Missing conversions in BingAds for January 2013

by Matthew Graves

Original Published –  Jan 29,2013
Appended – Feb 1, 2013 

[Feb 2, 2013 -The nutshell the missing conversion issue has been fixed going "forward" but I am still missing conversions as of this morning in my BingAds account which throws off CPA, so no back "back dated data" yet. And I did submitted this to major Search Engine Blog but their Bing contacts said it was actually " a small group of accounts that were affect" ... cross my fingers, you don't end up in the group with me as "affected"]

Please check your BingAds Conversion in Jan2013 against Google Analytics Goals and your in-house tracking.

For those of you pressed for time or skeptical

From: Matt Graves
Date: Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 5:08 PM
Subject: Re: Your scheduled report is ready to view ####
To: Yahoo-Advertiser-Support

Hi,

I have counted up conversion BingAds vs Google Analytics and it seems the problem started for Account – X123 and Account – X122 somewhere at the beginning of Jan 2013.

Nov and Dec 2012 only had a few misplaced conversion, this week and the one before have been the largest gaps, see attached spreadsheet (if you are reading this article see table below).

- Matt Graves

——————————————————-
from: Yahoo-Advertiser-Support
to: Matt Graves, Yahoo-Advertiser-Support
date: Mon, Jan 28, 2013 at 5:13 PM
subject: RE: Your scheduled report is ready to view ###
signed-by: yahoo-inc.com

Hi Matt,

This issue is a wide spread issue for the past month which the engineers are working toward resolving.  Right now there is not an estimated time for a fix but I will update you as we learn more.

Thanks!
Yahoo Advertiser Support


Wow, did you catch that “wide spread”, “past month”, and “no estimated time for a fix.” (My account got fixed Jan 30, 2013) – What I think this means.

  • If you have a big in-house system that pulls down bid, keyword, match type, ad group, campaign, ad id, cost, and you only live in your system  then you are fine
  • If you are a small to medium account and this “wide spread issue” has affected your account then it is possible that your CPAs are wrong and your keywords are missing conversions and you are missing a few of the puzzle pieces :(

Fast Forward – It is Kinda Fixed (added Feb 2, 2013)

From: Yahoo-Advertiser-Support
Date: January 30, 2013, 6:27:18 PM EST
To: Matt
Cc: Sean S., Chris P.
Subject: RE: Your scheduled report is ready to view ####

Hi Matt,

I have received word from the engineers that the conversion counting is now tracking properly. All conversions from today out are being counted properly but we are still waiting on back dated data.

Thanks!
Yahoo Advertiser Support
866 924 6676

Just the Facts:

I will start off by telling you what has happened to our own BingAds account over the course of January 2013. To date (Jan 27, 2013) for January 2013, we are missing roughly 173 conversions in our BingAds account.

Luckily, we were running a review of our conversion/leads when my boss,(he gets a nod) suggested we pull from our in-house system which reported the shortfall and then we pieced it together with Google Analytics viewing Landing Page segments and source over a date range set to Dec 30, 2012 – January 27, 2013.

Below is the breakdown of leads in each system by week, as of yesterday it was still not fixed.

- BingAds reports 738 Conversions
- Google Analytics reports 913 Conversion

You might think nah they just don’t have their number right or they didn’t install the BingAds conversion code correctly. Au contraire, the conversion code was one version back circa Spring 2012 and then updated on January 24, 2013 but still saw the problem continued of missing conversions.

So, we reached out to our BingAds Rep and that brings you up to the part about “wide spread issue” (fun to say, not really fun to think about)!

Now What…

Well for starters, check your own account BingAds and Analytics! I kinda hope that this is has not happening to many BingAds accounts but “wide spread issue” does seem a bit encompassing.

  1. Go to Bing check your conversions for 12/30/2012 to Present
  2. Go to Analytics sort your Goals Conversions by Source and add Yahoo and Bing together, this works if you separate out SEM from Organic Goals
    -or-
    If you direct your BingAds traffic to a landing page just for them or the landing page has a unique Bing only variable then create an “Advance Segment” that has that variable in it

Did they (BingAds) get ya, yup me too!

My plan for now literally, starts today because you got to remember that I just got confirmation at 5:13pm (at Jan 28, 2013).

Suggested Steps (these are just suggestion people, please fill the Comments area with more and better ones)

  1. Take BingAds Spend then divide by how many real conversions there are in Google Analytics for Source: Bing+Yahoo = my new CPA (check to see if I am profitable – yup FTW!)
  2. Update your conversion code, did that already. (I am adding this because I am willing to bet the Yahoo-Bing Rep is going to ask you how old your conversion script is and might not help you until it is the newest – nah this never happened to me not like in Spring 2012 when reporting Adenter Click Fraud on their Syndicated Search Partner network, or in 2009 or the other times I call for tech support… moving on!)
  3. Stop trying to optimize (or otherwise cut spending) on my BingAds, for January I am now flying a little blind, I do have an account CPA but that’s it so far.
  4. Now I will have to dig through Google Analytics to pull out which keywords and search queries drove conversions and match them up against BingAds Spend.
  5. Don’t worry your Spend is probably real :) Again this is a hunch, but I don’t think Bing stopped taking our money.
  6. As for clicks and impressions check in Analytics if you can, remember a Google Analytics Visit = BingAds Click
  7. I need to go back and update my destination urls using Google’s URL Builder which I believe will track through Analytics http://support.google.com/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1033867
  8. Leave Comments Please!!
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