstances.

If you see "missing clicks" that were logged only on one side with the Safari browser - especially if they're mobile clicks - this is almost certainly the reason.

Not much can be done about this, since more than half of all email traffic is coming from mobile devices now-a-days. This issue does not cause that much of a discrepancy - and in the end, this will be caught at the T4Me stats level - so, trusting our stats, the publisher would just have to overdeliver a bit to make sure your order is complete.

Reason #10 - The Opera Mini Mobile Browser
The Opera Mini mobile browser has a feature called "Opera Turbo" that, in their own words, interferes with the user's connections. Here's how they explain it:

"When you enable Opera Turbo, the pages you request are passed through one of Opera's data-saving servers. The server removes any extraneous page elements, shaves off image pixels you won't miss, diagnoses the state of your connection and compresses downloads. This smart, cloud-based technology does all this before sending the page to your device."

In short, this "feature" seriously messes with requests and can cause all sorts of things to break including unique vs. non-unique tracking, conversion and pixel tracking, and who knows what else.

Reason #11 - Random Internet & Computer Problems
You might have the best computer and blazing fast, super reliable Internet, but most people don't.

Clicks get "lost" for all sorts of other reasons like users in rural areas with bad Internet connections that randomly just stop working, people using old crappy computers that like to crash a lot, other random browser glitches and crashes, and a whole lot more.

There aren't usually any clues when these types of things happen, aside from the fact that the click will be "missing" on one side or the other, but it happens more often than you'd imagine.

We know that dealing with stats discrepancies is no fun ...
... but it's just a part of the business if you're involved with solo ads or "click banking."

Unfortunately,  the only way to figure it out is for one or both parties to compare the raw click logs from both sides, click by click, to see exactly which clicks are "missing" and look for clues as to why.

Usually, we're talking about discrepancies of 3-5%, and in the end you should really be more concerned with how many leads were generated than "missing" some clicks. This gets into the area of being pound-wise and penny-foolish. If the overall result was great, then it's not worth anyone's time to worry about 10 or 11 clicks in the end.

We've helped users with this type of thing enough to know that 99.9% of stats "discrepancies" are caused by one or more of the reasons explained above ...

... so if you understand everything on this page you'll be better informed than most of the people you interact with, and you'll be well-prepared to deal with any stats discrepancies that come your way.

I hope this has been at least a little helpful.

And if you have any comments or helpful information related to this topic that we can add to this page, please don't hesitate to send as a message in our onsite messaging system.

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